Polenta and ricotta cake with rosemary lemon syrup

Looking for a cake with wow factor? Soaked in deliciously sweet lemon and rosemary syrup and served with whipped ricotta, this polenta cake is sure to impress.

  • 50 mins preparation
  • Serves 10
  • Print


  • 2 medium lemons (280g)
  • ¾ cup (180g) reduced-fat fresh firm ricotta
  • ½ cup (175g) honey
  • ⅓ cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • ⅔ cup (110g) instant polenta (cornmeal)
  • 1¼ cups (150g) almond meal
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
Rosemary lemon syrup
  • ⅓ cup (115g) honey
  • 4 large sprigs rosemary
  • ¼ cup (60ml) lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2 small lemons (130g), sliced thinly into rounds
Whipped lemon ricotta
  • ¾ cup (180g) reduced-fat fresh firm ricotta
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  • 1
    Place lemons in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to the boil. Top lemons with a lid or small plate to keep submerged. Reduce heat to medium; simmer for 30 minutes or until tender. Drain. When cool enough to handle, tear open; discard pips.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 160°C/325°F. Lightly grease a 23cm (9¼in) springform pan; double line base and side with baking paper.
  • 3
    Process lemons, ricotta, honey, oil, vanilla and egg yolks until smooth.
  • 4
    Combine polenta, almond meal and baking powder in a large bowl; stir in lemon mixture. Whisk egg whites and a pinch of salt with an electric mixer until soft peaks form; fold through polenta mixture. Spoon into pan; smooth top.
  • 5
    Bake cake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • 6
    Make rosemary lemon syrup and whipped lemon ricotta.
  • 7
    Spoon half the hot syrup over warm cake in the pan; stand until cooled. Transfer cake to a plate; serve with remaining syrup and whipped lemon ricotta.
Rosemary lemon syrup
  • 8
    Place honey, ½ cup (125ml) water and rosemary in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil; cook for 4 minutes. Add lemon juice, vanilla and lemon slices; simmer for 2 minutes.
Whipped lemon ricotta
  • 9
    Process ricotta, honey, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons water until smooth. Refrigerate until required.

More From Women's Weekly Food