This gluten and dairy free orange polenta cake is supercharged with citrusy goodness. It’s soft and dense, moist and crumbly, and most certainly delicious. The cake is soaked with an orange and lime syrup, which brings it to a whole new level. (Psst, there’s a video with step-by-step instructions, as well!)
Okay, first of all: raise your hand if you know what “polenta” is.
Polenta is basically the Italian version of grits. If you go into more detail, it turns out that polenta and grits are made from different types of corn… but they’re both some sort of coarsely ground cornmeal in the end.
As it’s made from corn, polenta is naturally gluten free. Additionally, it has an amazing taste and often features in savoury dishes – but it is absolutely spectacular is sweet stuff as well, such as in this mouthwatering gluten & dairy free orange polenta cake. Just look at that colour!
This cake is sweet, moist and refreshing with a strong citrus flavour that will blow your socks off. It also has a rather interesting method of preparation. You bake the cake, as you do, leave it to cool and then soak it overnight in an orange and lime juice syrup.
Now, let’s get two things out of the way. The syrup isn’t strictly a syrup because it isn’t at all syrupy in texture – which is good, because you want it to be liquidy in order to absorb well into the polenta cake.
Secondly, it will at first appear like there’s waaaaaay too much “syrup” for it to be all absorbed into the cake. I know, I panicked too. A tiny, tiny little bit. But… just let the syrup and the cake do their thing. Leave it overnight, go to sleep, and you will awake to a super duper moist polenta cake which has been supercharged with citrusy goodness.
Also, can we all agree that this thing about being weirded out by the word “moist” is just… stupid? Because I’m getting fed up with the cringy (<— totally a word) faces people pull when they hear it. The thing is: there is no good synonym for “moist”. Thesaurus tells me I could use “succulent”, “juicy”, “soft” or “spongy”.
Now, when someone says “succulent”, they are either talking about a steak or a plant. “Juicy” to me means being almost overly filled with liquid – which this cake isn’t. It’s just right. As for “soft”… Yes, this polenta cake is “soft”. It’s also dense, slightly crumbly and insanely delicious. But how is “soft” the same as “moist”?! And how is “spongy” even remotely similar to “moist”?! (No, this cake is not spongy. And anyway: would you honestly want to eat a “spongy” cake?)
So, moving on from this
highly unnecessary unburdening of my soul slight detour. This orange polenta cake is easy to make, effortlessly gluten, dairy and refined sugar free and bloody delicious. Oh, and moist. Definitely moist.
(If you’re on a smartphone, the video can be viewed best in full screen mode.)
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup (125 g) honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- juice of 2 oranges (3/4 cup, 150 mL)
- ½ cup (100 g) melted coconut oil
- 1 cup (100g) almond flour
- 1 cup (150 g) polenta (cornmeal)
- 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
- pinch of salt
- juice of 2½ oranges (1 cup, 200 mL)
- juice of 1 lime (1/4 cup, 50 mL)
- ¼ cup (65 g) honey
- round 7 inch spring form cake tin, at least 2½ inch deep (if you use another size of cake tin, baking time may need to be adjusted)
- Pre-heat the oven to 175 ºC (350 ºF).
- Line the bottom of the spring form cake tin with baking/greaseproof paper.
- In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients until you get a smooth, homogeneous batter.
- Transfer the cake batter into the lined cake tin and bake it in the pre-heated oven at 175 ºC (350 ºF) for 30 - 35 minutes, or until golden brown on top and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow to cool completely in the cake tin.
- In a small saucepan, heat the orange juice, lime juice and honey until the honey is completely dissolved and the mixture is warm.
- Prick the cooled polenta cake still in the cake tin with a toothpick all over. Prick it quite densely, as this allows the "syrup" to be absorbed more efficiently.
- Pour the "syrup" over the cooled polenta cake. Allow the "syrup" to be soaked in overnight.
- After the overnight soak, the "syrup" should have been completely absorbed by the cake.
- Remove it from the cake tin.
- The orange polenta cake keeps well in a container in a cool, dry place for 3 - 4 days (but it will be gone within a day).
Looking for more gluten free yumminess? Look no further!