An excellent cake, tasty and extremely easy to make with a uniqueness to it that makes it a little different from your everyday sponge-based cake.
Why we chose this recipe:
Some time ago we had been out for a morning coffee and cake and had found a Polenta cake in the ever-alluring cake display. Intrigued by the use of polenta rather than a standard wheat flour we thought we would give it a go, and we were extremely happy with the unique corn-based taste. Since then we have wanted to have a go at creating our own polenta-based cake and after looking at a few recipes online we settled on this one, with a few modifications for aesthetic reasons and to have the cake resemble that excellent one we had at the café a little more.
After an initial scare, wondering if we had actually used some fine semolina instead of the polenta from the cupboard we managed to have a great success with this recipe. The recipe did end up making quite allot of mixture, and unlike the original recipe (link below) we decided to make muffins (although we have also since made a square cake as well).
What a great cake this recipe makes and so tasty. It was far better than the café cake we had and it exceeded both of our expectations. The recipe makes a really nice light cake – we were both a little scared of this becoming a bit dense or too dry but in the end those fears were unfounded. The recipe actually uses a dusting of icing sugar as topping but we wanted to take it one step further by adding some lemon-flavoured icing as well as a fantastically simple blueberry icing – which ended up working really well for making the cake look much better in photos but also adding another dimension to the taste.
Would we make this recipe again?
I am definitely keeping this recipe on hand as a ‘wow’ cake for when we are entertaining. It’s different from a normal wheat-based cake with a unique taste coming from the polenta.
We’ve since added polenta to a staple of ingredients we keep in our pantry just incase it is needed because I’m sure we will be making this again. Only we have clearly labeled the container so we don’t confuse it with the Semolina again! I’d also like to give this a go as an orange cake, replacing the lemon with oranges or even grape fruit. The icing was a great addition to the original recipe and I think we’ll ice any other cakes we make in a similar fashion to this.
I imagine we will be making the cupcakes/muffins much more than the cake as per the original recipe. For us muffins always seem to be more versatile than a cake… Such as for a quick breakfast on-the-go. We know, we know, muffins are not the healthiest breakfast, but when you’ve baked them yourself and have control over what goes into them it makes it easier to justify!
This recipe has been adapted from Family Style Food.
- 1 cup polenta, or coarse-ground cornmeal
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg whites
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 180°C (fan-forced) with an oven rack in the center of the oven.
- Spray, or oil muffin tins, we made around 12–15, but it will depend on the size of your muffin tins and how much you’d like to fill them.
- Mix the polenta, flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.
- Beat the eggs, egg whites and sugar in a stand mixer (we ended up using a cheap hand-mixer we had on-hand at the time) until pale and creamy. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the oil. butter, yogurt, lemon zest and juice.
- Gently fold in the dry ingredients until just mixed without over-beating. Pour the batter into the muffin tins and bake 15 – 20 minutes, or until the tops feels firm (not hard) and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Turn out onto a cooling rack and cool completely before serving.
We served the muffins with two simple toppings, one of icing sugar mixed with lemon juice until just runny. The other was served with frozen blueberries, simply mashed into icing sugar until a cream-like consistency was formed. There was no measuring or anything, we just kind of winged it and to be honest it worked out quite well. The blueberry mixture was a little runny but made for some stunning photos!