Monday 24 March 2014

Gluten-free lemon and rosemary polenta cake

Gluten-free lemon and rosemary polenta cake
Gluten-free Lemon and rosemary polenta cake
I love going to Clandestine Cake Club meetings as they provide so much inspiration for new cakes. When Debs, the organizer of the Newark & Sherwood group, announced that the theme for the last meeting was 'Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow?' I knew there was only ingredient that the cake needed to contain – rosemary.

Through rain and shine, snow and hail, my rosemary plant keeps on growing. In fact in the first few months of the year it is the only thing that is edible in the garden. I tried to get some blood oranges to go with the rosemary but it seems supplies never made to my local shops. Instead I went for lemons and I'm glad I did. The zing of the lemons was a great combination with the rosemary and worked well with the almonds and polenta.

This month for my Love Cake the challenge is 'Giving up' which means baking a cake without one of the four basic cake ingredients of wheat flour, butter, sugar and/or eggs. In this cake there is no wheat flour as it has been replaced by the polenta and almonds to make it gluten-free.

Karen at Lavender and Lovage runs the Cooking with Herbs and this month has made a special request for recipes containing rosemary.

With its zesty, citrus flavour and garden ingredients this is going to Calendar Cakes and it theme of Spring. It is hosted by Rachel at Dolly Bakes and Laura at Laura Loves Cakes.

Equipment: 8in (20cm) round baking tin greased and lined, electric beaters/whisk


8oz (225g) Unsalted butter, softened or baking spread
8oz (225g) Caster sugar
7oz (200g) Ground almonds
3 Large eggs
Zest 2 lemons
1 tbsp (15ml) Fresh rosemary, finely chopped
4oz (110g) Polenta
1tsp (5ml) Gluten-free baking powder


Juice 2 lemons
2 Fresh rosemary sprigs
2oz (55g) Caster sugar
2tbsp (30ml) Water


1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C/Gas mark 3.
2. Prepare the tin by greasing and lining it.
3. In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar together.
4. Once the mixture looks light and fluffy beat in the almonds.
5. Lightly beat the eggs and add them to the creamed butter, sugar and almonds. Beat until thoroughly combined.
6. Mix in the lemon zest and rosemary.
7. Fold in the polenta and baking powder.
8. Transfer the mixture to the tin and bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
9. Once the cake has baked let it cool in the tin for 10 minutes while you make the syrup.
10. In a small saucepan put the lemon juice, rosemary sprigs, sugar and water.
11. Bring it to the boil while stirring to dissolve the sugar.
12. Keep boiling until the sugar has started to thicken and then remove the rosemary sprigs.
13. Remove the cake from the tin, prick all over and then pour over the syrup.
14. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.


  1. I love the idea of rosemary in the cake. So it's something to try when I have polenta in the house again.

    1. I try to keep polenta in stock now as I find it's the easist way to bake a gluten-free cake. I may experiment with thyme next time.

  2. I tasted this cake it was absolutely beautiful. Thanks Ness

    1. Thank you! It's always nice to be able to share our cakes at Clandestine Cake Club meetings.

  3. What a GREAT idea for a CCC cake! LOVE the theme as much as I love your polenta cake!

    1. You would have loved it - lots of cakes with herbs in!


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