Lemon & Berry Polenta Cake – moist, delicious, a gluten-free recipe

Lemon & Berry Polenta Cake  - gluten free

I’ve made plenty of cupcakes and bars so it was time to make a cake. I don’t trust my oven. Even after 5 years in this house, I have not figured out my expensive Smeg oven. It cooks unevenly and seems to burn the outside of everything before the inside is cooked. Anyway, I wouldn’t let it beat me and I decided to make this gluten-free lemon, berry polenta cake, which I found at www.cakeboule.wordpress.com

I saw it getting a bit too brown on top before the time was up so I covered it with tinfoil but it still got a little too dark on the bottom even though I pulled it out well before the instructions said. I have adjusted the timing accordingly in the recipe but check it after 35 minutes to see if a skewer comes out clean. If it does, get it out of there. This is a very moist, totally delicious cake with a brilliant sharpness from the 4 lemons, which cuts through the sweetness of the sugar syrup which gets poured over the cooked cake. This was a triumph of flavour according to me and one of the best gluten-free recipes I have made.


Recipe: Lemon & Berry Polenta CakeLemon & Berry Polenta Cake - gluten free


  • 150g (2/3 cup) soft room temperature butter
  • 150g (2/3 cup) caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 75g (1/3 cup) ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 4 lemons – grated rind and juice
  • 75g (1/3 cup) polenta (quick cook fine grain variety)
  • 50g  (1/5 cup – about 2 tbsp) white sugar (for the sugar syrup)
  • 200g (3/4 cup) mixed berries


  1. Preheat oven to 170°C/Fan150°/325°F/Gas 3
  2. Grease a 20cm/8”cake tin and line with baking paper or greaseproof.
  3. Beat butter and 150g sugar together until pale and light (about 5 mins).
  4. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  5. Mix in the ground almonds and baking powder until fully combined.
  6. Stir in all the grated lemon rind and juice of two lemons – reserve the rest for the sugar syrup.
  7. Stir in the polenta and then the berries.
  8. Spoon mixture into cake tin.
  9. Bake for approx 35/40 minutes on the middle shelf.
  10. Allow to cool in the tin.
  11. Add the juice of the remaining 2 lemons into a saucepan with 50g sugar.
  12. Boil gently, stirring regularly, for 5 minutes to form a thick syrup.
  13. Make holes in the cake with the cake tester or a skewer and pour syrup over the cake
  14. Allow to cool before removing from the tin.

Quick notes

Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days. I glazed this cake with a simple mixture of icing sugar, lemon juice and water – just to make it pretty but it’s not necessary.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

Diet tags: Gluten free

Number of servings (yield): 8

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)


Lemon Berry Polenta Cake - Gluten free recipe

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  1. This is a very beautiful cake
    Interesting recipe and I’m intrigued :)

  2. Well, I have no food allergy problems whatsoever [sorry, am allergic to the lovely fruit 'durian' as I found out in Singapore a long time ago :) ] , but I love anything to do with polenta and find the gorgeous amount of lemon versus the sweetening berries an intriguing combo – so only one way to find out!!

  3. I don’t think I have any food allergies either but gluten-free kind of intrigues me and it can’t hurt to try it for a change. My husband doesn’t have a sweet tooth at all but he eats my granola bars and actually liked this cake so that’s saying something.

  4. This looks beautiful! I’m gluten free and can’t wait to make this! Anyway you know the conversions to cups?

  5. I’m not one who fears gluten, but I do have friends who are allergic – so I’m always grateful for recipes. I really like lemon, and who doesn’t like berries? Looks like a terrific recipe – thanks.

    • I think I sometimes feel better when I’m gluten-free but I have never done it religiously so I’m not sure. It must be mild if I do have an allergy.

  6. My two year old son and I made this a little while ago (he helped with everything but the sugar syrup) it’s a nice easy recipe and the results are delicious. My partner is Gluten Free and we’ve started looking for reliable and delicious gluten free recipes, this one is definitely a keeper! I added some strawberries as they are in season here in the U.K, and they are add a real lovely colour and taste.

    Thank you for sharing!

    • Two-year-old cook? Wow! I’m glad you have found this recipe because it is one of the best gluten-free ones I have made so far and I am always looking.for new ones. Strawberries would be delicious.

  7. this sounds so summery and lovely. i will make it this week:)
    i found your blog from the discussion on linked in.

    • Good to see you here, Holly. This is a great cake and, as Chloe mentioned above, you could substitute different berries according to the season.

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