Food Memories: Orange & Polenta Cake

Words & Photography by Stella Pereira

I grew up in a garden, with red earth covering the soles of my bare feet.
Where early sunsets were painted with deep reds and burnt orange skies.
Where seasons were judged by ripe fruits hanging off heavy branches.
In a place, where the end of a season,
was marked by bountiful harvests.

I remember the year, when my mother’s garden,
was lined with rows of sweet yellow maize,
in place of the usual white ones.
It was a site to be seen… It seemed the sun had kissed every one of those kernels.

That was the year we ate sun kissed maize ‘phala’,
and baked yellow polenta cakes
flavoured with oranges plucked from our neighbours tree.




2 Large eggs
2/3 cup polenta flour
1/3 cup plain flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup orange juice
Zest of an orange


Pre-heat oven to 180°C.

Separate egg yolks from whites (to be used separately).

In a medium sized bowl, whisk egg yolks with sugar until a creamy consistency is reached.

Gradually add hot orange juice, gently stirring to incorporate.

Sieve flour and baking powder into bowl, along with the zest of an orange. Slowly incorporate flour.

Whisk egg whites to stiff peaks and gently fold in.

Pour cake batter into a previously lined 8 inch cake pan, reduce the temperature of the oven to 160°C, and bake for 1 hour.

Food Memories: Orange & Polenta Cake was created by Food&_ community member:

Stella Pereira

Stella Pereira