Lemon and Poppy Seed Polenta Cake

Recipe by Alice WoodPhotography & Styling by Jonathan Finch

lemons3With so many people these days following a gluten-free diet it is important that they can still have their cake and eat it. Working in a cafe which caters for students, professionals and several others from all walks of life, I see more and more requests for gluten-free options. I have experimented in the past with gluten-free flour and various alternatives but have found cakes to be too heavy and stodgy.

This polenta cake is light, moist and melt in the mouth. A great variation on the classic lemon drizzle, this cake is a firm favourite with all our customers – and not just those with a gluten intolerance. It is a great combination of both citrus and sweet and I am yet to meet anyone who has not enjoyed a slice. This recipe is an adaption from Nigella Lawson’s recipe for Lemon Polenta Cake.






200g Unsalted Butter
200g Caster Sugar
200g Ground Almonds
100g Polenta
2tsp Baking Powder (Gluten-free if this is for wheat or gluten intolerant people)
50g Poppy Seeds
2 Eggs
1tsp Vanilla Essence
3tbsp Plain Yoghurt
2tbsp Lemon Juice
2-3tbsp Milk
Zest of 3 Lemons

Crunchy Lemon Glaze:

Juice of 3 Lemons
130g Icing Sugar
50g Granulated Sugar

Lemon Icing:

1 tbsp Lemon Juice
115g Icing Sugar
Poppy Seeds and Lemon Zest to Sprinkle on top of the Icing


1.  Line and grease a 9″ springform cake tin with baking parchment and butter and then pre-heat your oven to 180°C.

2.  Cream the butter and sugar together with a hand mixer or standing mixer until light and fluffy and pale in colour.

3.  Add the eggs and the vanilla essence to the butter and sugar.

4.  Weight out the ground almonds, polenta, baking powder and poppy seeds and fold into the wet mixture.

5.  At this point fold in the lemon zest, lemon juice and yoghurt. Mix it until it is all evenly combined. If the mixture feels quite stiff then add between 1-3tbsp of milk to loosen it.

6.  Place the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 30-40 minutes until firm in the middle.

7.  Whilst the cake is still in the oven, prepare the crunchy lemon glaze mixture. Once the cake is removed from the oven, whilst still hot, prick the cake several times with a skewer and top with the crunchy lemon glaze using a pastry brush or pallet knife.

8. Leave to cool and refrigerate over night. Before serving top with the lemon icing, poppy seeds and lemon zest.

Lemon and Poppy Seed Polenta Cake was created by Food&_ community members:

Alice Wood

Alice Wood

Recipe Contributor

Jonathan Finch

Jonathan Finch