Flourless Lemon Polenta Cake with Limoncello Syrup


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Birthday Cake Book

The Birthday Cake Book

By Fiona Cairns

Published 2011

  • About

A rustic, very moist Italian cake to be enjoyed at any time, perhaps with a glass or two of limoncello...


For the Cake

  • 275 g unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the tin
  • 200 g ground almonds
  • 100 g instant polenta
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 250 g golden caster sugar
  • finely grated zest of 2 large unwaxed lemons and juice of 1
  • 5 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp limoncello


    Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan 160°C/340°F/gas mark 3½. Butter a 23cm, 7.5cm deep, round springform cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.

    Place the ground almonds, polenta, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

    In an electric mixer, or using a bowl and a hand-held whisk, cream together the butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy; this may well take five minutes. Add the eggs gradually, fold in the ground almond mixture and drizzle in the lemon juice and limoncello slowly at the end. Blend together well.

    Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a skewer emerges clean. Leave in the tin, standing on a wire rack.

    While the cake is baking, make the candied lemon slices by placing the caster sugar and 100ml water in a small pan. Dissolve all the sugar over a low heat, then increase the heat to medium and add the lemon slices. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally; do not allow to boil. The syrup will thicken.

    As soon as the cakes come from the oven, prick them all over with a cocktail stick. Take 1 tbsp of the warm syrup, add the limoncello and spoon over the cake. Arrange the candied lemon slices over the top.