Lemon-Almond Polenta Cake

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes a 9 -inch-round, 2 -inch-thick cake; serves


Appears in

Welcome to Claire's: 35 Years of Recipes and Reflections from the Landmark Vegetarian Restaurant

Welcome to Claire's

By Claire Criscuolo

Published 2014

  • About

This is a lovely cake served alone, dusted with a little powdered sugar, or topped with a dollop of plain whipped cream. Often we surround the cake with fresh berries or fruit salad, because the cake is even more delicious if you pair it with fruit.


  • 2 cups organic all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup organic cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon organic baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) organic butter, brought to room temperature
  • cups organic sugar
  • 4 organic eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon pure organic lemon extract
  • Grated zest of 1 organic lemon
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about ½ organic lemon)
  • ½ cup sliced almonds


  1. Center the oven rack. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch-round, 2-inch-deep pan with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.
  2. Measure the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and sea salt into a bowl, then whisk until blended. Set aside. Place the softened butter into a medium-large mixing bowl. Using a handheld mixer, beat on low-medium speed for about a minute until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar, then beat on low-medium speed for about a minute, until well blended, stopping two or three times to scrape the sides of the bowl. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, on low-medium speed for about 30 seconds, until all the eggs have been added and the batter is well blended. Add the lemon extract, zest, and juice, then beat on medium speed for a few seconds until blended.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the dry mixture. Beat on low speed for a minute, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Then beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until all the dry ingredients are well blended into the batter, stopping a couple of times to scrape the sides of the bowl. The batter will be thick. Stir in the almonds.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, then use a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl and to smooth the top of the batter in the pan. Bake on the center rack in the preheated oven for about 45-50 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Turn the cake onto a plate to cool to room temperature and glaze with Lemon Glaze, if desired.