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Published April 23, 2021. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
You will love these few ingredients and the simple-to-make Italian Homemade Lemon Polenta Cake recipe with lemon glaze.
There is nothing like a delicious dessert to finish off an epic meal with. We have a serious sweet tooth in our house and love our sweets all day long, especially after dinner. If you’re just like us then you absolutely check out how to make my Blackberry Cobbler and Chocolate Mousse.
A polenta cake is an Italian sweet cake that is made from cornmeal and almond flour and classically served with powdered sugar or a lemon glaze that goes over the top. It is very easy to make and only requires 10 ingredients. In Italy, it is a very simple humble cake that is made using leftover corn grits.
When making this recipe you can use either coarse corn grits or finely ground corn grits as both are acceptable but will provide different textures.
What is Polenta
Polenta is a “starch” side dish, or at times the main entrée, in Italy that is made from chicken stock and corn grits that is cooked in a pot together until the grits are cooked and softened. It will kind of remind you of mashed potatoes. These same corn grits are used to make this polenta cake.
How to Make Polenta Cake
Follow along with these simple instructions for making a homemade polenta cake:
Start by creaming together some butter and sugar together in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment on medium-high speed for 5-7 minutes or until light and fluffy.
In a large bowl mix together all of the dry ingredients until they are completely combined and set aside.
Add the vanilla and lemon zest to the creamed butter mixture until mixed in.
Alternating dry ingredients and eggs add each of them in, in batches until it is completely mixed together.
Transfer to a springform pan and smooth out the batter using a spatula.
Bake in the oven at 350° for 45-55 minutes or until lightly browned on top and firm in the center. Cool completely at room temperature before running a knife around the outside and releasing the buckle.
Whisk together the lemon juice and sifted powdered sugar until combined and then add to the top of the cake and serve.
How to Serve It
This cake classically would be served with a little powdered sugar or a lemon glaze, which is what I made. Here are a few other things you can serve it with:
- Whipped Cream
- Fresh Berries
- Fresh Stone Fruit
- Shaved Almonds
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: You can make this cake up to 2 days ahead of time.
How to Store: Keep covered at room temperature for up to 4 days. Cover and refrigerate for up to 6 days. You can freeze covered for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day before serving.
chef notes + tips
- You can use any grind of cornmeal in this recipe.
- If you do not have a stand mixer you can substitute it with a hand mixer.
- I prefer to use the finely ground almond meal in this polenta cake.
- Run a knife on the outside of the springform pan before undoing the buckle.
More Dessert Recipes
Homemade Lemon Polenta Cake Recipe
For the Cake:
- 2 ¼ cups cornmeal
- 2 ¼ cups almond flour
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ½ cups softened unsalted butter
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- zest of 2 lemons
- 5 eggs
For the Glaze:
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- In a large bowl whisk together the cornmeal, almond flour, salt, and baking powder until combined. Set aside.
- Next add the butter and sugar to a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and mix on medium-high speed for 5-7 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Add in the vanilla and lemon zest to the creamed butter and mix until it is mixed in about 10 seconds.
- Now alternate adding in the cornmeal mixture dry ingredients and the eggs into the creamed butter mixture until each is mixed in before adding in the other, about 3-4 minutes total.
- Once everything is mixed in, transfer the batter to a 9” springform pan and smooth the batter on the top using a rubber spatula.
- Bake the cake at 350° for 45-55 minutes or until lightly browned on top and has a mostly firm center.
- Cool the cake completely on a rack at room temperature before removing it from the springform pan.
- In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice and powdered sugar until completely combined and then spread it over top of the cake, slice, and serve.