Published On: Fri, Oct 9th, 2020

Orange polenta cake

You’ll love this gorgeous orange polenta cake by James Hillery!

Make a delicious orange polenta cake this Autumn, a perfect edition to any recipe book with simple step by step instructions!

orange polenta cake

Orange polenta cake

Servings 12
Author James Hillery


For the caramelised orange slices

  • 2 medium oranges
  • 150 g caster sugar

For the cake

  • 4 medium oranges
  • 6 large free-range eggs
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 125 g polenta
  • 125 g ground almonds
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt

For the mascarpone frosting

  • 110 g mascarpone cheese
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

To decorate

  • 25 g pistachios, sliced
  • edible flowers (optional)


For the caramelised orange slices

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C/Gas Mark 2 and line a baking tray with baking paper.

  2. In a medium saucepan, add 150g (51/2oz)caster sugar with 150ml (5fl oz) water. Simmer on a medium heat until the sugar dissolves.

  3. Thinly slice the oranges, place them in the sugar syrup and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow to cool.

  4. Remove the orange slices carefully, then lay them on the prepared baking tray. Reserve the syrup.

  5. Bake the orange slices in the oven for 10 minutes, then flip them over and bake for a further 10 minutes. Turn the oven off, but leave them to cool in the oven.

For the cake

  1. Place the oranges into a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 hour.

  2. Preheat the oven to 160C/Gas Mark 3.Grease and line a 20cm (8in) round cake tin.

  3. Remove the oranges from the saucepan, chop them roughly and remove any pips, then put them into a food processor or blender and blitz until a smooth paste forms.

  4. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until pale and thick. Gently combine with the blitzed orange.

  5. Add the polenta, ground almonds, baking powder and salt, mixing until thoroughly incorporated.

  6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin, making sure you leave 1cm (1/2in) from the top to allow for a little rise. Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes until an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean.

  7. Once the cake is baked, remove from the oven, then prick the surface all over with a cocktail stick or skewer. Pour about 70ml (21/2fl oz) of the reserved orange syrup over the surface of the cake.

  8. Let the cake cool in the cake tin before removing.

To decorate

  1. In a stand mixer, or a large bowl with an electric whisk, whisk together the mascarpone cheese, cream, icing sugar and vanilla extract until smooth, thick and fluffy.

  2. Spread the icing on the top of the cooled cake and decorate with the caramelised orange slices, pistachios and flowers (if using).

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