Orange Polenta Cake is a quick and easy homemade citrus cake. Using simple ingredients we stir and combine before transferring them into a cake tin and giving them a quick oven bake. This orange & polenta cake works for morning tea, as a celebration cake or delightful afternoon tea cake.
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I have summarised everything that you will come to know and love (LOVE ❤) about the recipe in the points below:
- Basic ingredients: you will be able to get everything you need to make the orange polenta cake from your local grocery store. They are year round available ingredients that will be easy to get your hands on.
- Back to kitchen basics: this is a very simple cake recipe that doesn't take too much hard work to bring it together. We basically mix it all and then pop it in the cake tin.
- Taste and texture: moist and light this lovely orange citrus cake is zesty, fresh and positively delightful.
- Homemade: there is something special and enjoyable about spending some time in the kitchen and then beginning to be rewarded for your hard work as the delightful aroma of the baked goods wafts through the house.
- Versatile: be it for morning tea, a lunch box treat, afternoon tea or special occasion cake this orange & polenta cake will work for all of those occasions and more 😁👌.
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the recipe. Please refer to the printable recipe card for specific ingredient measurements as well as detailed instructions.
As you can see the recipe calls for:
- Icing sugar: also known as confectioner's sugar. This is a soft white powdered form of sugar. It is excellent to use as a dust to decorate cakes and cupcakes.
- Baking powder: the baking powder helps to give the cake a little 'lift'. As we are not using self raising flour in the recipe it is not a cake that would rise a lot if we didn't add this ingredient.
- Butter: the butter is the starting point of the recipe. It is best to use unsalted butter. I like to chop it into small pieces so that it is more balanced in the bowl when I begin to cream it.
- Almond meal: this is a pale creamy coloured form of ground almonds. You will find it in the cooking aisle of the supermarket.
- Eggs: fresh, free range eggs are always best to use.
- Polenta: this is cornmeal. It is soft, granulated and bright yellow in colour. You will find it in the cooking aisle.
- Caster sugar: this has a smaller grain that regular white sugar does. It gets absorbed in with the butter when we are in the initial stages of the recipe.
- Oranges: these bright and vibrant fruits are a delight to work with in the kitchen! We use both their zest (skin grated) and their juice to make the polenta cake.
Tasty Tip: I like to provide you with a number of substitutions and variations giving you an array of options when making the recipe. If in doubt of any of the above ingredients, or wanting alternatives, read this section (further below) before jumping into the instructions on how to make the recipe which are coming next 😉👌.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We start by preparing the eggs. You can also use this time to line a round cake tin with parchment paper and to preheat the oven.
- Crack eggs into jug (Photo 1)
- Whisk the eggs (Photo 2)
- Zest the orange (Photo 3)
- Juice the orange (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Orange Polenta Cake
To make the orange polenta cake start by cracking the eggs into a small jug. Once done use a mini whisk to whisk them together.
Next use a microplane zester to zest the oranges and once done juice them using a hand held juicer.
- Beat the eggs (Photo 5)
- Add the sugar (Photo 6)
- Then add the orange zest (Photo 7)
- Add the almond flour (Photo 8)
Next use electric beaters to beat the eggs and then slowly add in the sugar.
Once done add in the orange zest and then the almond flour.
- Add the orange juice (Photo 9)
- Then add the whisked eggs (Photo 10)
- Next add the polenta (Photo 11)
- Then add the baking powder (Photo 12)
Next add the orange juice and the whisked eggs to the creamed butter. Then add the polenta and stir to combine.
Once done add the baking powder and give it another stir.
- Stir to mix the batter together (Photo 13)
- Pour the wet batter into the tin (Photo 14)
- Tap the tin to smooth (Photo 15)
- Bake the cake (Photo 16)
Once you have stirred the cake mix until it has consistently come together use a silicone spoon to help transfer it into the lined cake tin like you see in the photo above.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
When it comes to serving the cake, you might like to have a cup of tea or coffee with it if you are doing a morning or afternoon tea.
Otherwise you can simply enjoy a slice without anything else to go with it 😁.
It is a beautiful moist cake that delivers big in the taste and texture departments.
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
Store leftover polenta cake in an airtight container in the fridge. It can be kept for 3-4 days and can be eaten cold or heated.
How to Freeze
Allow the cake to fully cool down. Once it has wrap it tightly in cling wrap and place it into the freezer. The cake can be frozen for up to 3 months.
How to Reheat
You can thaw the frozen cake and once thawed serve it cold. Or you can place sliced portions on a plate covered with cling wrap and microwave them in 1 minute intervals until heated through.
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here are my sub ins and outs that you might be thinking about as you read the post and I will tell you if I think they will work or why they won't:
- If place of the icing sugar for dusting you can crush some nuts like pistachios and sprinkle them over the top to decorate if you wish too.
- Or if you are a chocolate and orange person frost the cake with the Easy Chocolate Icing.
💡 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks that I want to share with you so that you master the recipe from the get go:
- If you preheat the oven as one of the initial steps you will ensure that it is hot and ready to go once you have brought together the wet cake batter.
- Use a little butter in the cake tin spread around with baking paper before lining it. This will help the paper to stick.
- You can't use ready rolled polenta to make this cake. But you can use 'instant polenta'.
- If you like baking things that you can give as gifts, you might like to try the Candy Cane Bark, Christmas Rocky Road, Candied Spiced Pecans or the Sugar Coated Peanuts.
- Or if it is festive foods that tick your box, try the Pavlova Wreath, Christmas Rocky Road, Oreo Balls, Candy Cane Fudge or the Candy Cane Bark.
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
Is semolina the same as polenta?
No. Semolina and polenta are different ingredients.
What are 2 types of polenta?
The 2 types of polenta are ready made polenta and instant polenta.
What is polenta called in America?
In various parts of the world America included polenta is sometimes referred to as 'cornmeal'.
😍 More Easy Sweet Recipes
Have a little fun getting your bake or no bake on with a variety of recipes to keep any sweet tooth satisfied. Here are some more recipes that I know you will love:
- 8 Egg Pavlova
- 4 Ingredient Rocky Road
- Zucchini Spice Cake
- Marshmallow Chocolates
- Dulce de Leche Tartlets
- Dark Chocolate Rocky Road
- Malteser Rocky Road
- Anzac Biscuits
- Smarties Cookies
- Snickers Fudge
Orange Polenta Cake
- 200 grams/ 7 oz butter soft, Note 1
- 150 grams/ ¾ cup caster sugar
- 150 grams/ ¾ cup almond flour Note 2
- 150 grams/ ¾ cup polenta Note 3
- 3 large eggs free range
- 1 teaspoon baking powder Note 4
- 3 oranges zested, Note 5
- 1 orange of the above, juiced, Note 6
- icing sugar
- orange zest
- Preheat your oven: to 180°C / 350-375°F / Gas Mark 4-5.
- Eggs: working one at a time crack the eggs into a small jug and use a mini whisk to whisk them together.
- Oranges: use a microplane zester to zest the 3 oranges, then slice one of the them in half and juice it.
- Butter: place the butter into a large mixing bowl and use electric beaters to beat. Then slowly pour in the sugar and continue to beat until the sugar has dissolved in the egg mixture.
- Combine: add the orange zest followed by almond flour to the wet mixture and stir to combine. Next add the whisked eggs to the bowl and use a spoon to stir and combine. Then add the polenta and the baking powder and stir again to combine.
- Oven bake: transfer the wet cake mixture into the lined cake tin and bake for 40 mins. You will notice the edges of the cake turn a light golden brown. You can use a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake to test if it is done. Note 7
- To serve: use oven mitts to remove the cake from the oven and place it onto a heatproof surface. Once it has cooled remove the cake from the tin and discard the baking paper. Then use a small sifter to dust the icing sugar over the top of the cake to decorate it. Once done sprinkle the orange zest over the top also. Use a knife to slice the cake into pieces, transfer onto plates and provide spoons.
- Note 1 - Butter: as part of the process to make this cake the 1st thing I do is take the butter out of the fridge and leave it on the bench for a bit. When it softens to room temperature, it becomes easier to beat it.
- Note 2 - Almond flour or almond meal: both are fine to use (to the equivalent amount specified in the recipe card). Almond flour is finer and doesn't have any brown flecks from the skin of the almonds which some almond meal ranges can have.
- Note 3 - Polenta: we use more polenta in this cake than the Lemon Polenta Cake recipe to allow for the additional liquid from the orange juice.
- Note 4 - Baking powder: for the Lemon Polenta Cake we don't use baking powder as we don't really need it. However, due to the addition of more wet ingredients in this Orange Polenta Cake, I do recommend using it. It helps to make the cake rise and be fluffier than it would with out it.
- Note 5 - Oranges: for the oranges, we use the zest from all 3 and the juice from 1. The zest of approximately 2 of them go in the cake and 1 goes on the cake. 1 whole orange gets juiced and the juice as well as any pulp goes into the cake.
- Note 6 - Orange juice: I use a hand held juicer. Simply cut 1 orange in half and juice each half. Then tip the pulp and juice in and pick out any seeds or strain it and then add it in.
- Note 7 - Skewer test: this is a popular technique used to test if baked goods are done. If the skewer comes out clean, the cake is ready. If there is any wet mix, it needs a little more more time. The top of the cake should also spring back when lightly pressed with the tip of a finger.
Recipe published January 2020, updated in November 2023 with re edited photos and to offer you more tasty tips 😁👍