Gluten free and dairy free, this tender lemon almond polenta cake is made with olive oil, almonds, polenta (ground cornmeal) and a whole lemon, recipe adapted from The Flavors of Olive Oil. It’s wonderful for dessert with berries, nice with tea, even, and even works as an afternoon snack cake or breakfast.
Keyword almonds, Cake, Gluten-free, polenta
Prep Time 15minutes
Cook Time 50minutes
½cup gluten-free cornmealmedium to coarse grind Bob’s Red Mill
½cup gluten-free flour blend
2teaspoonsaluminum-free baking powder
1 ½cupswhole raw almonds7 ½ ounces
1 cup unrefined natural raw sugarto reduce sugar see below
1largelemonMeyer if available
¾cupextra virgin olive oiluse a good fruity oil
½cupunsweetened almond milk I use homemade, recipe on this site
Powdered sugar to finish before serving
Parchment paper rounds or sheet cut to round
Food processor with steel knife
Digital scalehelpful but not mandatory
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9” springform pan with non-stick spray and line with a parchment round cut to fit the bottom. In a medium bowl, whisk cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt together.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel knife, pulse the almonds and sugar for about 30 seconds. They should have a coarse, sandy texture.
Cut lemon in half. Juice one half to get 1 ½ tablespoons; discard rind and add juice to the food processor. Pick the seeds from the other lemon half, cut lemon half into four pieces and add to the food processor. Process for 45 seconds. Scrape down the bowl with a flexible spatula. Add oil, almond milk, eggs and almond extract. Process for 1 ½ minutes. Add the cornmeal/flour mixture and give it a few long pulses to combine.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 45-60 minutes, or until golden and firm to the touch. A cake tester or toothpick comes out with just moist crumbs attached. Timing depends on your ovens.
Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then run a thin bladed knife around the inside edge of the pan. Release the spring, remove the bottom pan and parchment and cool on a wire rack. Let cool completely. Serve as desired with berries, whipped cream, whipped coconut milk or plain. The cake will hold for two days wrapped well and refrigerated.
To reduce sugar, use part sugar substitute. This recipe is most easily and accurately made with a digital kitchen scale, which is a terrific and inexpensive investment if you do not have one.