Orange Almond Polenta Cake

baking cake Feb 25, 2021

This is a moist and light cross between a cake and a cheesecake. It’s naturally gluten free, made with almond flour, polenta, and ricotta cheese and is one of my favorites. It’s also beautiful. Use a sharp, thin knife to cut the lemon slices thinly.

Serves 6-10


For the topping:

2 oranges or a mixture of limes, oranges, blood oranges and lemons

1/4 cup each brown & white sugar

2 Tbls orange marmalade or water

1 tsp. orange blossom water (optional)

For the cake:

1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup sugar divided into 1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar

3 lg. eggs, separated and at room temperature

Zest and juice of 3 medium lemons, about 1/4 cup juice

1/2 tsp. salt

1/3 cup (60g) polenta

1 1/4 cup (135g) almond meal

1/2 cup (170g) whole milk ricotta with no additives (Trader Joe’s whole milk ricotta is good as well as the Calabro brand and others )

9” or 10” cake pan


For the topping:

  1. Preheat oven to 325˚F

  2. Place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of a 9” or 10” pan pressing the paper into the corners of the pan.

  3. In a small bowl, mix the sugars and marmalade or water and orange flower water just to blend and spread over bottom of the pan.

  4. Slice the citrus in thin, neat circles and arrange over the sugar mixture allowing slices to slightly over-lap or touch. Set aside.

For the cake:

  1. Cream the butter with 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the 3 yolks, one at a time and then blend in the ricotta, juice, and zest of the 3 lemons.

  2. In a bowl, whisk the polenta, almond flour and salt until blended. Stir into butter mixture. Set aside.

  3. In a clean, grease free, stainless or glass bowl, whip the egg whites to a soft peak. In a thin stream, slowly pour in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and whip until glossy and soft peaks form.

  4. Fold 1/4 of the whites into the batter to lighten mixture. Fold remaining whites into batter just to blend. Spread the batter over oranges spreading evenly.

  5. Bake about 30 minutes for a 10” cake and 40 minutes for a 9” cake. Test with a toothpick.

  6. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

  7. Place a platter over pan and flip the cake right side up cake. Carefully remove the baking pan and paper.

  8. Serve with crème fraîche or whipped cream flavored with orange flower water and sugar or on its own.

Slightly adapted from Liz Prueitt, Tartine Bakery

Stay up-dated with new recipes and techniques in the kitchen

We respect your privacy. We will not share your information or spam you. Unsubscribe at any time.

Quick Links

Recipes & Tips

Community Cuisine
Campbell, CA

Photo Credits:
Amy Johnson, David Greer, and Phillip Romano
© 2008-2023 Community Cuisine, Barbie Aknin. All rights reserved. Site by Hirea, Co.