Cranberry & Orange Polenta Cake

This is a gorgeously squidgy cake full of zesty flavours, cranberries and a touch of cardamom. You can enjoy this delicious cake for afternoon tea after a hearty walk or a sporting event. It is also perfect as a pudding after a Sunday lunch or over the festive season.

This cake is naturally free from both gluten and dairy products and is made from a lovely combination of polenta and ground almonds. Polenta is made from grinding corn or maize into flour. You can reduce the sugar by up to half if you prefer or switch it to coconut sugar. It can be made nut free by substituting the ground almonds with desiccated coconut.

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Cranberry & Orange Polenta Cake

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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Course Baking, Snacks & Treats
Servings 12 slices
Suitable for Special Diet (or adaptable) Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Nut-free, Vegetarian



  • Line a 23cm cake tin with baking paper. Preheat oven to 180℃ (160℃ fan).
  • Zest the oranges and set the zest aside.
  • Juice the oranges and put the orange juice and cranberries into a small pan. Heat gently for around 10 minutes, until the cranberries have soaked up the juice and are soft. Set aside to cool.
  • Whisk the olive oil, golden caster sugar and the zest of the oranges together until very well combined.
  • Mix together the ground almonds, polenta, baking powder and ground cardamom in a separate bowl. Add a third into the olive oil and sugar mixture, beat to combine. Add one of the eggs, then beat well. Repeat, alternating the dry ingredients with the eggs until everything is combined. Finally, stir through the soaked cranberries.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, and bake for 40 minutes, until the edges of the cake have shrunk away from the sides of the tin – the centre may still have a slight wobble. Place the cake on a cooling rack, still in its tin. Leave to cool completely before removing from the tin.
  • Dust with icing sugar just before serving.


  • This cake can be made up to three days ahead. Store in an airtight container and dust with icing sugar just before serving.
  • Nut-free, switch the ground almonds to desiccated coconut. 
  • To freeze, keep in the baking paper and wrap well in beeswax wrap or cling film and then tin foil. It will keep for up to 1 month in the freezer. Defrost at room temperature for 2-3 hours and dust with icing sugar just before serving.
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