Almond Polenta Cake for #SundaySupper

by Dorothy Reinhold on March 3, 2013

Print This Post Print This Post Almond Polenta Cake on Shockingly Delicious

This is a $10-per-plate restaurant dessert if ever I saw one!

This gritty, flat cornmeal cake is fabulous – a bit dense, and chewy from polenta, fragrant with almonds and barely sweet. It’s rustic yet can be elegant, if you can imagine that. Rustically elegant?

Almond Polenta Cake on Shockingly DeliciousEat it with lightly sweetened whipped cream and fresh berries or fruit (Ojai Pixie tangerines, anyone?), or by itself with a cup of tea. Heck, I would eat it for breakfast with lemon curd or lemon marmalade.

The sugar and almonds on top give it a light, sweet crust.

Can you tell I love it? It is a bit gritty from the cornmeal, but if you like cornbread, you will likely enjoy it. If you don’t like the gritty chew in cornbread, this one isn’t for you. Just being honest.

Almond Polenta Cake on Shockingly Delicious

Recipe: Almond Polenta Cake

Almond Polenta Cake on Shockingly DeliciousSummary: Gritty, chewy, rustic yet elegant cake has a light, sweet, nutty top crust. It’s lovely as dessert with whipped cream and berries, or for breakfast with lemon curd.


  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature, + 1 tablespoon for greasing the pan (I used Kerrygold unsalted butter)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons polenta, fine to medium grind (or cornmeal) + 2 teaspoons for dusting pan
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, not packed
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
  • Topping: 1 heaping tablespoon coarse sugar crystals
  • Topping: ¼ cup slivered, dry toasted almonds


  1. Heat the oven to 375F degrees. Use 1 tablespoon butter to grease a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan; dust with 2 teaspoons cornmeal.
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar until light in color and fluffy, 1 ½-2 minutes. Scrape the bowl and add the eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Mix in almond extract, vanilla, baking powder and salt.
  3. Mix in flour and remaining corn meal until combined.
  4. Using an offset spatula, spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the coarse sugar and slivered almonds evenly on top.
  5. Bake for 20-24 minutes. Remove from the oven and set on a rack to cool. When cool, remove outer ring and place cake on a serving plate.
  6. Serves 12.


Adapted from a recipe by pastry chef Kimberly Sklar of Literati II, a Los Angeles restaurant, and printed in the Los Angeles Times.  At the restaurant, Sklar served her cake with almond and cherry swirl ice cream.


Add some grated orange zest or tangerine zest to the cake for a deepened flavor component.


Sunday Supper badgeHere’s a list of all the recipes I have brought to our #SundaySupper virtual meals so far. Browse through them…lots of good ideas in here!

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Diet type: Vegetarian
Number of servings (yield): 12
Culinary tradition: Italian
My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 

Today our #SundaySupper cooks are making Cheese, Cakes and Cheesecakes, with some fantastic recipes you’ll want to try. Browse below to see what you might put on your menu this week.

Cheese –

Cakes –

& Cheesecakes

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. This week we will be sharing our love of Cheese, Cakes AND Cheesecakes!  Our weekly chat starts at 7 p.m. EST!

Follow the #SundaySupper hash tag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos. Join us around the family table this Sunday at 7 p.m. Eastern Time and share your favorite Cheese, Cake and Cheesecake Recipes with us!

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers March 3, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Your cake is so creative and I am loving it! I would never of thought of sing polenta in a cake!


Renee March 3, 2013 at 10:11 am

I love cornbread so I’m sure I would enjoy the texture of this cake. I’ve been wanting to make a polenta cake too. Nice flavoring with the almonds.


Dorothy March 3, 2013 at 11:29 am

The almond/almond flavoring really works with this!


Paula @ Vintage Kitchen March 3, 2013 at 10:04 am

I have a soft spot for polenta in cakes, they are so wonderful. A gorgeous recipe Dorothy! Not the usual overly sweet, love it!


Dorothy March 3, 2013 at 11:29 am

Thanks! This one is easy, too.


Stacy March 3, 2013 at 9:03 am

What a beautiful rustically elegant cake! I especially love the golden top with with the sugar and almonds. Just lovely!


Nicole March 3, 2013 at 8:53 am

I never think of trying to make anything healthier in the dessert department and then I visit your blog and I realize it can be done and I should be doing it. This is beautiful, sounds delicious and now I’m craving something almond. I love almonds, btw.


Dorothy March 3, 2013 at 9:04 am

It’s funny that once you readjust your tastebuds to less sugar, you find you prefer it! I love sweet things, but the cakes like this with just a hint of sugar are really appealing.


Jeanne @JollyTomato March 3, 2013 at 8:14 am

Very pretty! I love the crunchy taste of cornmeal in baked goods, so this is definitely the cake for me!


Jen @JuanitasCocina March 3, 2013 at 7:52 am

Gorgeous…like so gorgeous that I did a bit of a dance when I saw it.


Dorothy March 3, 2013 at 9:04 am

The polenta dance!


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