Orange, honey and almond polenta cake

Serves: 12-14

Orange, honey and almond polenta cake

Dairy-free, wheat-free and relying purely on honey to add sweetness this is a perfect cake-slash-pudding for people with specific dietary requirements. The citrus glaze is-to coin a phrase-the icing on the cake and because it leaves the cake damp and sticky it really requires a fork for eating. I love this served with a spoonful of mascarpone sweetened with a little honey and a spoonful of orange flower water. The brilliant thing about this cake is that it is just as good a day or two after baking.


  • 2 oranges, scrubbed
  • 300g ground almonds
  • 150g fine polenta
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 200ml light olive oil plus extra for greasing the tin
  • 300ml runny honey
  • For the glaze
  • 400ml fresh orange juice
  • 175ml runny honey
Orange, honey and almond polenta cake


  1. Place the oranges in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Weigh the oranges down with a saucer and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and leave the oranges to simmer gently for 1 ¼ hours until they are really soft. You may need to top up the water once or twice to keep the oranges covered. Lift out of the water and cool a little before cutting in half. Check there aren’t any pips then place in a food processor. Blend to a smooth purée and scrape into a bowl. Set aside and cool completely. You can prepare the orange purée the day before.
  2. Heat the oven to 170˚c, fan oven 150˚c, mark 3. Grease a 30x20cm tin with a little of the olive oil and line with non-stick baking parchment. Place the ground almonds, polenta and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. In another bowl whisk together the eggs, olive oil and honey. Stir in the orange purée. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well. Spoon into the prepared tin and smooth the surface. Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.
  3. While the cake is baking you can make the glaze: place the orange juice and honey in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Let the liquid boil until it had reduced by at least half. The sauce should be sticky and glossy. Leave to cool slightly.
  4. While the cake is warm pierce the cake all over with a skewer and spoon over most or all of the glaze (I keep a little aside to serve with the cake). Leave to cool completely before cutting into squares.
Orange, honey and almond polenta cake