Yorkshire's Independent Restaurant Guide

Lemon and Elderflower Polenta Cake

When the hedgerows are full of elderflowers it is just the time to make an elderflower and lemon syrup to pour over the cake. This gluten free polenta cake takes 10 minutes to weigh out and mix and just 40 minutes to cook

Serves 12


45 g polenta

200 g caster sugar

100 g ground almonds

zest of 2 lemons

1½ tsp baking powder

200 ml light vegetable oil, such as sunflower or rapeseed

4 eggs, lightly beaten

For the syrup:

55 g/ 2 oz granulated sugar

juice of 1 lemon

3 dry elderflower heads, checked over for insects and thick stalks removed

50ml water

To decorate:

3 slices of thinly cut lemon

dry elderflowers, checked over for insects and thick stalks removed


Line a 1lb loaf tin (measuring 16 cm by 11 cm by 7 cm) with a non stick cake liner.

Combine the polenta, caster sugar, ground almonds and lemon zest and baking powder in a large bowl.

Whisk the eggs and oil together and gradually beat these into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon to form a thick batter.

Position the loaf tin on a baking tray and fill it with the cake batter. Place the baking tray, and cake, in a cold oven and set it at 190°C/ 375°F/ gas 5.

Bake the cake for 40 minutes or until it is golden brown and a skewer can be inserted and removed clean from the centre of the cake.

Remove the cake from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack.

For the syrup: bring the sugar, lemon juice, water and elderflowers up to the boil and reduce the heat slightly. Simmer the syrup for 5 minutes, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Allow some of the water to evaporate so that a syrup becomes a little bit sticky. Strain the syrup and reserve to finish the cake.

Place the cake on a plate or cake stand and with a skewer stab the cake all over to create drainage holes for the syrup. Pour the syrup over the cake while it is cooling.

Decorate the cake with thinly cut lemon slices and elderflowers.