Gluten Free Orange and Rosemary Polenta Cake

At last, a little normality is returning to our lives. Tonight sees the very welcome return of The Great British Bake Off. Six weeks of living and filming in a bubble together will give us a fascinating insight into teir lives

And to celebrate, I am using GBBO as the excuse to share my favourite recipes, starting with a reasonably simple bake, a gluten free orange and rosemary polenta cake with a gorgeous nutty texture from the almonds and polenta.

Whoah there cowboy!

Baking? A personal trainer recommending baking?!


I might mention this once or twice over the coming #500daysofattitude but context and nuance is everything.

If your goal includes any form of fat reductoin then you cannot eat cake every day. This does not mean you cannot eat cake. counting the kcal content of the raw ingrediants gives us a ballpark figure of 3300kcal for the cake. (so you ‘could’ just eat cake for two days…)

The question is, can you cut it into 16 portions? and share it out (within current restrictions, this is 2020 after all) In doing so you get 200kcal per portion

This recipe originally popped up from our Abel and Cole veg box delivery. It looked rather delicious and all i had to go and buy was some marmalade (This is not The Great British Bake-Off so I can do that)

As I was reviewing the recipe i did notice a couple of errors so this is my corrected version. The original can be found here.

You will need:
2 oranges
1 lemon1
The zest of 1 additional orange, finely chopped2
a handful of rosemary FINELY CHOPPED3
5 large eggs4
220g golden caster sugar
200g ground almonds
100g polenta
1 teaspoon baking powder
for the pretty stuff:
4 tablespoons Seville marmalade5
1 tbsp cold water
a few small springs of rosemary
a handful of almond flakes6


  1. Mine were a total of 560g pre-cooked. If yours vary a lot you may need to adjust the recipe with more dry ingredients or an extra fruit.
  2. This is my addition. I felt that the overall cake needed a bit more life
  3. I added mine to the blender without chopping so it took ages to cut down and there were still a few larger bits
  4. We get most of our eggs from Cracking Egg at Mursley
  5. With or without peel, that is your choice. They should be flat tablespoons, not heaped!
  6. Toasted if you prefer

How to do it:

Put your oranges and lemons in a pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for at least 30 minutes. The fruit should be soft when you stick a knife in them. Strain and leave to cool with a plate under the rack so you don’t lose half the juice from your knifing. 

Slice the fruit in four lengthways so you can see and remove all the pips. Add them to a blender and pulse to a paste before adding the finely chopped rosemary and pulse again.

You can do these stages the night before as the fruit takes ages to cool.

If you haven’t done so already heat your oven to 180ºC/Fan 160ºC/ Gas 4

Crack the eggs into a small bowl (so you don’t end up with shell in the cake!) transfer to a large bowl and beat them together. Add the sugar and whisk until creamy and fluffy. As you are using the whole egg it won’t be really light but will look like a smooth batter. Pour in the dry ingredients and gently fold. Add the blended fruit and gently old again. Make sure you add in this order so the citrus juices don’t curdle the cake mixture.

I used a 24cm deep cake tin but this makes a pretty deep cake. For easier portion control a larger one would work slightly better and will cook quicker. Alterntatively, you could use two sponge tins, or even turn it into a tray bake. Don’t forget to adjust the cooking time accordingly

Line the tin and pour in the mixture. It may take as little as 45 minutes BUT I think the fruit I used was larger that the assumed size and they were large eggs. Mine took just under 70 minutes until it looks golden with darker patches and felt springy. Where I used the cake checker is still had bits sticking to it but it looked cooked on the outside.

Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool. 

Once cooled you can prepare the glaze.

Put the marmalade, water and rosemary springs in a pan and heat gently for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Toast the almond flakes.

Pour the glaze over the cake.

Sprinkle over with almond flakes.

The cake was nice but did seem to be lacking something. It was also very moist. A day later it was much better. The moistness was gone and the cake had a better texture. It was still lacking a little vavavoom which is why i have suggested that you add the peel of an additional lemon or orange.

Let me know how you get on!

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