This is a lovely dessert, which is far more flavorful than your average cornbread. The amount of butter varies in this, I’ve made it with the original 2 sticks (very buttery), and 1 stick (dry), and have settled on middle ground. Feel free to play around with it.

Also, I like to eat it with a berry compote, which is usually just blueberries, sugar, and lemon, cooked in a saucepan.

  • 1.5 sticks of unsalted butter
  • scant 1 cup (180g) sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 3/4 cup (125g) finely ground polenta
  • 2 cups (215g) almond flour
  • 6 tablespoons (55g) all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder, preferably aluminum-free
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Butter a 9-inch (23cm) loaf pan. Dust the inside with polenta, and tap out any excess. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest at medium-high speed, until it’s light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. (You can also make this in a large bowl, beating the butter and sugar by hand.)
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, stopping the mixer after each addition to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the almond extract.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the polenta, ground almonds, flour, baking powder, and salt, until there are no lumps. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture, just until well-combined. Do not overmix.
  5. Scrape the batter into the pan, smooth the top, and bake the cake until it is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean, perhaps with just a few crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool on a rack for about 30 minutes, then run a knife along the outside of the cake to loosen it from the pan and tip the cake onto the rack.

Adapted from David Lebovitz’s Orange-Glazed Polenta Cake