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When Life Gives You Lemons... Make Lemon Polenta Cake

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When I first tasted this version of Polenta Cake a glimmer of a grin came over my face. It reminded me of a similar type of cake my grandmother would make during the holidays. It has the lushness of true polenta, the texture of a very rich cornbread and a slight sweetness. With each bite memories of my youth swirled around me. Though I loved each and every morsel, I felt something was missing. After playing with the recipe for a few months I came to the conclusion it was missing "freshness" -- what better way to add "freshness" than with a hint of lemon!

Due to the fact this cake is only slightly sweet, it will go perfectly with some freshly sliced fruit, a fruit compote or a simple scoop of ice cream. During the height of strawberry season we use this cake as the base for strawberries and cream.


Ingredients needed to make Lemon Polenta Cake (makes 1 loaf):

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 lemon, zest only and finely grated
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and line the bottom of a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Into a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the sugar and butter until light and creamy.
  3. Add the eggs and beat until well combined.
  4. Add the sour cream and lemon zest and beat 2 minutes.
  5. Into the butter mixture, add all the dry ingredients and stir with a spatula until just combined. This is important to get the right texture. If you beat the dry ingredients into the cream mixture your cake will be too dense.
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
  7. Place in the oven and bake 60 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan 5 minutes.
  9. Remove from the pan and let cool on a rack.

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