The classic gluten-free Lemon Polenta Cake, made with plant-based ingredients. A moist, zesty cake that you won’t believe is gluten and dairy-free.
I think Lemon Polenta Cake has become the classic gluten-free option of cakes.
But with good reason. It’s not only incredibly delicious, but it’s also very moist, which makes a welcome change from the usual dry gluten-free cakes on offer.
However, they’re usually also filled with eggs and dairy, so I wanted to create a vegan lemon polenta cake that was still gluten-free.
I ended up making this for my mum’s birthday and she absolutely loved it. It has been requested again many times later.
Vegan Lemon Polenta Cake Ingredients
Polenta (cornmeal) makes a wonderful texture, that is both spongey and dense but also has a subtle grittiness.
This is why it’s important to use very fine grain of polenta.
If you can’t find a fine grain type, you can whizz it in the food processor for a few minutes until the grains become very small.
The ground almonds, or almond flour, also provides a denser texture and a subtle almond flavour.
You can use other oils such as coconut oil or sunflower oil, but I absolutely love olive oil in this recipe.
It pairs so well with the lemon.
Make sure to get the mild variety and not extra-virgin (which will be too strong, and isn’t suitable for high heats).
This is my go-to egg replacer for cakes.
I’ve tested this recipe with both soy and coconut yoghurt, and both work very well.
I wanted to make this recipe free from refined sugars, so I used maple syrup. You can also use agave nectar.
However, if you can’t get hold of any liquid sweetener, you can adjust the recipe to use white sugar.
Please be aware, I have not tested this recipe with granulated sugar… but theoretically, using 1 cup of sugar and adding 3 tbsp of extra liquid (water or dairy-free milk), instead of the liquid sweetener, should work.
Preheat the oven to 170C / 340F, line a square baking tin and measure out your ingredients.
Mix the dry ingredients together and then pour in the wet ingredients. Mix until smooth.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 25 minutes until golden and spongey.
Whilst the cake is still warm from the oven, poke holes in the top with a fork.
Make the drizzle with lemon juice and maple syrup, brush on top and allow the cake to absorb it as it cools.
And that’s it! Slice and enjoy.
See the full instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- 150 ml / 5 fl oz mild olive oil
- 150ml / 5 fl oz agave nectar or maple syrup
- 200 g / 7 oz ground almonds
- 100 g / 3.5 oz very fine polenta (cornmeal)*
- 1 ½ tsp gluten-free baking powder
- 120ml (120g) vegan yoghurt (soy or coconut works well)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 170C / 340F and line an 8x8 inch baking tray with greaseproof paper.
- Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the wet ingredients in and stir until well combined.
- Pour the mixture into the baking tray and bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.
To make the drizzle
- Whilst it's still warm from the oven, poke a few holes in the cake using a skewer or fork. Prepare the drizzle by mixing the maple syrup and lemon juice together and pouring over the cake. Using a pastry brush to spread it evenly over the top of the cake.
- Leave to cool before slicing and enjoy!
*It's important to use a very fine grain of polenta, otherwise you'll end up with a slightly crunchy cake!
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Nutrition InformationYield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 295Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 17gCholesterol 2mgSodium 182mgCarbohydrates 26gFiber 2gSugar 19gProtein 5g