Grapefruit polenta cake

Preparation time
less than 30 mins

Cooking time
30 mins to 1 hour

Makes 8–12 slices or 12 squares

By Matt Tebbutt
From Saturday Kitchen



For the cake:

  • Fine cornmeal or polenta: 300g/10½oz
  • Gluten-free baking powder: 2 tsp
  • Vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing: 200ml/7fl oz
  • Caster sugar: 175g/6oz
  • Grapefruits, very finely grated zest only: 2
  • Free-range eggs: 3
  • Salt: pinch

For the syrup:

  • Icing sugar: 125g/4½oz
  • Grapefruits, juice only: 2
  • Campari (optional): 1–2 tbsp

For the topping:

  • Dairy-free yoghurt: 200g/7oz
  • Icing sugar: 4 tbsp
  • Shelled, unsalted pistachios: 2 tbsp


  1. Prepare the tin: Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas 4. Grease a 23cm/9-inch round cake tin (preferably not a loose-bottomed one to prevent syrup leakage) with butter and line it with baking paper.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients: In a bowl, combine the fine cornmeal or polenta, baking powder, and a generous pinch of salt. Mix well and set aside.
  3. Make the batter: In a separate large bowl, combine the vegetable oil, caster sugar, and finely grated zest of 2 grapefruits. Beat until the mixture is very soft and aerated. Add the 3 eggs one at a time, alternating with 2 tablespoons of the cornmeal mixture after each egg addition, beating well in between. Finally, fold in the remaining cornmeal mixture. The batter will be quite stiff.
  4. Bake the cake: Transfer the batter to the prepared cake tin and smooth the top. Bake for 35–40 minutes, or until the top is springy and a rich brown color. The cake should have shrunk away from the sides of the tin.
  5. Make the syrup: While the cake is baking, prepare the syrup. In a small saucepan, combine the icing sugar, juice of 2 grapefruits, and 1–2 tablespoons of Campari (if using). Heat over low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Keep the syrup warm until the cake is cooked.
  6. Soak the cake: Once the cake is done, leave it in the tin and pierce the top all over with a cocktail stick or skewer. While the cake and syrup are still warm, pour the warm syrup over the cake, ensuring it is evenly distributed.
  7. Cool and transfer: Allow the cake to cool completely in the tin, then carefully transfer it to a serving plate.
  8. Add the topping: In a separate bowl, mix the dairy-free yogurt and 4 tablespoons of icing sugar. Spread this mixture over the cooled cake and sprinkle with the shelled, unsalted pistachios.
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