Lemon polenta cake with mascarpone and lemon curd

  • Serves 10-12
  • Takes 30 min to make, 1¼ hours to cook, plus cooling
  • Medium
A rich, lemony cake that makes a perfect entertaining dessert. Serve at a special occasion or a dinner party.

Nutritional info per serving

  • Calories906kcals
  • Fat66.9g (31.7g saturated)
  • Protein12.8g
  • Carbohydrates65.5g (49.2g sugar)
  • Salt0.8g

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  • 330g butter, softened, plus extra
  • for greasing
  • 130g fine polenta, plus extra for dusting
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • 300g ground almonds
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 4 tsp plain flour
  • Grated zest of 4 large lemons and juice of 2

For the syrup


  • 100g caster sugar
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 2 tbsp limoncello liqueur (from major supermarkets)

For the icing

  • 250g mascarpone
  • 150ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 4-5 tbsp lemon curd
  • Handful toasted flaked almonds,
  • to decorate


  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/fan140°C/gas 3. Butter a 23cm springform cake tin, line the base with baking paper, butter again and dust all over with a little polenta. In a bowl, beat the softened butter and caster sugar together until light and fluffy, then gradually whisk in the eggs, one at a time.
  2. Fold in the polenta, almonds, baking powder and plain flour. Add the lemon zest and juice, and mix well. Spoon into the cake tin and smooth over using a palette knife.
  3. Bake for 1¼ hours until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean (cover the cake loosely with foil if it starts to colour too much).
  4. Meanwhile, make the syrup by heating the sugar, lemon juice and limoncello in a small pan.
  5. When the cake is ready, remove from the oven and pierce the top all over with a skewer. Spoon the warm syrup over the warm cake and leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the cake from the tin and cool on a wire rack.
  6. Make the icing. Beat together the mascarpone, cream and icing sugar in a bowl until smooth. Place the cake on a serving plate and spread with the icing. Drizzle with the lemon curd, swirling it into the icing with the end of a skewer. Decorate with the toasted almonds.
  • To freeze: make up to the end of step 3. Wrap in cling film, then foil, and freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost overnight in the fridge and continue with the recipe.

From April 2010

Main Ingredients:

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