Lemon, Rice, and Polenta Cake

(recipe, Rose Carrarini)


This is a gluten-free cake with a great texture; it remains moist for about five days. It’s best not to make a large cake from this recipe, as it tends to sink in the middle. Try using smaller tins, such as small loaf pans.


  1. 2¼ cups unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  2. 2¼ cups caster (superfine) sugar
  3. Grated zest of 4 lemons
  4. Juice of 1 lemon
  5. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  6. 6 eggs
  7. 5½ cups ground almonds
  8. 2 cups polenta
  9. ½ cup rice flour
  10. 2 tsp. baking powder
  11. ½ tsp. salt
  12. Icing (confectioners’) sugar, to decorate


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter eight small loaf pans and line bases with parchment paper.
  2. Beat butter and caster sugar till very light and creamy. Add lemon zest, juice, and vanilla extract. Add eggs, one by one, beating well after each addition.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together ground almonds, polenta, rice flour, baking powder, and salt, and fold into the wet ingredients.
  4. Spoon mixture into prepared tins and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of one of the cakes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool the cakes in their tins before taking them out.
  5. Just before serving, sift some icing sugar over the cakes.