Flourless Polenta and Lime Cake Recipe

Polenta is ground cornmeal most often associated with hearty, savory dishes in Italian cooking. But combined with ground almonds in this flourless cake recipe, it forms a light, sweet batter that melts in the mouth when cooked.

Adding freshness to the cake is a good dose of grated lime rind. Grating the lime rind is probably the most time-consuming part of this easy recipe, but it can be done in advance if the rind is kept in an air-tight container to prevent it from drying out.

The ‘secret’ ingredient that makes this cake recipe really special is the orange flower water in the batter itself and used to marinate the colorful, fresh strawberries.

Delicate Orange Flower Water
Orange flower water is found in many Mediterranean and Middle Eastern recipes. It has a very distinctive flavor but if used sparingly it lends a delicate, exotic perfume to cakes, pastries and desserts. Orange flower water can be found in Middle Eastern stores and some delicatessens.

Strawberries are at their best between May and August. If they are unavailable, other red fruits such as red currants or black currants can be used, but adjust the amount of sugar in the marinade accordingly as these are tarter than strawberries.

Flourless Polenta and Lime Cake Recipe

Makes one 10 inch / 24 cm cake.
Preparation time: 45 minutes.
Cooking time: 1 hour.


  • 4 oz / 100 g polenta
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 9 oz / 250 g ground almonds
  • 9 oz / 250 g butter, softened
  • 9 oz / 250 g granulated sugar
  • 3 medium eggs, beaten
  • Grated rind of 3 limes
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 lb / 500 g fresh strawberries, washed and halved
  • 4 tbsp orange flower water


Preheat the oven to a moderate 320 degrees F / 160 degrees C.
In a bowl, mix together the polenta, baking powder and ground almonds.
In another bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs and mix well.
Fold the polenta and almond mix into the batter, add the grated lime rind, lime juice and one tablespoon of the orange flower water. Mix well.
Lightly oil a 10 inch / 24 cm tin and pour in the cake batter.
Bake the cake at the bottom of the oven for an hour or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
Leave the polenta and lime cake to cool slightly in the tin. Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
While the polenta and lime cake is cooking, toss the strawberries in the remaining orange flower water and add sugar to taste. Marinate the strawberries in the fridge for at least an hour before serving with slices of cake.

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