Polenta and Almond Cake – gluten free

Polenta is a traditional Northern Italian dish: a creamy warm porridge made with coarsely ground cornmeal, made from yellow corn. Polenta is a side dish that is usually served next to a meat stew (spezzatino).

In Northern Italy we like Polenta so much that we use it to bake cakes too 😉 Today I decided to mix the grainy and creamy polenta texture with almonds and ricotta in order to create a very moist and delicate cake. Considering all the ingredients the cake is super healthy and nutritious, perfect for an after school snack or a breakfast.

The cake is naturally gluten free as polenta doesn’t contain gluten.

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polenta cake

5 from 1 vote
Polenta and Almond Cake – gluten free
  • 4.8 oz. polenta flour 125g
  • 5 oz. almonds 140g
  • 9 oz. ricotta 250g
  • 1 stick/8 Tbsp butter 115g
  • 1/3 cup honey 130gr
  • 4 eggs
  • zest 1 lemon
  • 1/2 Tbsp vanilla
  • one handful almonds 40g
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  1. Preheat the oven at 170C/340F.
  2. Place the almonds in a food processor and mix them in order to obtain a grainy flour
  3. In one bowl mix the melted butter with the honey using an electric whisk.
  4. Add the lemon zest and the vanilla, whisk.
  5. Divide the egg whites from the yolks.
  6. Add the yolks to the butter/honey mix, whisk.
  7. Add the ricotta, whisk.
  8. Add the almond flour, whisk.
  9. Add the polenta flour and the baking powder, whisk.
  10. In a separate bowl place the egg whites and a pinch of salt. Whisk the egg whites to soft peak.
  11. Using a wooden spoon slowly and delicately add the egg whites to the batter.
  12. Place the batter in a cake pan, I used a 9 inch spring form cake pan.
  13. Sprinkle on top one handful of sliced almonds.
  14. Bake for 50 minutes
  15. Enjoy!


Did you make this recipe? Share the love, tag @buonapappa on Instagram and hashtag it #buonapappa I would love to see your creations!

  • Reply
    July 20, 2021 at 3:13 pm

    Hi Barbara,
    I tried making this cake and it turned out a bit crunchy. Is that expected? I liked it anyway, but my 3-year-old didn’t. I used almond flour, so the crunchiness was likely due to polenta. I don’t have any experience with polenta, so could use some advice. Should I maybe grind it in a coffee grinder next time before using? Thank you!

    • User Avatar
      Barbara Lamperti
      January 6, 2022 at 3:26 am

      Hi! It might be the polenta, yes! I found that the polenta that I buy in Los Angeles is more coarse than the one I buy imported from Italy. It almost looks like corn flour. Polenta should look like fine sand before cooking so that it transforms into a creamy texture. Yes, you can try to grind it furthermore or maybe try to find an imported brand. I hope I was helpful! Ciao, B

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