This thyme and orange polenta cake is something special. It’s equally as perfect for a tea time treat as it is for a decadent dessert due to it’s crumbly, but moist texture, and it’s sweet but savoury flavour notes.

orange polenta cake

The combination of orange and thyme is quite spectacular, and you’ll smell why as soon as that orange and thyme jam hits the stove! Creamy and tart yoghurt is a necessary accompaniment that will offer your palate a much needed break from an overload of sweet and sour.

orange polenta cake

A bonus is that this orange polenta cake is naturally gluten free, besides the teaspoon of baking powder. However, it is packed with sugar and butter. But then again, all good things are!

Serves 8 – 10

How to make orange polenta cake


200g soft butter
200g demerara sugar
3 large free range eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g ground almonds
100g polenta
1 tsp baking powder
Zest of two oranges
4 small – medium oranges peeled and segmented
zest of half an orange
1/2 cup sugar
Juice of half a lemon, plus more to taste
2 sprigs thyme
Pinch salt
1/4 cup honey
1 cup full cream plain yoghurt

Step by step


1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius and line a 20 – 22cm springform cake tin with baking paper.
2. Beat butter and demerara sugar until fluffy, and then continue beating eggs in one at a time.
3. Add vanilla extract and stir to combine.
4. In a separate bowl mix almonds, polenta, baking powder, and orange zest until combined.
5. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until well incorporated.
6. Pour batter into cake tin and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out relatively clean. Don’t over bake as cake will go dry.
7. While cake is baking, place orange, orange zest, sugar, lemon juice, thyme, and salt in a pot and bring to a simmer.
8. Simmer for approximately 20 – 30 minutes until a jam consistency is reached, then remove from heat and allow to cool.You can add more lemon juice at this point if desired.
9. When cake is cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool in tin for 10 minutes.
10. While cake is cooling, combine honey with 2 Tbs hot water.
11. Prick cake with a fork all over and brush honey over the cake. This will help keep it moist.
12. Remove cake from tin and allow to cool completely before topping with yoghurt.
13. You can choose to sweeten your yoghurt with some icing sugar, but I prefer it as is.
14. Spread yoghurt over cake, top with orange and thyme jam, and devour while still fresh.

Written by natasha

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