Polenta, Cardamom & Whole Orange Cake by Adventures With Sugar

by Kyla Van Heerden

Recipe by @adventureswithsugar

Facebook: Adventures with Sugar

Blog: www.adventureswithsugar.com

Polenta, Cardamom and whole orange cake

Serves: 6-8 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 2 voted )


  • 185g caster sugar
  • 200ml water
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 2 star anise
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds removed
  • 40ml brandy
  • 2 oranges, skin on and washed (approx 430g)
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 170g ground almonds
  • 50g polenta
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 2 oranges, thinly sliced


For the Syrup: 


  1. Add the vanilla bean and seeds to the a pot, along with the sugar, spices, salt and water.
  2. Bring to a gentle simmer and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat.
  3. Add in the brandy.
  4. For a better depth of flavour, let the syrup infuse for a few hours, or at least 30 minutes, before straining out the spices.

For the Cake: 


  1. Place the oranges in a pot and cover with water. Gently simmer them for 45 - 60 minutes, or until a knife pierced into them goes through easily.
  2. Remove the oranges from the pot and let them cool for about 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Grease and line the base and sides of a 23cm springform tin with baking paper.
  4. Roughly chop the oranges, with the skin on, remove the pips and blend in a food processor to form a smooth puree.
  5. Place the eggs, sugar, vanilla and orange zest in a bowl and whisk on high speed for about eight minutes, until it has doubled in volume.
  6. Stream the oil into the eggs and sugar mixture and mix until well incorporated.
  7. Add the almonds, polenta, baking powder and orange puree to the egg, sugar and oil mixture and gently until everything is well combined.
  8. Pour the mixture into a baking tin and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  9. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for about 15 minutes, before turning it out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  10. Only once completely cooled, transfer the cake to a serving plate.
  11. Prick the cake all over and spoon on the syrup on the syrup, letting the syrup soak in before adding more.

For the dried Oranges: 


  1. Thinly slice the oranges into rounds.
  2. Place in the oven to dry at about 80 degrees celcius, turning every half hour or so.
  3. Depending on how thinly they are sliced, they can take up to three hours.
  4. Add them to the cake for added decoration and brush over some of the syrup.

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