Of all the cakes I’ve ever made, this one is my favourite. Each time I make it people comment on it’s buttery, crumbly, texture, it’s fresh lemony bite and it’s unique use of polenta that gives it a bright happy yellow colour. Added bonus, it’s gluten free. It’s from River Cafe, a London institution that was the brain child of Ruth Rogers and the late Rose Gray. Their food was primarily Italian and this cake definitely echoes the mediterranean with the use of ground almonds & polenta.

Here’s the recipe…

River Cafe Lemon Polenta Cake

450 gr ground almonds

450 gr caster sugar

225 gr polenta

450 gr butter

6 eggs

1.5 tsp gluten free baking powder

zest & juice of 2 lemons


Set oven to 160C and butter and line a 25 cm springform pan with baking paper.

Gently melt the butter over low flame and set aside. Whisk eggs in a bowl, add the juice & zest, stir to combine. In a separate bowl, place all the dry ingredients and mix together with fingertips, then add the melted butter and eggs, mix well and pour into springform pan. For variation I made smaller versions in individual fluted moulds and decorated them with borage flowers.