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Orange Olive Oil Polenta Cake
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5 from 1 vote

Orange Olive Oil Polenta Cake

Polenta cake with semolina, olive oil and a fragrant orange syrup
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Course: Baking
Keyword: Olive Oil, Orange, Polenta, Polenta Cake, Semolina
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Melby


For the Cake

  • 200 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 150 g light brown sugar (honey works very well too)
  • 3 eggs
  • 200 g semolina flour (or ground almonds)
  • 100 g polenta (coarse)
  • 5 ml baking powder
  • 2,5 ml salt
  • 3 oranges, zested
  • 100 ml orange juice

For the Syrup

  • ¼ cup light brown sugar (or honey)
  • 100 ml orange juice


For the Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C and grease a 25cm diameter tart dish that is at least 4cm deep.
  • Whisk the sugar and olive oil together with an electric beater.
  • Add the eggs one by one beating well between each addition.
  • Add the semolina, polenta, salt, baking powder, orange zest and orange juice. Mix well.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tart dish and bake for 40 minutes until golden brown and set in the middle.

For the Syrup

  • Ten minutes before the cake is ready, put the orange juice and sugar into a small pot and simmer together for about 5 minutes making sure all the sugar dissolves.
  • Pour the syrup over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. Decorate with peeled orange slices.
  • Serve the cake at room temperature with vanilla ice-cream or whipped cream.


  • You can make the cake in a 25cm diameter springform cake tin. It has great structure once baked and can be served out of the tin on a cake platter.
  • In the Jamie Oliver TV episode I watched, he used honey in both the cake and the syrup. I have made the cake using the honey, but as I personally don't like too much honey and it is quite expensive, I mostly use brown sugar when baking this cake.
  • As mentioned, I have made the cake with ground almonds instead of semolina. Once I even baked one semolina cake and one almond cake. Of the five people who tested both cakes, four preferred the semolina and only I preferred the ground almonds. You could try out both options, but semolina costs about a tenth of what ground almonds cost.
  • While I am simmering the syrup, I peel and slice another orange and let the slices simmer in the syrup for a few minutes. I even add a segment of the orange peel to the syrup. Before I pour the syrup over the cake I lift out the orange peel and slices. Once the syrup has soaked into the cake I decorate it with the orange slices and some finely chopped orange peel. If you would like to see a video on peeling, segmenting and slicing an orange, click here
  • The orange zest and juice can be replaced by any other citrus fruit, like lemon, mandarin or blood orange, or a combination of these.