Domestifluff - Food.Craft.Etc


  • I'm Kristen, a clumsy but determined home cook and crafter living in the Boston area with my husband, B, and I have an interest in all things food and craft.

    This blog was created to keep track of my various projects and adventures. They may not all be successes, but my goal is to remain unintimidated by whatever engages my curiosity.

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Gluten Free Orange Polenta Cake

The February issue of Gourmet has a recipe for orange polenta cake, and the accompanying photo was enough for me to get a mean polenta cake craving. I’ve actually been looking for an excuse to make some sort of polenta/cornmeal cake, so this recipe served as a perfect reminder.

If you’re new to gluten free baking, or if you’re looking to convert your first gluten-ful recipe to gluten free, a cake like this is the perfect place to start because it’s already practically gluten free in its original form. I simply subbed out the 1/2 cup of all purpose flour with my new favorite, Bette Hagman’s featherlight blend (see recipe area below), added a bit of xanthan gum, and slightly bumped up the amount of baking powder.

I also parted ways with the original recipe by leaving out the caramel orange layer — I haven’t experimented yet with making caramel using xylitol or erythritol and, frankly, the orange layer didn’t appeal to me. I finished the cake off with a glaze made using sugar free confectioners’ sugar (a surprisingly decent, diabetic-friendly recipe can be found here — I used xylitol as my sweetener).

I didn’t have any of the orange flower water found in the original recipe, and while I’m sure it would’ve added a nice floral note that was absent in my version, I really didn’t miss it. This cake smells absolutely wonderful, has great texture that’s somewhere between cornmeal and an airy sponge, and has very bold orange flavor. Definitely a keeper! In the future, I may have to try this with a mix of lemon and orange, grapefruit and orange, or with a mix of other citrus fruits.

Gluten Free, Sugar Free Orange Polenta Cake


adapted from Orange Polenta Cake (Gourmet, February 2009)

1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup xylitol (or granulated sugar, if you’re not sugar free)
3 large eggs
2 Tbsp. orange zest (roughly 2 large navel oranges)
juice of 1/2 navel orange
1/2 cup featherlight gluten free flour blend (see below)
1/8 tsp. xanthan gum
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups almond flour/meal
2/3 cup finely ground cornmeal or quick cooking polenta


1 1/4 cups sugar free confectioners’ sugar (recipe here)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp. vanilla


1 part brown rice flour
1 part tapioca flour
1 part cornstarch
1 tsp. potato flour (not potato starch) per cup


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 9 inch round cake pan with non-stick spray and line bottom with parchment paper.

2. Grate zest from oranges and set aside.

3. Cream butter and xylitol (or sugar) using an electric mixer until thoroughly mixed. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each is added. Add orange juice and orange zest and mix until incorporated.

4. Combine flour blend, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, almond flour, and cornmeal/polenta. Turn mixer to low and slowly add the dry ingredients until just combined. Spread batter in prepared pan (batter will be thick) using a rubber spatula or, preferably, an offset spatula. Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The original recipe stated that the cake should bake 1 to 1 1/4 hours, but my cake was done at about 50 minutes, so be sure to check a bit early just to make sure.

5. Cool cake in pan for 5 minutes. Invert onto cooling rack and let cool completely.

6. For glaze: add confectioners’ sugar to small bowl and add vanilla. Mix in orange juice slowly, until you have the desired consistency (thick enough that it won’t run right off the cake). Pour over cooled cake and allow to set. Move to a cake plate and serve.

Posted in Alternatively Sweetened, Cakes and Cookies, Desserts, Food, Gluten Free | 6 Comments »

6 Responses

  1. Jeanine says:

    Mmm….this cake looks fantastic! I love citrus flavoured desserts.

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