Lemon Polenta Cake with Balsamic Strawberries

Polenta cake? Yes.

This is one of Jon's favorite desserts. It's a refreshing treat for summer time and easy to make! It's a slightly savory alternative to your normally sweet desserts.

Serves 12


  • 7 ounces unsalted butter at room temp
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 3/4 cup fine polenta
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 tbs lemon zest
  • 4 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 pints (about 4 cups) fresh strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
  • 3 tbs good-quality aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbs granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees and position an oven rack in the center. Grease a 9-inch springform pan an line the bottom with a parchment circle. 

Mix butter and sugar and beat until thick and pale (about 2 minutes). In a medium bowl, combine the almond meal, polenta and baking powder. Slowly add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, add an egg and mix until combined. Alternate dry ingredients and eggs until mixture is combined. 

Add lemon zest and pour mixture into the prepared pan and bake until an inserted cake tester is clean when removed (about 40 minutes). Remove the cake from the oven and transfer to a wire rack, keeping it in the pan. 

In a small saucepan, combine the lemon juice and confectioners' sugar. Place on the stove over a medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. 

Lightly prick the top of the cake all over. Pour the warm syrup over the cake and set aside to cool. When cool, remove the cake from the pan and cut into wedges. 

Combine strawberries, balsamic, sugar and pepper in a bowl and let sit for about 30 minutes to soak in the flavor. Serve a heaping spoonful over each slice of cake.