Jo Cooper's Polenta Cake

JOANNA COOPER'S debut book, Our Tamarama Kitchen features the kind of delicious recipes you'll end up cooking over and over again – this polenta cake, for one thing, is seriously addictive and just the ticket for Mother's Day brunch. Photographed by her longtime friend VANESSA ROWE, the book features wonderful recipes which reflect Jo's Chinese and Australian heritage, plus her sunny family life by the sea 


Lemon and lime polenta cake 

  2. Ingredients:
  3. 200g soft unsalted butter
    200g raw caster sugar
    1½ teaspoons vanilla bean paste
    200g finely ground almonds or almond meal
    100g fine polenta (buy the finest as it affects the texture of the cake, otherwise blend the coarse polenta to a finer meal)

  4. 1½ teaspoons baking powder (gluten free)
    Pinch Himalayan salt
    3 eggs

  5. Zest 2 lemons and juice 1 lemon

  6. Zest 2 limes

  7. Syrup:

  8. Juice 1 lemon
    Juice 1½ limes
    125g icing sugar (gluten free) 


  1. Pre heat oven to 180 ̊C. Line the base of a springform cake tin (approximately 23cm or 26cm diameter) with baking paper and grease the sides with oil. Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla bean paste and beat. In a separate bowl, mix together the almond meal, fine polenta, salt and baking powder.

"I love anything lemony and this cake really does hit the spot! It is also gluten free, so it’s perfect for my gluten free friends to enjoy. It is an adaption of my two favourite lemon polenta recipes, the River Café’s and Nigella Lawson. I hope you love this as much as I do." 

– Joanna cooper

Add some of this mixture into the butter and sugar mixture, followed by one egg then alternate the dry ingredients with the eggs, beating well after each. Remove the beaters and zest the limes and lemons directly into the bowl. Add the lemon juice. Stir well and scrape the mixture into your prepared cake tin, smoothing it out. Cook for about 30-35 minutes. You will know when the cake is ready as the edges will come away from the sides and the cake will be a deep brown colour on top. Remove the cake from the oven and place it on top of a cold tea towel, leaving the cake in its tin.

To make the syrup, add the icing sugar and juice of the lemons and limes to a small saucepan. Place the pan on a low heat. Using a whisk, stir until the sugar has dissolved. Once dissolved, take it off the heat. Prick the top of the cake all over with a cake tester and pour the warm syrup over the cake. Leave to cool in the tin, before taking it out. Just prior to serving, dust with icing sugar or coconut flour and serve with creamy thick yoghurt or coconut yoghurt for a dairy free alternative.

To purchase Our Tamarama Kitchen or for more information, look up or click here