Rosemary & Orange Polenta Cake

This polenta cake, packed with the fresh citrus flavours of orange and the tang of aromatic rosemary in a dense, moist sponge, is a great option for something a little different with your cup of tea!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Servings: 6 people


For the cake

  • 6 tbsp warm water
  • 2 tbsp ground linseed (flaxseed)
  • 1.5 cups organic gluten-free self-raising flour or regular self-raising, if tolerated
  • 1 cup fine polenta
  • 1 generous tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup organic coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, softened, or butter for vegetarian
  • The juice of one medium orange
  • The zest of half a medium orange
  • A pinch of sea salt

For the drizzle topping

  • 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan assisted.
  • Line a 6-inch cake tin with silicone-free baking paper.
  • Sift the polenta and flour together in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the baking powder, salt and rosemary. Stir to combine.
  • Add the ground linseed to a small bowl with the warm water and stir. Set aside to gel, creating your ‘flax egg’.
  • Add the coconut sugar and coconut oil to a bowl and cream together. Add the flax egg and beat until smooth.
  • Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients along with the vanilla extract and fold together.
  • Add the orange zest and juice and beat together until smooth.
  • Slowly drizzle the almond milk into the bowl, a little at a time, beating together as you go. If the mixture looks a little dry you can add more almond milk as required until you have a smooth cake batter.
  • Spoon the batter into the lined cake tin. Transfer to the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and a skewer comes out clean.
  • Whilst the cake is baking, whisk together the drizzle ingredients.
  • Remove the cooked cake from the oven and leave to cool a little.
  • Skewer random holes through the surface of the cake whilst still warm, then pour the drizzle mixture over the top.


If your flour mix does not contain xanthan gum you may wish to include a teaspoonful to help hold the sponge. For vegetarian, coconut oil can be swapped directly for butter. 2 eggs can be used in place of ‘flax egg’. This may require less almond milk.
CNM recommends the use of organic ingredients. Recipe and photography by Emma Carter, for the Natural Chef Diploma Courses at CNM, the College of Naturopathic Medicine.