RECIPE: Gluten Free Almond Polenta Blueberry Cake

I'm considered a baking genius in my circle of friends. But this gluten free thing for my kid is throwing me for a loop. Baking gluten free is more chemistry experiment than true baking. A lot of what I know doesn't hold true in baking with the absence of wheat flour.

So I am experimenting. This cake I found on looked good, but as many GF sweets, it looked like it would be dry (even with a stick and a half of butter). So I had some farm fresh blueberries to use up, and thought that would give some much needed moisture to this cake. With the addition of a blueberry layer, I altered the flavor profile a bit, and adjusted the sugar, too.

And it did add that much needed moisture.

It's very European in style and texture. It's a little grainy and peasant/rustic in style on account of the almond meal and polenta. But I dug it. So did my family. My daughter gave me one thumbs up-not 2. But she's tough, and still getting used to GF herself. Hubby and I had seconds on the deck, with some nice iced tea while the sun went down.

Not a bad way to spend a Saturday evening, right?

Gluten Free Almond Polenta Blueberry Cake


1/2 cup almonds, finely ground up in a processor
1/2 cup polenta
1/2 cup gluten free flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
12 Tbsp. butter, softened
Nonstick cooking spray and parchment paper
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
3 Tbsp. orange juice
1 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups rinsed blueberries
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. gluten free flour


Spray a 9x2 cake pan with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper cut to size along the bottom. Spray again. Sprinkle the bottom with the toasted sliced almonds and set aside.

Move an oven rack to the upper third of your oven. Preheat to 325˚.

In a small bowl, toss the blueberries with flour, lemon juice and sugar. Let sit while you prep the cake.

In another small bowl mix the polenta with baking powder, ground almonds, salt and GF flour. Set aside.

With a mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and whip until fluffy. Add the eggs one a time, beating well between additions. Add the orange juice, lemon zest and vanilla. Mix well. Turn mixer on low, then slowly add the flour mixture until well combined.

Pour blueberries with all their juices into the pan evenly on top of the almonds. Pour the batter gently over the blueberries evenly. Use a spatula to even things out.

Bake for 45 min-1 hour. This cake takes a while. The top will get very brown. But don't worry. It's the middle you need to worry about. The middle should not wobble or be loose. Toothpick will come out clean when done.

When ready (remember, no wobbly middle!) let cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes on a wire rack. This will also help the cake set. Run a knife around the sides gently. Turn the cake upside down onto a cake platter. Peel off the parchment paper and serve warm with some whipping cream if you wanna get fancy.



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