Blood Orange Polenta Cake

Blood Orange Polenta Cake

I’m crazy about blood oranges right now, absolutely in love with them!
I started preparing for their arrival by collecting recipes weeks before they appeared at my local grocery store.

I believe nature truly gives us citrus in winter to help colour and brighten our long dark days, and vibrant blood oranges are our greatest reward.

While they’re in season, I grab a couple every time I’m at the store; I can’t get enough of their deeply red tones, robust flavour and fragrance. There’s just something dramatic and special about them…

Blood Orange Polenta Cake

Blood Orange Polenta Cake Blood Orange Polenta Cake

I’ve eaten a lot of blood oranges this year!

I snack on them, juice them, cook with them and throw them in salads; a few weeks ago, I put a few splashes into a vinaigrette for this this cauliflower and chickpea salad.

With its relatively short season, I’ve been trying to find more recipes that showcase their beauty and bounty, so on weekends, I bake and cook with them when I’m not busy doing other things… because I want to eat all the blood oranges I can before its season is over!

Blood Orange Polenta Cake

Blood Orange Polenta Cake

Since I love polenta, and I’m having this moment with blood oranges, it was inevitable that I’d find a way to put these two together.

I made this blood orange polenta cake a few weeks ago when a family member was feeling poorly, I hoped it’ll brighten their day and bring them much needed cheer.

This is the kind of cake you bake on a quiet Saturday afternoon just before your evening starts; it’s a moment for peaceful contemplation as you measure, slice, mix and finally bake.

Or make it on a Sunday morning when everyone is sleeping in, you’ll get to savour the silence and gratitude as delicious aromas of baking wakes up the house.

Blood Orange Polenta Cake

Blood Orange Polenta Cake Blood Orange Polenta Cake

Blood Orange Polenta Cake

This is a beautiful cake, not just because it’s good-looking but figuratively because it’s infused with loving ingredients… citrus, coconut milk, agave, almond milk, stone-ground polenta and white whole-wheat flour.

It takes little effort to put together and it’s wonderfully crumbly with a moist interior and a sweet crispiness from the cornmeal, it’s also fruity, the blood orange has a tangy, rich marmalade-like flavour that makes me wish I’d loaded the bottom with more slices.

This cake does bring the cheer; it goes perfectly with coffee or tea, it’s good on its own too.

Blood Orange Polenta Cake

Blood Orange Polenta Cake

Blood Orange Polenta Cake
A bright and cheerful winter citrus cake!
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INGREDIENTS
  1. 1 -2 blood oranges, thinly sliced crosswise with pith and seeds removed
  2. 1 cup whole-wheat flour (I used white whole-wheat flour)
  3. 1 cup polenta/cornmeal (fine or medium ground)
  4. 2 tablespoons blood orange zest
  5. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  6. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  7. 1/2 teaspoons salt
  8. 1 cup almond milk
  9. 1/2 cup agave or maple syrup
  10. 1/4 cup blood orange juice
  11. 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  12. 1 teaspoon pure orange extract, optional
  13. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease 9-inch round cake pan and line bottom with parchment paper
  3. Arrange orange slices at the bottom of the parchment-lined pan in a single layer and set aside
  4. In a large bowl, combine flour, polenta, orange zest, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and mix
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, agave, orange juice, and coconut oil, add orange and vanilla extracts
  6. Pour milk mixture into dry ingredients and use a spatula to mix until well combined but do not over mix
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean
  8. Remove from oven and let it cool for 2 minutes in the pan
  9. Invert cake onto cooling rack and allow to cool slightly before serving
  10. Enjoy!
NOTES
  1. - All-purpose and (most) gluten-free all-purpose flour will work perfectly for this cake too
the Whinery by Elsa Brobbey http://elsbro.com/blog/
Blood Orange Polenta Cake

  • grandbabycakes

    What a lovely cake! Such a nice use of blood oranges.

    • Thank you Jocelyn… I’m trying to get as much as I can from this short blood orange season:)

  • OMGoodness what a sight! Such a beautiful little cake. I have never even heard of a polenta cake before! This one is such to turn some heads, Elsa! I’m so glad you had bright red blood oranges, not like my orange ones! Hehe.

    • Oooh you should start checking out polenta cakes right now! The citrusy ones are especially wonderful 🙂

  • Polenta in a cake is GENIUS! And it’s something I always have in my pantry. Win win!

    • Oh yes it is! I always have polenta around too, I love finding others ways to use it up:)

  • Azu

    I have just discovered blood oranges, they taste so good! Right now there ir a cake in my oven with blood oranges. I used cornmeal, hope it turns out well. Love your photos!

  • Such a pretty cake! I wish blood orange season never ended! 🙂

    • Me too Maryanne, me too! Although it probably wouldn’t be as special if we had them around all the time:)

  • I am a huge fan of polenta cakes (thanks to Ottolenghi) so I am def saving this one for a special occasion.

  • Totally, a beautiful cake, Elsa. So bright & cheerful for all the occasion, I would say, but I think I would bake it on a quite weekend someday to surprise my loved ones just like you suggested. 🙂

    P.S. Your light & happy mood photos never disappoint me. <3 them 🙂

    • Thank you Pang! You always inspire me with your positive words:) Yes, baking this for loved ones is rewarding… for all involved:)

  • Anne Marie

    Elsa, this cake is just gorgeous!! And so needed on these days upon days of dreariness we’ve experienced lately. I have always loved blood oranges but have struggled when it comes to deciding what to do with the bushels I always seem to bring home with me once I spot them at the supermarket! So this cake takes the…well, cake! 🙂 Can’t wait to try it!!

    • Thank you Anne Marie. Me too, I buy more blood oranges than I know what to do with them. This cake is a good one… I hope you try it:)

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