14 March 2020

Blood Orange & Rosemary Polenta Cake

This next recipe makes the most of seasonal produce, featuring deliciously tart blood oranges, maple syrup and a hint of rosemary, baked into a moist polenta sponge cake.

There are a few different varieties of blood oranges, so you can use your favourite, but I used Moro. As well as the beautiful colour, these oranges have a slightly bitter flavour, with likeness to grapefruit, they caramelise wonderfully and add a lovely flavour to the cake, along with the infused rosemary and sweet maple syrup. You won't use the rind of all of the oranges, so freeze any leftovers and use them in drinks - I made some incredible water kefir with mine!

This cake is just sweet enough, making it a lovely dessert or snack for any time of day. The yogurt and polenta add to the texture, making it moist and slightly dense, yet still wonderfully fluffy and light. The caramelised oranges add a fresh, tart jamminess that make this cake irresistible. I served mine up with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkling of fresh mint, for a delicious afternoon treat.

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Blood Orange & Rosemary Polenta Cake | Serves: 8-12 | Time: 1 hour

You'll need

  • 20cm cake tin
  • Greaseproof paper
  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Saucepan
  • Spatula
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Fine grater
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Small bowl


  • 1 blood orange
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 blood oranges (flesh of 3, zest + juice of 1)
  • 3 tbsp ground flaxseed + 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1 cup fine polenta
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup plain soy yogurt


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 150°C fan and line a round cake tin with greaseproof paper (cut a large circle and fit into the baking tin, then cut 4 slits and overlap the paper to form a smooth layer).
  2. To make the syrup, zest and juice an orange into the saucepan, then add the sprigs of rosemary and maple syrup. Heat on a low heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring often until the mixture reduces to a syrupy consistency. 
  3. Remove the rosemary but do not throw it away (you'll use it in the cake), then pour the syrup into the lined cake tin, scrape the edges with a spatula and spread it out so it's evenly distributed across the base. 
  4. Using 3 of the oranges, cut the skin off carefully, following the curve of the orange and then slice into 1cm thick pieces. Arrange the orange slices in the base of the cake tin, ensuring the pieces are packed quite tightly together. 
  5. Mix together the flaxseed and water and place to one side for a few minutes. 
  6. Add the flour, polenta and baking soda to the large bowl and mix together.
  7. Remove the rosemary from the sprig and finely chop, then zest and juice the final orange, add to the medium mixing bowl along with the olive oil, maple syrup, soy yogurt and flax mixture and stir together.
  8. Add the wet ingredients into the large bowl with the dry ingredients and stir together until all the ingredients are combined, but try not to overmix the batter - it will be quite thick.
  9. Pour the cake mix over the base of oranges and use a spatula to smooth out. Bake the cake for 35-40 minutes until a skewer comes out mostly clean. 
  10. Allow the cake too cool slightly before removing from the tin, then carefully invert onto a plate. 
  11. Cut a slice and serve up with a dollop of yogurt and enjoy! 
Cassidy xx