Rosemary Lemon Polenta Cake Recipe

Last Updated on February 4, 2022 by Ellen Christian

My Rosemary Lemon Polenta Cake recipe is a savory lemon polenta cake with a sweet glaze. Make my rosemary polenta cake with syrup.

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Rosemary and polenta just go naturally together. And, while most people don’t think of making a cake when they have polenta, it’s a wonderful dessert. If you love polenta, you might want to try these polenta bites the next time you have some. It’s delicious topped with spaghetti sauce and mozzarella.

Lemon Rosemary Polenta Cake is a savory lemon polenta cake with a slightly sweet glaze. Make my healthy lemon polenta cake today.

Rosemary Lemon Polenta Cake Recipe

This rosemary polenta cake is a savory cake that you can top with a lemon glaze if you want to add a bit of sweetness. Or, if you prefer a savory cake, you can eat it as is without the glaze. Some people prefer to dust it with powdered sugar.

This is a very moist cake with a golden yellow color. It’s yellow because of the added polenta and the eggs. I think that the lemony glazy is a pretty addition. And, I often make it that way when having guests over for coffee. I like desserts that aren’t quite as sweet, so for myself, I eat it plain.

Frequently asked questions

What is polenta?

Polenta is basically boiled cornmeal. It can be served hot as a type of porridge. Or, you can allow it to cool and then slice it. Eat it as is. Or, fry each slice in butter or oil and top with your favorite Italian sauce. Polenta is an Italian dish so it is frequently served with spaghetti or marinara sauce.

My Rosemary Lemon Polenta Cake recipe is a savory lemon polenta cake with a sweet glaze. Make my rosemary polenta cake with syrup.


Can I use orange?

Yes, if you want a cake that is slightly sweeter, you can substitute orange for the lemon. Follow the same process but use orange. And, you can garnish with orange on top as well. Orange polenta cake would be a nice choice if you wanted something less savory.

Is lemon polenta cake healthy?

I’m not sure that any cake is technically healthy. But, if you compare this cake to something that is high in sugar and topped with frosting, then, yes this is a healthier type of cake to eat. 

Lemon rosemary polenta cake on pretty plates

Lemon polenta syrup cake

For this lemon polenta syrup cake, you will basically create a lemon syrup and pour it over the rosemary polenta cake while it is still warm. Since the rosemary is infused into the lemon syrup, it has a delicious rosemary taste.

The syrup is absorbed by the cake as it soaks down. And, the final result is absolutely amazing. I make this cake originally in 2012. And, I re-did it in 2020 with more information and better photos. This is an original photo.

Lemon polenta cake with rosemary recipe 
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from a lemon polenta cake with rosemary but the lemony sugar syrup infused with rosemary turns this into the most amazing dessert.  

The Lemon Polenta Cake with Rosemary is a dense cake similar to a carrot cake or zucchini cake.  It’s the perfect savory cake recipe for a more grown-up party where there aren’t kids looking for super sweet cakes with frosting. This is a delicious savory cake recipe for a special occasion.

I found this recipe for Rosemary Polenta Cake in the Cake Magic cookbook by Kate Shirazi. I reprinted it with permission.

a slice of cake on brown plates with orange halves

Can you freeze lemon polenta cake?

Yes, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and freezer wrap and store it in the freezer for up to three months. 

You can wrap it tightly and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Just keep it in a cool place. 

Yield: 8

Lemon Polenta Cake with Rosemary

My Rosemary Lemon Polenta Cake recipe is a savory lemon polenta cake with a sweet glaze. Make my rosemary polenta cake with syrup.

Lemon Rosemary Polenta Cake is a savory lemon polenta cake with a slightly sweet glaze. Make my healthy lemon polenta cake today.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Inactive Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup caster sugar (superfine) I used regular granulated sugar
  • 2 2/3 cups ground almonds
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • zest and juice of 3 unwaxed lemons
  • generous 1/2 cup polenta
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar (superfine)
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary (1 1/2" long)


  1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Grease & line an 8" loose-bottomed pan.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  3. Add a tablespoonful of the almonds and then beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well between each egg.
  4. Fold in the remaining almonds and the lemon zest, along with the polenta and baking powder.
  5. Pop the mixture into the pan and bake for about 45 minutes or until a knife or skewer comes out clean.
  6. While the cake is in the oven, prepare the syrup. Put the caster (superfine) sugar, lemon juice, and rosemary into a small pan and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes or until all the sugar has dissolved.
  7. Cool the syrup a little and sieve it. When the cake is out of the oven, let it cool for 10 minutes or so in its pan.
  8. Poke about 20 holes in the cake and pour the syrup over so that it sinks into the holes.
  9. Leave the cake for a couple of hours to soak up all the syrup before removing it from the pan and serving.


If you are using polenta that is premade and in a tube, you will need to crumble it with your fingers before adding it to the batter. If you are using polenta you made from scratch, just add as is because it will be more of a batter consistency. I found it easiest to line the bottom of my cake pan with parchment paper so that it popped right out.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 672Total Fat: 50gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 30gCholesterol: 132mgSodium: 355mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 6gSugar: 40gProtein: 13g

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