Lemon, Pistachio and Polenta Cakes with Raspberries

. May, 2016
Photography by Claire Aldous.
Lemon, Pistachio and Polenta Cakes with Raspberries

Fine polenta gives these moist delicious cakes their distinctive golden colour and texture. Any frozen berry will work and you can substitute orange or lime zest for the lemon.


70 grams pistachio nuts, finely ground
¾ cup instant polenta
⅓ cup self-raising flour (use either gluten-free or regular)
pinch salt
250 grams butter, very soft but not melted
1 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
finely grated zest 2 lemons
4 x eggs, size 7 (large)
juice 1 lemon
11½ cups frozen raspberries
To assemble
1 cup icing sugar
2–3 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon pistachios, very finely chopped
freeze dried raspberries, optional (I used Fresh As brand)
icing sugar for dusting

12 friand or other small cake tins greased and and bases lined with baking paper (the friand tins I used are 100ml capacity each)


Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Combine the pistachio nuts, polenta, flour and salt in a bowl. 

Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest until very light and pale. Whisk the eggs together in a jug then gradually beat into the butter mixture.

Add the dry ingredients and the lemon juice and gently beat to combine.

Divide the mixture between the tins and smooth the tops. Dot over the frozen raspberries, but don’t press them into the mixture.

Bake for about 30 minutes until the tops are firm and golden.

Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the inside of the tins to loosen then remove the cakes and place on a cooling rack.

To serve: Combine the icing sugar and lemon juice to make a pourable icing, adding a little more icing sugar or lemon juice if needed. Drizzle the icing off the tip of a teaspoon over each cake.

Top with crumbled freeze-dried raspberries and pistachios if using, then a dusting of icing sugar. Makes 12