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Lisa’s Orange and Polenta Cake from Sicily!

This is one of my favorite desserts from the island of Sicily! Typical of Sicilian desserts, it’s refreshing and delicious but not overly sweet and uses a wonderful combination of unique ingredients. It pairs well with any dinner- pasta, grilled fish, even pizza.

Buon Appetito! Lisa

Lisa’s Orange and Polenta Cake Ingredients:

Orange and Polenta Cake

1 cup cake flour

3/4 cup polenta, preferably imported from Italy

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon fine Sicilian sea salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

4 large eggs

1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

4 tablespoons orange zest

For the topping: 

1 cup orange marmalade, preferably imported blood orange marmalade

Lisa’s Orange and Polenta Cake Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter 2 round 8 or 9 inch cake pans. Combine the flour, polenta, baking powder and salt, and set the mixture aside. Using a stand or a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar, adding the eggs 1 at a time. Then add the orange juice and the orange zest. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix well until blended. Spray the two pans with non stick spray.

Fill the two cake pans evenly. Bake for 30 minutes. Transfer to two cake stands or platters (these cakes are not meant to be layered). To serve, cut the cake into slices and dollop 1 teaspoon of orange marmalade on top of each slice.

Orange and Polenta Cake


  • Lisa Caponigri

    Lisa Caponigri is the author of This is Sunday Dinner and Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner?, published by Sterling Epicure. Both of Lisa's cookbooks brim with her memories of living in Italy, both as a child and as an adult raising her own family, anecdotes about her family, regional and seasonal Italian specialties, and all the advice needed to get a spectacular Sunday Dinner on the table, every Sunday of the year. She has developed a line of prepared foods and sauces called Lisa’s Italian Kitchen. Lisa debuted on HSN and has appeared on QVC. She has also appeared on a variety of television programs, including Seattle's New Day Northwest, Good Morning Toronto, Chicago's WGNLunchbreak, and New England Cooks, to name a few. Lisa is frequently consulted as an expert in Italian lifestyle and food. Lisa Caponigri lives in South Bend, IN and travels frequently to Italy to research the latest in "la dolce vita". Visit to learn more about Lisa!

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