Lime and Almond Polenta Cake

This ultra-moist cake beautifully combines sweetness with the tangy sharpness of limes. The harmony of tastes is repeated in the filling, where the cream and lime curd work so well together.

Makes: 10 – 12 slices

Time: 1 hour 45 min + cooling time

Level: Fairly easy

Equipment: Two 20cm round spring-form tins, ideally with a height of at least 5cm

Credits: The inspiration for this came from a recipe by Mary Berry in her “Absolute favourites” book. This is a much changed version.



  • 450g/16oz butter (softened)             
  • 450g/16oz caster sugar                     
  • 3 limes: Zest + juice
  • 6 eggs, beaten                            
  • 450g/16oz ground almonds                 
  • 225/8oz polenta                                
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 100g/3.5oz flaked almonds
  • 100ml/3.5fl oz double cream

Lime curd:

  • 115g/4oz caster sugar
  • 30g/1oz cold, unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 limes

Drizzle and topping:

  • 2 limes: Zest + juice
  • 100g/3.5oz caster sugar     
  • About 30g/1oz flaked almonds     
  • Icing sugar for dusting        


1. Preheat the oven to 160°C / fan 140°C / 325°F / Gas 3. Grease the tins with butter and line the bases with baking paper.

2. Put the soft butter, sugar and the lime zest into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy.

3. Gradually whisk in the eggs, one at a time, then add the ground almonds, polenta, lime juice and baking powder. Stir in the flaked almonds. Carefully fold in until thoroughly combined.

4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tins. Bake in the oven for about 70 – 75 minutes. While the cake is baking, make the drizzle (see below i) and the lime curd (see below ii)

5. Remove the cakes from oven and spoon the hot syrup drizzle over them.  Leave in the tins until fully cooled. (NB Use a brush to ensure that the drizzle soaks into the edges.)

6. While the cakes cool, whip the double cream to almost stiff peak stage.

7. Remove the cakes from their tins and transfer to a cake stand or turntable. Gently mix 3 or 4 tablespoons of lime curd into the cream and stir to create a marbled effect. Spread this on one cake and place the other on top. Put cake in the fridge for 30 minutes.

8. Sprinkle the zest and almond flakes over the top cake and dust with icing sugar prior to serving.

i For the drizzle: put the sugar, 2 tablespoons of water and the juice from two limes in a pan and stir over a low heat until all the sugar has dissolved then simmer for 2 – 3 minutes until syrupy. Keep the lime zest for later. (NB If you pop the limes in the micro wave on full power for 20 seconds it will increase the amount of juice they give.)

ii. For the Lime curd:  In a heavy saucepan cook the sugar, butter, eggs and the juice of two limes over a moderately low heat. Whisk frequently, until it is thick enough to hold marks of whisk, about 12-15 minutes. Immediately pour the curd through a sieve into a bowl. Stir in the zest of one lime and cool.

I hope you enjoy this lovely cake. If you want more cake recipes click this link, or have a look at my site for lots of other great recipes, both sweet and savoury.

Two especially popular cakes that you might also want to try are my Rhubarb, Almond and White Chocolate Cake and my Fruity Oatcake.

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Happy Baking