Cakes · Desserts

Upside Down Honey Orange Polenta Cake

Good morning to you all ! (well as I’m writing this it’s morning)

Spring is finally here and the weather is starting to look better. That means brighter colours and citrus fruits!


The cake says good morning too!

So Mother’s Day is tomorrow and as usual for any kind of special occasion, it’s been baking time. It was a busy morning for me and for the past week as I’ve had exams and assignments to hand in (honestly this never changes in my life), but I’ve still found time for baking.

One of my mother’s favourite treats is creme brulee, so the custard making began two weeks ago. I had never made creme brulee before, but it turned out to be much easier than expected. I’ve also tried a bit with a crema catalana which is a Spanish version of creme brulee, only with milk instead of cream and using cornstarch. There are methods where you bake it in the oven in a bain marie like a traditional creme brulee, however there is also ones that you can make on the stove top.

Both methods produce excellent results, but the stove top one is shorter. Although, I accidentally made scrambled eggs several times while practising.

Yeah wasn’t one of my best moments.

Creme brulee and carrot cake are my mum’s favourites, but she also loved this cake and I hope you will too.


In the past year, I discovered polenta and tried to use it in several recipes. The first time  I learned the hard way that polenta soaks up water like a sponge.

Yikes, the first cake went in the bin pretty fast.

Undeterred, I tried again and things looked up, but I still wasn’t happy with the result and set the recipe aside. However, I looked back over some old recipes and changed things up a bit.


This one turned out lovely and was well received by everyone.

This recipe is a little different as you add the baking powder after letting the rest of the ingredients sit in the mixing bowl for 10-15 minutes. It’s like what you do with some oatmeal cookie recipes as it allows the oats or in this case polenta and flour to absorb the liquid properly. This prevents your cake from being too dry.

This cake deserves so much better than being dry.


The baking powder is added last to prevent the air from escaping before baking and ensuring you have a lighter cake.

Use an 8 inch cake tin for this. I used a 9 inch, but the orange slices were too chunky and went through a lot of the cake. And make sure to slice the oranges quite thinly when doing this so you get more even coverage over the cake. You can mix the honey with 1 tbsp of water to make the glaze spread more easily over the bottom of the cake tin.


So let’s dive into the recipe and enjoy!

Upside Down Orange Honey Polenta Cake

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 25-30 minutes

Total time: 50 minutes

Yield: 8 slices

Calories per serving: 151


  • 60g / 1/4 cup
  • 1
    Thinly sliced orange (washed, with peel on)
  • 75g / 1/2 cup
    Fine polenta (cornmeal)
  • 60g / 1/2 cup
    Plain flour
  • 16g / 2 tbsp
  • 1/4 tsp
  • 1 tsp
    Baking powder
  • 30g / 2 tbsp
    Light butter spread (can substitute butter)
  • 30g / 3 tbsp
    Caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup
    Sucralose sweetener or other granulated sweetener
  • 50g / 3 tbsp
    Fat free greek yoghurt
  • 1
  • 200ml / 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp
    Low fat milk or evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp
    Almond extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 160°C fan assisted and lightly grease a 8 inch round baking pan with a loose bottom.
  2. Spread the honey over the bottom of the pan and then place the orange slices on top.
  3. Whisk together the dry ingredients (not the baking powder!) in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Cream together the butter spread, sugar and sucralose until light and fluffy using a wooden spoon or mixer. Whisk in the greek yoghurt and egg once pale and fluffy and whisk until well mixed.
  5. Whisk in the milk slowly until the mixture is smooth and then whisk in the almond extract.
  6. Fold in the dry ingredients aside from the baking powder and leave to sit for 10-15 minutes to allow the polenta to absorb the liquid.
  7. Whisk in the baking powder once the liquid has been absorbed until well mixed and then scrape into the baking tin over the honey and oranges and spread around slightly until the honey and oranges are covered.
  8. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before turning out onto a cooling rack upside down and allowing to cool completely before serving.
  10. Once cooled, slice into 8 slices and serve.

Store leftovers covered in the fridge or in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Nutritional Information

Makes 8 servings
Serving size:
1/8 of recipe

Calories: 151
Fat: 3.1g
Saturated fat: 1.8g
Carbs: 27.3g
Fibre: 1.3g
Sugar: 13.5g
Protein: 3.7g

Recipe Notes

The calorie count is when using evaporated milk as the extra fat makes the recipe richer, however using low-fat milk will reduce the calorie count. You can also use reduced fat cream or whole milk to make the taste richer.

With low fat milk the calories are 144 calories per slice.


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