Orange & Turmeric Polenta Cake

A friend suggested the other day that I should do some more cooking with turmeric, given its status as one of THE super-foods – excellent for fighting cancer and generally boosting, well, everything!  Great idea, I thought, and decided to look for a sweet bake that involved turmeric.

Super Cake?

Super Cake?

The answer mainly appeared to be the Lebanese semolina cake ‘sfouf’.  I’m not really sure why I didn’t just make that one.  But I didn’t, settling instead for Lizzie from “Strayed from the Table”‘s Orange + Turmeric cake recipe.  I liked the citrus/polenta idea as I’d recently had a delicious lemon polenta cake.  And Lizzie promises: “It’s a simple cake to make and one piece won’t be enough.”  Bingo.  I hate only eating one piece of cake.

How it was to make: 

Super burnt...

Super burnt…

  • I didn’t have fresh turmeric (which looks a bit like ginger but orange), so I used 1 tsp of dried turmeric.  I almost put in 20g dried turmeric, thinking that’s what the recipe was after.  Fortunately, my boyfriend stepped in.
  • Creaming butter and sugar – BOO.  But the little hand whisk helped a lot.
  • It was easy to just combine all the ingredients, but as you can see I ended up with loads of mixture compared to the size of tin.  I think that it must be that the tin I have isn’t actually deep enough for a cake.  But I persevered and poured the whole lot in anyway!  That was my first big mistake…  The cake overflowed all over the oven as it rose (who knew that four eggs and bicarbonate of soda would make it rise?!), and this cake explosion then burnt.

How it came out: 


A slightly eggy bottom.

  • See above regarding overflow/burning issue!
  • I cooked it for a about 20 mins longer than the recipe said because a knife in the centre wasn’t coming out clean.  That might have been wrong.
  • The cake mainly tasted really good and it was a vibrant yellow colour.  The icing went beautifully with it.  However, the bottom centimetre or so tasted a bit eggy, a little like an omelette.  Possibly because I overcooked it?!
  • The polenta-coated cake tin gave the sides and bottom of the cake a lovely crunch.

Personal Progress: 

  • Baking lessons learnt:
    • Don’t fill a cake tin right up to the top – especially if the mixture contains various ingredients that mean it will definitely rise.
    • Although this cake was nice, there might be a reason why gluten is a good idea in cakes.  Having said that, the lemon polenta cake I had recently was very delicious.  And baked by a proper person.  So I’m sure it’s not you, Lizzie, it’s me.
  • Physical progress:
    • Take that butter/sugar creaming – I’ve got a hand whisk!!!
    • Same mixing bowl issue as before when trying to pour the batter into the tin, but a ladle did the job perfectly.
    • Washing up – done!

If you want to make this using a bigger tin than I did:

Orange Turmeric Gluten Free Cake – Strayed from the Table

This bake, I have been mostly listening to:

Broken Romance – James Ollier feat. Carmen Palmieri

What a beautiful song from James Ollier, a very talented young man from Glastonbury.  This track isn’t on iTunes yet but I can’t get enough of it!  Although it is a bit sad.  But then again, so was my baking today!  Thanks to James for supporting the blog – can’t wait to hear more of your music.

You can get James’ EP ‘The Lifeboats’ here.

Caroline Crimson x

One thought on “Orange & Turmeric Polenta Cake

  1. Pingback: Superfood Muffins | Baking Better

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