citrus & polenta cake with warm stone fruits . sprouted kitchen

Complacency is so boring but comfortable, while growth is so unpredictable and trying. Everything I am processing in this season seems so weighty (at least in my sphere), too personal for this space, but talking about food seems so... detached. These sorts of notes here elicit responses of pity and that is far from necessary. In the meantime, we'll just talk about food anyway. Which sounds complacent and comfortable and just what I need in this space for now. 

I'm confidently calling this a breakfast cake. I'm a savory breakfast girl. I love eggs and they feel like a wise choice to get the day going. Maybe out of habit, or because a sweet in the morning makes me feel a tad guilty. I have treats all other times of the day, likely too often, so breakfast is the one time they're easy to turn down. But this cake? It isn't really the guilty sort. It's baked in a cake pan, but has a denser crumb from that cornmeal likening it more to a loaf. For a "cake," it's pretty low in sugar and tastes as such - not bad, but light. I had a bounty of stone fruits in my CSA basket and ripe as they are, I found all they needed was a pat of butter and a breath of heat. If you're using ripe, summer fruits, I think you'll find they don't need added sugar. But you be the judge of that if you get a tart bunch. A little fresh whipping cream makes this totally passable for company, but honey and yogurt work great for the creamy component as well. Or vanilla ice cream! Ok, now it's not breakfast anymore but you get the idea.  

citrus & polenta cake with warm stone fruits . sprouted kitchen citrus & polenta cake with warm stone fruits . sprouted kitchen citrus & polenta cake with warm stone fruits . sprouted kitchen citrus & polenta cake with warm stone fruits . sprouted kitchen


cake adapted from Womens Health Magazine

I haven't tried, but I think this cake would be wonderful made with olive oil in place of the butter. Use the applesauce and you have a dairy-free option. You also wouldn't need the mixer, all could be a dump-stir program in a bowl. If you go that route, report back how it goes. 

  • 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup natural cane sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp. orange zest
  • 1 cup fine ground polenta
  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder 
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 lbs. assorted stonefruits (plums, pluots, peaches, nectarines etc.)
  • 1 Tbsp. orange juice
  • dash of vanilla extract or one vanilla bean

 honey sweetened yogurt or whipping cream for serving

citrus & polenta cake with warm stone fruits . sprouted kitchen citrus & polenta cake with warm stone fruits . sprouted kitchen

Preheat the oven to 325'. Line a 10'' cake pan with parchment and butter the bottom and sides.

In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides if need be. Add the buttermilk or applesauce, and both zest and mix until combined. Add the polenta, almond meal, salt and baking powder and mix until just combined. Pour it into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake on the middle rack for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (the cake is pretty light, you'll want to pull it on the more underdone side of finished to avoid dryness). Cool to the touch and then invert the cake onto a rack or plate. 

Cut the stone fruits into thin wedges. Heat the butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the fruit slices, orange juice and warm for about 6-8 minutes to warm through, stirring only a few times as to not break up the fruit too much. Stir in the splash of vanilla or seeds from the vanilla bean pod. Taste for sweetness. Mine did not need sugar, add a Tbsp. if your mix tastes a bit tart.

Serve the slices of cake with a heaping spoonful of the fruit topping and a dollop of fresh whipping cream of honey sweetened yogurt.  

citrus & polenta cake with warm stone fruits . sprouted kitchen

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    Response: richard goozh

Reader Comments (46)

Food is such a comfort, isn't it? I find that whenever I'm going through a trying time, coming to the kitchen and using my hands to create something beautiful always seems to make it a little better. Your cake looks lovely, by the way. I'll have to give it a try for breakfast real soon. Much love to you. ~Renee

August 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRenee @ Nourish The Roots

Wow, yum! Love the idea of combining the polenta and the almond meal for the cake batter - I bet it would make a killer pancake as well. Great recipe!

August 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKristen

I love cakes made with polenta - that crunch is just perfect especially with juicy summer fruit. Sending you lots of good thoughts for everything that's weighing on you at the moment. I hope you find some comfort in the kitchen.

August 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn

I love these cakes! they have such a nice texture when you eat them. Sometimes I think its best to think of being comfortable, of enjoying familiarity, as being almost part of the growth process - once you find that comfort you feel ready to attack the next new thing! The process of creating food always helps :) And I completely agree, so many times in the day that can be set aside for treats! xxx

August 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChloe

mam, so yummy! I love your cake!

August 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commentershop vouchers

Definitely a recipe to try. I'll use the olive oil instead. I have a crush on olive oil and cakes with it :)

August 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterOndina Maria

Not only does it look delicious, it has a great presentation as well. Definitely gonna let the family try this one out.

August 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDean

This looks incredible. I'd totally eat it for breakfast.

I know that feeling well, when life gets too heavy to talk about on the blog, but somehow you feel like you're not being truthful by keeping silent. I hope everything is okay, sending you lotsa love. xx
p.s this cake=yes.

August 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmma Galloway

I have never tried cake with olive oil and this one sounds like a great one to try. Hope things will get better on your side.

Beautiful, fresh and homey. Sending you love!

August 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJessie

How delicious. Cornmeal, almond, citrus- a winner!

August 23, 2013 | Unregistered

This cake is so pretty, and totally simple! Lovely!

The base of this cake looks hearty but tender and just perfect for that stone fruit topping. I love cooking with polenta and almond meal, so this is definitely a huge winner. I can also relate to the "weighty" feeling of life lately. Hugs!

August 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

That looks beautiful, and I fully support cake for breakfast :D My friend is GF and I think she'd love this.
Do you think it would be okay to bake the fruit into the cake, or maybe turn this into an upside down cake? I think I might have to try that.

August 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

how much olive oil do you think ?

August 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline

Yummm! This looks perfect for breakfast, morning snack or afternoon tea. Definitely will be trying this!

August 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmma @ Bag and Spoon

@Caroline - I'd go with 1/3 cup.

August 23, 2013 | Registered CommenterSara

This looks simple and delicious. Perhaps for breakfast tomorrow...with some poached eggs alongside? I'm an egg gal at breakfast, too.
I hope that whatever you are wrestling with is resolved soon, the clarity you seek, found. I find cooking and writing and photographing the perfect things to do while I meditate on the larger things in life....Best of luck.You will find the answers. D

August 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDena

Love polenta, but put in a cake recipe with stone fruits... amazing! I love the idea of this recipe. Best to you!

What a lovely breakfast treat. I love that I can see all the polenta! I'm such a cornmeal cake fan!

August 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDessertForTwo

This morning I ate sweet polenta with stewed dried fruits which was a sort of odd variation of this cake. I wanted this cake but didn't have the patience to bake it. But the point is, I thought of you while enjoying it. Have a great weekend, friend.

August 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Hi Sara! Just made this cake using olive oil and applesauce (I used 1/3 cup oil) and it is oh so lovely! Just ate it for dinner :) Thanks for the beautiful recipes, photos and words as always! x

August 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJodi

Miam, I want to try this recipe.

August 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLa Cuisine Helene

Oh, delicious! I'm a huge fan of breakfast cakes, and that warm stone fruit blend looks amazing. Definitely going to try this sometime and play around with the flour blend ( add some buckwheat, which is so yummy with stone fruit!).

August 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteramy

this looks incredibly yum.. thank you!

August 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpetal and plume

I want to stone fruit my face. This is fabulous, AND I wish we lived close so we could talk about the real stuff. xo.

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBev Weidner

I want to stone fruit my face. This is fabulous, AND I wish we lived close so we could talk about the real stuff. xo.

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBev Weidner


August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArthur in the Garden!

That cake is just lovely. I am also a savory breakfast girl. I've gotta have my eggs and veggies! I think this cake would be perfect for a weekend brunch with friends. I will have to try it. Thanks for sharing!

Breakfast cake is the best kind of cake! This looks great.

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTammela

I adore polenta, and this cake is so simple and elegant too, must try!

I just made this tonight. I did not have an orange, so just a lemon and grapefruit to zest. Oh my! It.Is.SOOO..Good!! Thank you for such a wonderful recipe. My husband has Type 1 diabetes and a "dessert" that has polenta (which he loves - corn meal) and Almond meal (protein) is such a blessing for him and his blood sugar! Love your blog, cookbook and recipes!!

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMary

I'm sure it's some sort of explainable optical illusion, but as I read the first paragraph, I *swear* that measuring cup on the right is moving around in circles! Or maybe it's just me...

August 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJulia

This looks gorgeous, I LOVE sweet things for breakfast, it's by far my most indulgent meal of the day! I always try to keep fruit and/or yogurt in there too, but I'm a sucker for Danish pastries and breakfast cakes! I will definitely have to try this out.

And thank you for saying that changes and decisions and busyness are hard - I feel guilty wanting to avoid those things when everyone else seems to embrace them, it's nice to know I'm not the only one who likes a nice bit of comfy complacency!

August 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

I made the cake using olive oil and applesauce, and it turned out great- perhaps a little more crumbly, but great nonetheless. I used the plums from our plum tree and that was really what made this cake special. I will make the stewed plums more often! You can add them to crepes, to a pork tenderloin, on top of yogurt or granola. Many possibilities, and no sugar needed. Thanks for a great recipe.

September 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara

This is a wonderful cake and I hope you're ok.

September 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commentererin

This is absolutely unique cake recipe. Looks yum, will try this soon. Thanks for sharing this post!!

September 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteralex clarkson

It looks great. Thank you for sharing

September 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlondon vouchers

You're lucky that you enjoy eggs in the morning -- I used to love them, but now they are not at all appealing. Which is sad because they're oh-so-good for you. I actually enjoy something sweet/carby to start my day. But I'm not fond of overly sugary treats. This cake looks just right.

I've never baked with polenta before - is stone-ground cornmeal as acceptable sub?

BTW, I love your blog. It feels like I'm reading a high-quality cookbook. Oh, and I wouldn't mind hearing about more personal things. But I understand if you'd rather not share here. :)

September 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErica | Buttered Side Up

I relate so much to this post. My last offering on my own site was a lengthier version of what you touched on here. In the last year, I found so much comfort in reading blogs like this one, Sprouted Kitchen at the top of my favorites list. I found the company I needed so badly at the time by printing a recipe and watching something tangible, and delicious, come to exist on my countertop. As if the author themselves were there, guiding me through. I hope the space you've created here provides the sort of comfort that you've created for others, without always knowing it. Thanks for sharing.

September 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterstef

Looks fantastic but as someone with nut allergies I sadly won't be able to try baking this. Just curious, why call it a polenta cake if there is more ground almond than polenta? Lovely blog!

September 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

This is a lovely and delicious cake. I made a vegan version using coconut oil instead of butter. This turned out great and I think the taste was even more on the comforting side. Many thanks!

September 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercherpesa

Yummmmyyy,,, Awesome recipe,,,
I'll definitely try to make this recipe sounds really yumm,,
Manuka honey

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNur Poole

I made it last night following the uber-healthy version: coconut sugar, olive oil and chia instead of eggs. Tasty! But not particularly indulgent... I enjoyed it more this morning than I did last night! Next time I'd add some lemon juice for extra zing!

October 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMagda

I made this last night with the 1/3 cup olive oil and a dash more and the buttermilk and it is so lovely!! I feel though if you add the applesauce, it might be a bit too sweet for a morning bread. It was super moist last night and even more this morning. Perfect for yogurt and honey or even just plain and simple. Thanks again!

March 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEmily Diane

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