Berry Polenta Cake

Source: Mani Niall, Sweet Bar Bakery

Recipe Type: | Seasons:

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on May 21, 2016.

Makes 6 to 10 servings


1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for coating the pan
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 cup sour cream
1¾ cups fresh or frozen blueberries, or 3½ cups strawberries


Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Brush a 9- or 10-inch cast iron skillet with melted butter.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the cornmeal and stir gently to combine.

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs slowly, beating until incorporated and stopping the mixer once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl. On low speed, add half the flour mixture and beat until incorporated. Add the lemon zest and juice and sour cream and beat until thoroughly mixed. Add the remaining flour and beat until combined. Stop the mixer after each addition and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then increase the speed slightly and beat until the mixture is smooth. After the final addition, increase the speed to high and beat for about 30 seconds. Using a rubber spatula, fold in 1½ cups of blueberries.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Scatter the remaining ¼ cup of blueberries evenly over the top of the batter. Bake the cake, rotating the pan back to front after about 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in to the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutes, then run an off-set spatula around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the cake sides. Serve warm.

Photo by Theresa Nguyen.

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