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Why July is my special month and a lemon polenta cake

July is my special month. It is bursting with sun and good weather, more intense and deeply rooted into summer than June, definitely more care-free than August, because Autumn is yet too far away to smell the musky notes of woods or the stormy winds. You can still plan your summer in July, because the sunny season has just begun, the days are still long and shiny, you can sit on the doorstep in the evening to chat, to enjoy your ice cream and the last moments of light.

Lemon polenta cake

I’ve always had a crush on him, July, a charming month with wheat blond hair and eyes as blue as the sky and the deep sea. I would start getting some tan, showing the marks of the tank on my shoulders, to check my progress day after day.

July is my birthday month, just for this reason I love it with a childish love, the most beautiful month of the year because right at the end comes the most exciting day of the year, where I grow, change, and get stronger.

Recently July is also the month of short trips to London, where I can finally breathe the exciting air of the city that fascinates me most. Last year I was there to take part to the Food Blogger Connect, this year I’m going to enjoy a long weekend just like a tourist. Believe me or not, next week I’m going to visit at least a bunch of museums, as – shame on me – whenever faced with the choice between Borrough Market and Tate Modern… well you know which was my choice, don’t you? I love to get lost among the stalls of one of the greatest markets in the world. I won’t go alone. My travel mate and significant other is passionate about museums, I know he will catch me if I will try to ignore the National Gallery in search of a little café where to sit down and pretend to be a Londoner.

Lemon polenta cake

As if I did not love July enough, now I have yet another reason to consider July my special month. It has become our special month, one year that we’re together, a switch in our friendship, from good friend to special person. Every now and then let me be romantic…

So, July, even if I am a little late I want to welcome you with a cake I am sure you love so much, rustic, buttery, yellow as polenta, with the scent of lemon and gluten-free. It is dense almost like a pudding. Serve it with fresh seasonal fruit and a dusting of icing sugar.

Lemon Polenta cake

1 from 1 vote
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert, Gluten free
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8


  • 200 g of butter, at room temperature
  • 200 g of sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 160 g of polenta flour
  • 75 g of potato starch
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Grated zest of 1 organic lemon
  • Polenta flour and butter for greasing the baking pan
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  • Preheat oven to 190°C.
  • Whisk butter with sugar until white and soft. Add the eggs one at a time, whisk until perfectly incorporated.
  • Sift the polenta flour with the potato starch, the baking powder and a pinch of salt. Fold them into the batter along with the grated zest of a lemon.
  • Grease a 24 cm round baking pan, sprinkle with polenta flour and shake off the excess flour. Scrape the batter into the baking pan and bake for about 55 minutes, until golden brown.
  • Let cool completely before serving with a generous dusting of icing sugar.
Order now the Cucina Povera Cookbook100 recipes to celebrate the italian way of transforming humble ingredients into unforgettable meals. ORDER NOW!

Ivy  Pears

Lemon polenta cake  Grapes

Mark your calendar!

In October I’ll held a Tuscan cooking class for Plated Stories, the intense hands-on workshop organized in Tuscany by Ilva and Jamie. There are just a few spots left, hurry up! When: 3 – 5 October 2014.

Plated Stories is a Intensive Hands-On Food Photography/Styling & Food Writing Workshop. The workshop will include intensive, hands-on exercises in both writing and styling/photography, as well as understanding how text and images can work together to create a more powerful story. More info here.

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This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. I generally love July, but not this year (the weather has been horrible lately – cold, grey and rainy)!

    This polenta cake is very promising looking. A delicious afternoon treat!



    1. Here as well, a horrible weather, but I like it as much as a sunny July, because my rhubarb is growing so well with this weather!

  2. Would it be possible for you to give the US equivalents in the
    Ingredients list??? I find it very difficult to convert…

  3. July is my Birthday month as well!! I cannot wait to try your polenta cake……..enjoy London!!

  4. 1 star
    I was so excited to make this cake for Easter brunch but sadly it did not turn out like your picture. I use a scale to measure ingredients so the measurements were exactly as the recipe stated. I was a bit worried when I read an ingredient “polenta flour”, polenta is a dish, not an ingredient so I used cornmeal which is used to make polenta. Please let me know if that is what you use for this recipe. I was also worried about the amount of butter the recipe called for and when I brought it out of the oven it was swimming in butter 🙁 I would love to know where I went wrong if you can decipher.

    1. Hi Debbie, I am sorry I don’t know what went wrong. The flour was cornmeal flour, as you perfectly understood. I know polenta is a dish, but I’ve found the cornmeal flour also called polenta flour, that’s why I used this term. Probably the reason could be that sometimes Italian ingredients are different in quality and grease content from the ingredients of other countries. It was definitely not a light cake, but is was not swimming in butter when I took it out of the oven!
      I’m so sorry for the bad result!

      1. I think what you call polenta flour is much more finely milled than American corn meal. I have tried a similar recipe from Nigella using cornmeal and thought it turned out too grainy.

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