skip to Main Content

Corn cake with limoncello: yellow raised to the second power

Over the past two weekends I gave complete freedom to my culinary vein to put aside a good supply of recipes to deal peacefully with the upcoming summer, as it promises to be not only terribly hot but also very busy: I cooked meat, desserts, pasta… but then, again, it happens all the times! You make a recipe and you fall in love. A texture, a smell or a memory and she creeps into your heart, asking for attention, she wants the front page the next morning. I tried to take time, to convince her that it is not kind for the latest addition to outdo the older recipes, waiting patiently in line for days, with photos ready and a story in my mind. But she has the enthusiasm of youth on her side, and she definitely won!

On my quest to discover new flours (at least for me), I bought at NaturaSì shop a stone-ground corn flour from organic farm, a deep, intense and joyful yellow flour. On Cavoletto’s book there is a recipe for a polenta cake with raspberries: my first intention was to make it step by step without any change, but then I met Tiffany berries at the supermarket!

I decided to improvise and let the yellow guide me… yellow as the school bus from which I could see the blond head of Claudia when I walked her to the bus stop to go to kindergarten, yellow as the yellow cab in New York that one day I’ll stop with a whistle, charged with bags after a day of shopping, yellow as the solar plexus chakra, the fire that burns inside and shines like a jewel, the individual willpower, charisma and effectiveness, yellow as Aunt Theresa’s limoncello*, always present in our freezer.

So I created a corn cake with limoncello, with a rustic texture given by corn flour but so deliciously scented thanks to the addition of limoncello. A scent that fills the kitchen while cooking, but gives its best when the cake is cold and a bite explodes in your mouth with all its aromas.

* Limoncello is a lemon liqueur produced in Southern Italy, made from lemon rinds, alcohol, water, and sugar. It is bright yellow in color, sweet and lemony, but not sour since it contains no lemon juice.

Print this recipe Pin it!
No ratings yet

Corn cake with limoncello: yellow raised to the second power

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Serves 8
Author Giulia


  • butter, 225 gr
  • caster sugar, 225 gr
  • fine polenta flour, 175 gr
  • eggs, 4
  • limoncello, 100 ml
  • flour 00, 60 gr
  • baking powder, 2 teaspoons
  • limon thyme, a few sprigs
  • more butter and corn flour to butter and flour the mould


  • Beat softened butter with sugar. Add eggs one at a time, then corn flour, plain flours and baking powder sifted together. Add the lemon thyme leaves and about 100 ml of limoncello.
  • Grease a round baking pan of 24 cm in diameter, sprinkle corn flour and remove excess. Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake in preheated oven to 190°C for 40 minutes. Let it cool down completely before serving. Dust with icing sugar.
Tried this recipe?We love to see your creations! Snap a pic and tag @julskitchen and hashtag it #myseasonaltable!

Extra tip. For adults, not for little children: you may drizzle the cake with extra limoncello when serving: although I am a former teetotal, I assure you it is really, really, *really* delicious!

Sharing is caring:

This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. I have never experimented with corn flour and always was under the impression that corn cakes were savoury.
    The texture of your cake is tempting, to say the least. 🙂

  2. The cake looks perfect and makes me want to reach for a spoon to dig in! I love the idea of pairing limoncello with the corn flour… great recipe but so simple!

  3. @ Aparna: it is sweet and delicious, the texture is rustic, must give it a try!
    @ The Housewife: it was a misterious match till a few days ago, but I did love it!
    @ The Blue-Eyed Bakers: so answer the call and try it!

  4. Not that I think this cake is imperfect, but I do like the idea of the drizzle of limoncello a lot!!! Beautiful work!

  5. Well she certainly is lovely, and quite determined…so we will have to forgive her for being a bit pushing with the other recipes:) Wonderful looking and sounding cake!

  6. It looks superb! And a nice way to get rid of 100 ml of limoncello 😀 Btw mine says limoncino on the label, wondering if it’s the same thing…

  7. Can I use fine polenta in this recipe? In Australia cornflour is a completely different product. Its white … I think its called cornstarch in USA used to thicken sauces.
    I have never seen polenta-corn ground into flour, but i have used fine polenta in cakes, especially for my brother and sister who require gluten free cakes as they are Coeliac

    1. Ciao Fiona, yes indeed you can, it’s the same flour I used in this cake, polenta flour! 🙂 baking it right now!

  8. I was about to comment a
    s Fiona did – in Australia we would call it polenta, whereas cornflour here is the white wheaten flour used for thickening. Lemon polrnta cake is a fovourite of mine but I only have an unweildy recipe that makes a huge cake. Must try this one!

  9. It’s no secret that I have a thing for polenta cakes and I do remember trying this cake of yours, Giulia, at the market in Colle Val d’Elsa – drizzled in limoncello and coated in mounds of icing sugar, delicious!

    And for the Aussies there – yes, use polenta (you can get fine ground or coarse ground polenta here, fine is better for baking) for this recipe (in the US it’s also called corn meal). To clarify, in Australia & the UK cornflour = corn starch; it’s like fecola di patate in Italy. So confusing!

  10. Thanks Emiko! I am off to Italy in September and have been avidly reading your blog posts about Firenze and where to eat and things to see. Firenze is my favourite place in Italy ( so far!)
    Also hoping to do some cooking with Giulia, but I think the timing is wrong??? I will be in Cortona from 27-30 Sept, then I have 4 days available (1-4 oct) can you let me know if you have anything available please Giulia?

    1. Fiona, write an e-mail at juls[@] and we can try to arrange a class!
      I am free at the moment and autumn is by far my favourite season for the cooking classes!

  11. I haven’t made the corn cake with limoncello yet. The amount of butter has me stalled. I’m trying to translate the recipe to US and using a scale. 225 gr butter. Is that weight? For US that is almost 2 sticks of butter or one cup or 8 ounces. It seems like a lot for a small cake like this. Is that correct or am I missing something in translating the measurements? Thank you!

    1. Hello Veronica, yes, the quantity is correct, 225 g of butter. This is a pond cake, so same amount of sugar, butter, eggs and flour, that’s why it is so rich in butter!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back To Top