Polenta Orange Cake – Malai dulce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
So soft, so moist, so delicious: Romanian polenta cake soaked with orange syrup.
Recipe type: Cake
Cuisine: Romanian
Serves: 12
  • 150 g/ 5.3 oz/ 1 cup medium cornmeal (look for a sort with a short cooking time – mine needed only 10 minutes)
  • 50 g/ 1.8 oz/ ¼ cup fine (soft) semolina
  • 2 regular teaspoons Dr. Oetker baking powder
  • 1 regular tablespoon grated orange peel from an organic unwaxed orange, optional
  • 3 eggs (medium Germany, large US)
  • 125 g/ 4.4 oz/ ⅔ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 sachets/ 2 regular tablespoons vanilla sugar
  • 450 g/ 1 pound plain creamy yogurt (I had low-fat Greek style yogurt), divided
  • 100 ml/ 3.4 fl.oz/ ½ cup minus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 50 ml/ 1.7 fl.oz/ scant ¼ cup milk
  • icing sugar to dust
  • 1 orange to decorate, optional
  • For the orange syrup:
  • the juice of 2-3 oranges, about 100 ml/ ½ cup fresh juice
  • 50 g/ 1.7 oz/ ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius/ 340 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a casserole dish, 28x18 cm/ 11x7 inches.
  2. Mix the cornmeal, semolina, baking powder and grated orange peel (optional) in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. Separate the eggs. Beat the egg whites until stiff and set aside.
  4. In a larger bowl beat the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla sugar and 50 g/ 1.7 oz of the yogurt until pale and thick. Add the vegetable oil in a slow stream while beating all the time. Add the rest of the yogurt and beat for about 1 minute. Add the milk and mix shortly.
  5. Slowly add the cornmeal – semolina mixture mixing with a regular eggbeater/whisk this time. Fold in the egg whites carefully.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish and bake for about 45 minutes or until the cake is golden and a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  7. In the meantime make the orange syrup. Juice the oranges until you have about 100 ml/ ½ cup juice. Sieve the juice into a small pot, add the sugar and the lemon juice. When it starts to boil, remove immediately, you should have a rather thin syrup. I only needed about 75 ml/ 2.5 oz/ ⅓ cup to soak the cake. Measure this quantity first, use it and take more only if you find it necessary, you might like to add a bit more around the edges, should they be drier than the rest of the cake.
  8. When the cake is baked, take it out of the oven and prick it all over with a toothpick. Pour the syrup all over the cake and let the cake cool completely in the dish. When cool, cut into squares, remove carefully and sprinkle with icing sugar. Decorate with orange wedges if you wish.
Recipe by It's all about home cooking at https://whereismyspoon.co/polenta-orange-cake-malai-dulce/