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slice of polenta cake with orange syrup on a yellow plate with a fork.

The Best Polenta Orange Cake

Amazing polenta orange cake! It is soaked with syrup, sosoft, moist, and delicious! The best sweet polenta cake I have ever had!
Course Desserts
Cuisine Romanian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 238kcal
Author Adina


  • Casserole dish, 28x18 cm/ 11x7 inches



  • 150 g 1 cup medium cornmeal (5.5 oz), Note 2
  • 50 g ¼ cup fine/soft semolina (1.8 oz)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel optional (Note 3)
  • 3 eggs large
  • 125 g 2/3 cup granulated sugar (4.5 oz)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 450 g 1 ¾ cup Greek yogurt (1 lb), divided
  • 100 ml scant ½ cup vegetable oil ( 3.5 fl.oz)
  • 50 ml scant ¼ cup milk (1.7 fl.oz)
  • icing sugar to dust
  • 1 orange to decorate optional

For the orange syrup:

  • the juice of 2-3 oranges about 100 ml/ 3.4 fl. oz/ scant ½ cup fresh juice
  • 50 g ¼ cup sugar (1.7 oz)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


Sweet polenta cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a casserole dish, 28x18 cm/ 11x7 inches.
  • Mix the cornmeal, semolina, baking powder, and grated orange peel in a bowl. Set aside.
  • Eggs: Separate the eggs. Beat the egg whites until stiff and set aside. In a larger bowl, beat the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla sugar, or vanilla extract and 50 g/ 1.7 oz/ scant ¼ cup 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.
  • Slowly add the cornmeal – semolina mixture mixing with a regular egg beater/whisk this time.
  • Fold in the egg whites carefully.
  • Bake: 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.

Orange syrup:

  • 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 it immediately, you should have a relatively thin syrup.
  • Poke cake: When baked, take the cake out of the oven and prick it all over with a toothpick.
  • Soak cake: Pour about ¾ of the syrup all over the cake. Add a bit more around the edges, should they be drier than the rest of the cake.
  • Cool completely in the dish. Cut the cake into squares, remove carefully from the baking dish and sprinkle with icing sugar. Decorate with orange wedges if you wish.


  1. A digital kitchen scale will give you the most precise measure ensuring the best bake possible (Amazon affiliate link).
  2. Look for a sort with a short cooking time – mine needed only 10 minutes.
  3. From an organic, unwaxed orange.


Serving: 1square | Calories: 238kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 120mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g