Raspberry Polenta Cake

raspberry polenta cake (vegan) / loveandlemons.com

What do you make with leftover polenta and leftover raspberries? Cake, of course! But not just any cake – cake in a skillet. Because skillets = summer.

raspberry polenta cake / loveandlemons.com raspberry polenta cake (vegan) / loveandlemons.com

Aside from the little bit of butter I used to grease the pan, this cake is vegan and made with coconut oil. It’s naturally sweetened with maple syrup and, of course, the sweetness that comes from the raspberries. (note: you can grease your pan with coconut oil).

It’s a (smaller) version of this peach cake I made last summer – in my 10-inch skillet this cake is just 4 servings, but you can double it if you have a larger skillet and more mouths to feed. I prefer it straight out of the oven with melty ice cream on top. Although, the leftover slices were delicious (sans the ice cream), for breakfast the next morning.

raspberry polenta cake (vegan) / loveandlemons.com

Oh, and it goes without saying that you could top this with any fruit you like.

raspberry polenta cake

Serves: 4 slices
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup finely ground polenta
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup raspberries
  • optional: a few drops of lemon oil, vanilla, and/or a pinch of cinnamon
  • more coconut oil or butter to grease the skillet
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, with an 8 or 10-inch cast iron skillet inside. (pictured is a 10-inch skillet)
  2. Mix your dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together (by hand) your wet ingredients.
  4. Combine both and whisk together until well combined, but don't overmix.
  5. Remove hot skillet from the oven, grease it with a little coconut oil or butter (or vegan butter), then pour in the batter. Sprinkle raspberries on top and bake it for approx. 18-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Let cool slightly, then serve hot with ice cream.
If you use a 12" skillet or larger, you can double the recipe. (Baking time may differ depending on the size of your skillet and the depth of the cake).

Make it whole grain: Use whole wheat pastry flour instead of the all purpose flour.

Make it gluten free: Use gluten free oat flour, or an all purpose gluten-free baking mix such as Pamela's.


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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Barbara

    Can you clarify if the polenta is already cooked or are you using dry finely ground polenta? I’m confused but looking forward to this recipe. The peach cake was great last year. Thanks!

      • Barbara

        Yes, that makes perfect sense to me. I always think of polenta already being cooked. I’m from Maine so I’ll try wild blueberries when they’re ready!

  2. oh this sounds like something I am going to try!!!! thank you!!!!

  3. Cake in a skillet….nothing gets much better than that! I don’t make many cornmeal/polenta cakes but must start!

  4. Caitlin

    What temperature do you recommend baking at? Thanks!

    • jeanine

      350 (I just fixed the recipe to reflect that – thanks for pointing it out!)

  5. Hmmm.. leftover polenta? That does not usually happen to me? Hahaha! I looooove this! I keep getting all this fresh fruit in my CSA box and I cannot find uses for all the fruit so this will come in handy as a great base!

  6. Emma from coconutandberries.com

    Cake/cornbread baked in a skillet always looks so charming! This is perfect.

  7. What a great cake! I love raspberries, but the driver is the different texture, the size and the why you put together a recipe. Well done!

  8. That ice cream melting all over the top is calling my name! This look so wonderful! I think my boyfriend and I would have a tough time not devouring the entire skillet ourselves…2 forks and ten minutes later I have a feeling there would be zero evidence of said cake ๐Ÿ˜›

    • jeanine

      ha, we’re kind of the same way – that’s why I make half-recipe cakes when just the 2 of us ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Pang from circahappy.com

    I don’t have maple syrup right now. I wonder whether I should risk it by using condensed milk instead ><

    Love Love Love your photos as ALWAYS. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • jeanine

      thanks Pang! You can use just plain sugar instead ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Pang from circahappy.com

        Thank you so much, Jeanine ๐Ÿ™‚
        This one will be on my dinner table TONIGHT!!!! whoohooo

  10. Lisa from thinklikeabosslady.com

    How do you get it to bake so perfectly without getting crusty, dried out or burnt at the edges? It just looks too pretty to eat!

    Boss Lady-in-Chief

    • jeanine

      I think it baked overall a little less time than if it were in a regular cake pan… the edges were just barely more crisp than the middle, I didn’t have a problem with them burning or drying out.

      • Girl, tell that to my oven. I’ve got a Viking oven and allegedly great bakeware, but my cakes, cookies and pies almost always come out with that telltale halo of crusty over-doneness. If I pull them before the halo develops, the middle is gooey.

        There must be some secret… positioning on the rack?

        A special lubricant on the pans?

        A sparing application of edible SPF 15 on all of the edges?

        A centuries-old voodoo chant uttered under the light of a full moon while balancing on one foot and waving a special talisman over the top of the unbaked goods?

        Feel free to use my personal folly as inspiration for a future blog post — I would seriously love to hear your tips and tricks for getting picture perfect baked goods. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Boss Lady-in-Chief

        • jeanine

          Ha – ok, well it doesn’t sound like it’s purely a cast iron skillet thing then? (if you get crispy edges w/ cookies on regular pans?). If it’s a cast iron issue, I’d say don’t preheat your pan as long so it doesn’t start out as hot.

          It sounds like you might want to try baking on a lower temp. Have you tried putting a detached oven thermometer in your oven to make sure the temp it’s reading is accurate?

          Also, I’m not sure how long you’ve had your oven but I had to “get to know mine” for a good few months when I first got it because it’s so different than the one I had previously. I have a pretty powerful Thermador gas oven/range and it runs pretty hot – at the beginning I was overcooking a lot of baked goods until I started watching it closely. After awhile I just learned to get a feel for when things are done. (which is always sooner than most recipes list).

          My last tip – try taking things out when you think they’re slightly underdone. For example, cookies continue to bake while they cool on a hot cookie sheet.

  11. Marloes from spruitjeszijnnietvies.blogspot.com

    How I love polenta cake. The structure is amazing

  12. I love the sounds of a cornmeal cake! And it sounds perfectly sweetened to me. My cast iron pan is ready for something like this.

  13. Allyn from girlnamedallyn.wordpress.com

    This looks soooooo good!
    I used to date a guy whose mom made amazing pineapple upside down cake in a skillet. Should have made sure to get that recipe.

  14. Love polenta in savory dishes but haven’t gone the sweet rout yet! This cake sounds amazing!

  15. Lucy from la-lingua.blogspot.com

    Almond milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, eating straight from the pan… yep I’m sold. Hoping this will make a regular appearance in my student kitchen next year! xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua : Life in Italy

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.