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Polenta Cake

This recipe from Lombardia is from the province of Varese and is often called Dolce Varese or Amor Polenta. Originally made with coarse cornmeal and other cereal grains, it was considered a humble cake. It is traditionally made in a long ridged pan called a Moravian pan, available at It can also be made in a round 9-inch cake pan or in a loaf pan Makes one 10 x 4 x 2-inch cake in a Moravian pan


1 stick unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract or rum

Vanilla bean seeds, optional (Use seeds from 1/2 to a whole bean.)

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

3/4 cup almond flour

3/4 cup fine ground yellow cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Confectioner’s sugar to sprinkle


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs one at a time; beat in vanilla or rum and vanilla bean seeds. Set aside

In another bowl stir together the flour, almond flour, cornmeal, salt and baking powder; add to egg mixture and blend until well combined.

Pour into well buttered and cornmeal-dusted pan.

Bake until golden brown; about 35 to 40 minutes; cool. (Baking time may vary depending on the type of pan that is used.) Unmold and dust heavily with confectioner’s sugar. Serve as is or gild the lily.

Gilding the lily:
Mix 1/2 cup softened mascarpone cheese, 2 tablespoons heavy cream and 2 tablespoons sugar together until smooth. Add 1/4 cup Fabbri* strawberries in syrup and serve as garnish to sliced cake.

*See their whole selection of dessert toppings on-line:

This recipe is featured on show 2725 – Lombardia Dinner, Milano Style.


  1. M Pecoraro's avatar

    M Pecoraro

    Loved your presentation. Bought the pan, love it (non stick),but it’s bigger will do the Math and hope it works.

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