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Lemon & rosemary polenta cake, roasted summer fruits, rosemary sugar syrup recipe

Lemon & rosemary polenta cake, roasted summer fruits, rosemary sugar syrup

Make the most of seasonal flavours with this delightful dessert


For the cake:

  • 225g unsalted butter, softened
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 225g polenta

For the sugar syrup:

  • Juice of 1.5 lemons
  • 85g caster sugar
  • Large sprig of rosemary
  • 80g granulated sugar (to garnish)

For the roasted fruits:

  • 4 apricots
  • 4 peaches
  • A splash of vanilla extract, Marsala or rum
  • 20 strawberries
  • Large handful of blueberries


To make the cake:

  1. Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. Grease and line a loaf tin with baking parchment.
  2. Beat together the butter and 225g caster sugar until pale and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time and mix thoroughly. Add a tablespoon of flour if the mixture separates.
  4. Add the lemon zest and half of the flour. Fold through, then add the remaining flour.
  5. Spoon the cake mix into the tin and level the top.
  6. Bake for 45–50 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

For the sugar syrup:

  1. While the cake is cooking, mix the lemon juice with the sugar and rosemary sprig. Gently dissolve the sugar over a low heat until melted. Discard the rosemary sprig.
  2. Prick the warm cake all over with a skewer and drizzle with the sugar syrup. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and leave in the tin until completely cooled.
  3. Garnish with rosemary.

For the roasted fruits:

  1. Halve the apricots and peaches, and place on a baking tray.
  2. Add a splash of vanilla extract, Marsala or rum to each half and sprinkle with one teaspoon of caster sugar.
  3. Roast for five minutes, then add the strawberries and roast for a further two–three minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  4. Scatter over the blueberries, then slice and serve with the roasted fruits.

Recipe by Jody Spencer

Taste Buds chef: Jody Spencer

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