Waitrose's Blueberry and Polenta Loaf Cake recipe

Blueberry, polenta and olive oil loaf cake
 

I’m still cooking from the March 2022 edition of Waitrose magazine, which we’ve now dubbed ‘the seminal issue’. This is another of its great cakes; the polenta provides a lovely texture, it’s packed with blueberries and there’s a subtle hint of lemon. I’ve made it four times and realised after my third attempt that the batter fits nicely into a 450g/1lb loaf tin (the recipe says to use a 900g tin but this makes the cake pretty flat).

I use golden caster sugar instead of honey because it’s cheaper (although I still use honey in the glaze). The original recipe specifies 160g of honey and I’ve experimented with 100% honey, 100% sugar and various combinations of the two, but to me there’s not enough difference to justify shelling out for honey every time. By all means use honey if you’d prefer. I've increased the blueberries to 175g because when I used 100g, some of the slices of cake were missing blueberries.

Serve with creme fraiche or yoghurt and fresh blueberries on the side.

Notes

I occasionally decrease the sugar to 100g and the cake is still sweet enough for me.

Freezes well (slice before freezing). 

Store for up to 3 days in an airtight tin (although a 10 second microwave warm up on day 3 might be needed).

Recipe credit

Waitrose magazine.

Ingredients

Serves: 12

Cake

  • 150ml olive oil (plus more for greasing)
  • 150g white spelt flour (or a 50/50 combination of white and wholemeal spelt flour)
  • 100g polenta
  • 125g golden caster sugar
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp fine salt
  • zest from 1 unwaxed lemon
  • 3 eggs
  • 175g frozen blueberries

Glaze

  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

You will need

  • a 450g/1lb loaf tin

Method

  1. Cake: Preheat your oven to 160°C (140°C fan). Line a 450g/1lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper and generously grease the sides with olive oil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 150g of white spelt flour (or 75g each of white and wholemeal spelt flour), 100g of polenta, 125g of golden caster sugar, 1½ teaspoons of baking powder, ½ teaspoon of fine salt and the zest from 1 unwaxed lemon. Mix well.
  3. Measure 150ml of olive oil into a jug. Separate 3 eggs, pouring the whites into a medium bowl and the yolks into the jug with the olive oil. Give the yolks and oil a quick whisk and set to one side.
  4. Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. I use an electric hand whisk and it takes around 3 minutes.
  5. Add the oil and egg yolks into the dried ingredients and combine. The mixture will look a little grainy at this stage. Gently fold in one quarter of the whisked egg whites, repeating until all the egg whites have been used up. Fold in ¾ of the frozen blueberries (from 175g).
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin, scatter over the remaining blueberries and bake for around 1 hour 15 minutes (check the cake after 1 hour - in my oven it takes 1 hour 10 minutes). Cover the cake loosely with foil if it starts to brown too early. A skewer should come out relatively clean once the cake is ready.
  7. Glaze: Mix 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to make the glaze. If your honey is solid, heat it in the microwave for a few seconds. Spoon the glaze over the cake while it’s still warm and leave to cool completely in its tin. Slice and serve with creme fraiche or yoghurt and fresh blueberries.