Orange and almond polenta bundt cake

This moist and sticky polenta cake isn't just full of sweet orange and rich almonds; it's also completely vegan. It makes the most of the vegan wonder-ingredient aquafaba (the water from a can of chickpeas), which is whisked into a stiff meringue to add body and lightness to both the cake itself and the coconut yoghurt crème.

First published in 2019

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Orange and almond polenta bundt cake

  • 200g of ground almonds
  • 50g of polenta, the yellow quick-cook variety
  • 80g of plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 100g of aquafaba
  • 100g of caster sugar
  • 100g of olive oil
  • 50g of golden syrup
  • 1 large orange, zested and peeled
  • 100g of non-dairy butter, melted

Marmalade glaze

Yoghurt créme

  • 80g of aquafaba
  • 40g of caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 150g of coconut yoghurt

Equipment

  • Blender
  • 24cm bundt tin
  • Food mixer with whisk attachment

Method

1
Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 5. Grease a bundt tin
2
To make the cake, place the ground almonds, polenta, flour and baking powder in a bowl and mix together. Whisk the aquafaba in a stand mixer until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the caster sugar and continue to whisk until glossy and all the sugar grains have dissolved
  • 200g of ground almonds
  • 50g of polenta, yellow quick-cook
  • 80g of plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 100g of aquafaba
  • 100g of caster sugar
3
Cut the zested and peeled orange into quarters (reserve the zest for garnishing). Place the olive oil, golden syrup and quartered orange into a blender and blitz until a smooth paste has formed. Add the melted butter, then add this mixture to the dry ingredients. Fold gently until just combined
4
Fold in the aquafaba meringue then pour the mixture into the greased cake tin. Bake for 35–45 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean. If the cake is beginning to brown too much, cover with foil and continue to cook
5
Allow to cool slightly then turn out onto a cooling rack. Mix the marmalade with the zest and juice of the second orange and pour the mixture over the cake
6
To make the yogurt créme, whisk the remaining aquafaba until stiff in a stand mixer. Add the caster sugar and whisk until glossy. Add the xanthan gum and continue whisking until stiff. Whisk the coconut yoghurt in a bowl then fold into the meringue
  • 150g of coconut yoghurt
  • 80g of aquafaba
  • 40g of caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
7
Serve a slice of cake with the yogurt créme and garnish with the reserved orange zest

From New Zealand law student to the opening of her first solo sustainable restaurant Apricity (which won a Michelin green star in 2023), Chantelle Nicholson’s hard work and determination – especially in evolving free-from and plant-based cooking at the highest level – has cemented her reputation as one of the UK's most forward-thinking chefs.

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