Olive Oil Cake with Polenta and Roasted Red Grapes

Olive Oil, Polenta, and Red Grape Cake {Beard and Bonnet} #gfree #glutenfree

Maybe you are like me and just haven’t gotten into the whole lets mix blueberries and strawberries with some other fruit-fangled July 4th recipe this week. I may be behind the rest of the blogging/culinary world here, and I really don’t have a single thing against the more traditional red, white, and blue recipes. They are DELICIOUS! It’s just that I have been stuck in a very flavorful fruit rut lately with grapes. These aren’t your regular red grapes that you buy at the store. Oh no, these are the most amazing grapes I have ever had in my whole life from my favorite organic farmer, Tony. Every week I head over to our farmers market to visit with Tony and his crew, and just like a kid headed to their favorite candy store I can hardly wait to see what has popped up out of his garden over the past week.

Each week for almost a month I have snagged 2 pounds of these little red beauties with the intention of making this cake and each week until now the grapes are gone before I can get around to whipping up the cake. Maybe you are wondering how on earth I snagged 2 cups of grapes out of this week’s batch…I blame it on the two instantaneously devoured cantaloupes from Tony’s stand that were also intended for a B & B post. Those melons didn’t have a chance around here! They made it home and then straight into the bellies of the dozen people hanging out at our house after the market last week. Oh well, there is always next week for a cantaloupe crazed post.

So here it is…my red and white cake that I baked in a blue rimmed pan just to be a little more festive! In case you are concerned that the cake will not be as delicious without Tony’s fantastical grapes, the recipe works just fine with grapes straight from the grocery store too. I love the bite that the polenta gives this simple, rustic cake and the depth of flavor that the roasted grapes lend is nothing short of amazing. Not too sweet with a bright lemony finish.

We hope you all have a safe and happy July 4th, with lots of family, friends, and delicious food! What scrumptious dishes will be gracing your July 4th get together?

Olive Oil Cake with Polenta and Roasted Red Grapes
Adapted from Martha Stewart
1/2 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for pan
1 cup Better Batter, or other g-free all-purpose flour
1/2 cup almond meal/flour, toasted
1/4 cup quick cooking polenta
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
Zest of 1 large lemon
1/3 cup whole milk
2 cups red seedless grapes

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the almond flour on a parchment lined baking sheet and toast in the oven until fragrant, about 5 minutes. *You can also toast whole almonds and then grind them into a powder to measure 1/2 cup. Brush an 8-inch square pan with olive oil then dust with flour, tapping out the excess. In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, almond meal, polenta, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the eggs, sugar, and lemon zest on high speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; slowly stream in the olive oil. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and scatter the top with half of the grapes. Bake for 15 minutes. Scatter the remaining grapes over the cake. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25-27 minutes more. Let cool in the pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn out and cut into squares.


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  1. Carole July 2, 2013 at 10:19 am


    1. Meg July 2, 2013 at 12:01 pm

      Polenta is similar to yellow cornmeal:) Check out this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polenta
      It is an amazing and super versatile ingredient. Of course, if you do not have polenta you can substitute coarsely ground yellow cornmeal. in this recipe.

  2. Eleanor February 16, 2015 at 6:09 am

    Hi there,
    Randomly came across your recipe when I googled ‘gluten free’ and ‘grapes’, looking for something to bake to use up grapes grown by family. This recipe sounded and looked great. I adjusted the recipe a little as I didn’t have any pre-mix GF flour (I used a combo of buckwheat, rice and potato), and I had only coconut sugar. The texture is wonderful, and I like the baked grapes (though worth noting it’d be better with seedless grapes!). Alas, I used less than the half teaspoon of salt and still found it rather salty.. I’d suggest a pinch or two would suffice. Hoping my workmates will still eat this with a cuppa tomorrow. I’d like to bake it again with less salt. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Meg February 16, 2015 at 6:43 am

      So glad you liked the cake Eleanor ad that teh recipe adapted well with the adjustments that you made. I can’t even imagine growing our own grapes! That sounds like a blast.


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