Olive Oil Cake with Polenta and Roasted Red Grapes

Have you ever wondered if you can bake with grapes? Well, you totally can! When grapes are roasted in the oven, they become ridiculously jammy and intensely sweet. This easy to make olive oil cake is moist and very tender, subtly sweet, with a pronounced olive oil flavor and the perfect hint of lemon and toasted almond! This olive oil cake also has an irresistible crunch factor folded throughout thanks to the addition of gluten free polenta. Whether you serve it for breakfast coffee cake style with coffee or you dish it up for dessert doesn’t matter! 

*** This post was originally posted 7/2/2013, but was updated with new images, nutritional information, and an updated recipe card on 9/21/2020. The original recipe has not been altered.*** 

wedges of Olive Oil Cake with Polenta and Roasted Red Grapes

Ever asked yourself the question, “Can I bake with olive oil?” 

The answer is a resounding YES!!! You can substitute olive oil for other cooking oils in most baked recipes, such as quick breads or olive oil brownies. Olive oil does have a stronger flavor than some other oils, which might affect the flavor of the baked product, but that is what we are actually going for with this cake!

This olive oil cake is the stuff that dreams are made of. There is no waiting around for a stick of butter to soften for this recipe and it comes out incredibly moist and tender every single time! When the urge strikes or the need arises you can get to baking immediately and have a perfectly decadent dessert ready in under an hour! 

A slice of Olive Oil Cake with Polenta and Roasted Red Grapes slathered with baked ricotta

You may have noticed that I have been cooking with grapes a lot lately! 

What household doesn’t have a crisper drawer FULL of grapes these days?! You can use red, green, or purple grapes for this gluten free olive oil cake recipe, the color doesn’t really matter, it is just important that whatever variety you use is seedless. We all know that grapes taste great, but did you know that grapes are loaded with nutritional benefits too?

Grape Benefits

Are grapes good for you? Of course! Grapes are packed with loads of nutrients, especially vitamin C, vitamin K and antioxidants which help to ward off chronic disease. Diets that are high in antioxidant-rich foods, such as grapes, have been linked to a lower risk of cancer.

Interested in more recipes that teach you how to cook with grapes? I have you covered! 

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Easy Rotisserie Chicken Salad Recipe 

This easy rotisserie chicken salad recipe makes a perfect healthy lunch! You can whip up four hearty servings worth in just under twenty minutes and the finished dish has a subtle honey mustard flavor vibe that my family just cannot get enough of. This salad combines shredded rotisserie chicken, crunchy celery, sweet grapes, and toasty walnuts that have all been enrobed in a simple dressing made of Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, and fresh tarragon. Take back your lunch hour with this light and refreshing rotisserie chicken salad that you are sure to love! 

A platter filled with Roasted Grape & Arugula Salad - roasted green grapes, arugula, goat cheese balls rolled in edible flowers, and slivered almonds

Roasted Grape & Arugula Salad Recipe

This salad is savory, it’s sweet, it has a jammy component that we can’t get enough of, and it all comes together in about 15 minutes! It’s a total summer salad showstopper filled with jammy roasted grapes, arugula and goat cheese! 

A big wedge of Olive Oil Cake with Polenta and Roasted Red Grapes next to a dish of baked ricotta and a bowl of fresh grapes

If you’ve made our gluten free Olive Oil Cake with Polenta and Roasted Red Grapes I would be so grateful if you would rate the recipe and let me know what you think in the comments below!

Olive Oil Cake with Polenta and Roasted Red Grapes

wedges of Olive Oil Cake with Polenta and Roasted Red Grapes

Don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you think about this Olive Oil Cake with Polenta and Roasted Red Grapes  in the comments below, I just love hearing from you and your reviews/comments really help other people that visit This Mess is Ours! 

  • Author: This Mess is Ours
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 9 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Dessert
  • Diet: Gluten Free



1 cup gluten free all-purpose flour

1/2 cup almond meal or almond flour, see note

1/4 cup polenta

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 large eggs

2/3 cup sugar

Zest of 1 large lemon

1/2 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil,plus more for pan

1/3 cup whole milk

2 cups red seedless grapes


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush an 8-inch square or round pan with olive oil then dust with gluten free flour, tapping out the excess.

Spread the almond flour on a parchment lined baking sheet and toast in the oven until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Set aside. ****

In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, toasted 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 the 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 slice into pieces.


Don’t have almond meal or almond flour handy? You can make your own!

Here is how to make almond meal at home:

Toast raw almonds in a 325°F oven until golden brown and fragrant, cool completely. Pulse the toasted almonds into a powder in a food processor fitted with the ‘s’ blade to measure 1/2 cup.

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Keywords: polenta, gluten free olive oil cake, olive oil cake, roasted grapes, roasted grape cake

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Want to try even MORE recipes that use grapes?! Keep on scrolling! 

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Concord grapes have a super short growing season that only lasts from mid-September to mid-October, so make sure you don’t miss them at the market, because the flavor combination of concord grapes and fresh rosemary are a match made in cocktail heaven!

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.


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