Cooking for the Sensitive Gut

Elderflower power

We love this gluten free polenta cake. It takes 10 minutes to weigh out and mix the ingredients together and just 40 minutes to cook. It can also be adapted to the flavours of the seasons.

Using the same basic cake recipe you can ring the changes by using a different flavoured syrup to top the cake.

In winter tangy, orange and cardamon flavoured syrup would be perfect just as the large navel oranges arrive. And in in the New Year pink, forced rhubarb and ginger syrup would be great. When the hedgerows are full of elderflowers at this time of the year it is easy to adapt the recipe to make an elderflower and lemon syrup to pour over the cake.

This cake is gluten free and uses low FODMAP ingredients but it does contain some vegetable oil. So if you are sensitive to fat just stick to eating a slice. Enjoy.

Lemon and elderflower polenta cake

Serves 12

  • 45 g polenta
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 100 g ground almonds
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 200 ml light vegetable oil, such as sunflower or rapeseed
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten

For the syrup

  • 55 g/ 2 oz granulated sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 dry elderflower heads, checked over for insects and stalks removed
  • 50ml water

To decorate

  • 3 slices of thinly cut lemon
  • dry elderflowers, checked over for insects


Line a 1lb loaf tin (measuring 16 cm by 11 cm by 7 cm) with a non stick cake liner.

Combine the polenta, caster sugar, ground almonds and lemon zest and baking powder in a large bowl.   Whisk the eggs and oil together and gradually beat these into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon to form a thick batter.

Position the loaf tin on a baking tray and fill it with the cake batter. Place the baking tray, and cake, in a cold oven and set it at 190°C/ 375°F/ gas 5. Bake the cake for 40 minutes or until it is golden brown and a skewer can be inserted and removed clean from the centre of the cake.

Remove the cake from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack.

For the syrup.  Bring the sugar, lemon juice, water and elderflowers up to the boil and reduce the heat slightly. Simmer the syrup for 5 minutes, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Allow some of the water to evaporate so that it becomes syrupy and a little sticky. Strain the syrup and reserve to finish the cake.

Place the cake on a plate or cake stand and with a skewer stab the cake all over to create drainage holes for the syrup. Pour the spiced syrup over the cake while it is cooling.

Decorate the cake with thinly cut lemon slices and elderflowers.

To find out more about managing your sensitive gut go to The IBS NetworkIBSLogowithstrap March 2011

This entry was written by Joan Ransley and published on June 27, 2015 at 1:12 pm. It’s filed under Cake and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Elderflower power

  1. Looks brilliant! x

  2. This looks really pretty.

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