Enjoy free shipping on orders over $100.
Melissa Weller's A Good Bake

Polenta Cake with Dried Apricot Compote

Polenta Cake with Dried Apricot Compote

When my friend the food writer Charlotte Druckman was writing a story about New York City bodegas (small grocers) for the website Food52, she asked me for a recipe she could include that was made with ingredients you could find at a bodega. This is that recipe, and when I make it, I do buy all of the ingredients at my local bodega in Brooklyn. It is a simple cake to make: Mix up the batter, scoop it into a cake pan, and bake. It’s not too sweet, so it’s a cake you might leave on the table for your family to snack on one sliver at a time. I used to serve this with kumquat compote, but kumquats have such a short season that I started using dried apricots instead, because you can find them anytime, anywhere — even at the bodega.

Cookware used in this recipe

Get prepared
Arrange the oven racks so one is in the center position. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spray Patty Cake with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Make the batter
Put the flour, polenta, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.

Place the butter, sugar, and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula once or twice, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each egg is incorporated and stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl before adding another egg. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. With the mixer running on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions and the milk in two, alternating between the dry and wet ingredients and ending with the dry ingredients. Turn off the mixer and remove the bowl from the stand. Finish mixing the cake with a rubber spatula, making sure to scrape the very bottom of the bowl.

Bake the cake
Scoop the batter into the prepared Patty Cake pan and use a small offset spatula to smooth and level the top. Place the cake on the center rack of the oven and bake for 30 minutes, until it springs back when touched in the center and a small knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes. Invert the cake onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Gently turn the cake right side up
to slice. Slice the cake and serve with apricot compote on the side.

Photos by Adam Friedlander

Excerpted from A GOOD BAKE: The Art and Science of Making Perfect Pastries, Cakes, Cookies, Pies, and Breads at Home by Melissa Weller with Carolynn Carreño. Copyright © 2020 by Melissa Weller. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.

Melissa Weller's A Good Bake
Chocolate Babka
Chocolate Babka
See recipe
Melissa Weller's A Good Bake
Strawberry Jam and Hazelnut Rugelach
Strawberry Jam and Hazelnut Rugelach
See recipe
Melissa Weller's A Good Bake
Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet Potato Pie
See recipe
Your Cart