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.
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.