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Polenta Grape Cake

A rustic polenta cake is studded with red grapes and rosemary.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 12

Photography: Mike Krautter

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2015


  • 1 stick unsalted butter, plus more, room temperature, for baking pan
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking polenta
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 2 cups red seedless grapes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 teaspoons sanding sugar or granulated sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with butter. Line bottom and two sides with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang; butter parchment.

  2. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium. Simmer, swirling pan occasionally, until butter turns golden brown and nutty-smelling, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl; let cool completely. Meanwhile, whisk together flour, polenta, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

  3. Beat cooled butter, granulated sugar, and honey on medium-high speed until mixture resembles a sandy paste, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Reduce speed to low and beat in flour mixture in two batches, alternating with milk, just until combined (do not overmix). Fold in 1 cup grapes.

  4. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing top. Bake 15 minutes. Scatter remaining 1 cup grapes, rosemary, and sanding sugar over top. Bake until golden and a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; remove cake using parchment and let cool completely on rack. Serve warm or room temperature.

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