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Lisa Faulkner's coconut and polenta cake

Lisa Faulkner / 27 April 2017

Lisa Faulkner provides this scrumptious coconut and polenta cake with honey syrup and berries on behalf of Great Ormond Street Hospital's Bake it Better charity baking event.

Lisa Faulkner's coconut and polenta cake
Lisa Faulkner's coconut and polenta cake. Photograph by Chris Terry.

Cooking time

40-50 minutes




For the cake

  • 140g coconut oil
  • 120ml maple syrup
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 200g ground almonds
  • 100g polenta
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Grated zest and juice of one lemon
  • 2 tbsp milk (I use coconut)
  • 125g runny honey

To serve

  • Few drops of orange blossom water (optional)
  • 400g raspberries and blueberries
  • Crème fraiche or natural yoghurt, to serve (optional)


I made this cake up one spring day when I was meant to be writing a cookery book. I always find the beginning of the writing process pretty hard and will find anything to do except sit at my laptop! I wanted to make a cake that could be served warm as a pudding as those are my favourite. This one also happens to be gluten free, though that wasn’t my intention when I made it. The cake is delicious and moist and the honey syrup with the berries really works. I have made this again and again for friends and family and, without fail, everyone loves it.

Heat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Grease and line a 23cm cake tin with baking parchment.

In a stand mixer or with an electric hand whisk, beat together the coconut oil and mayple syrup, then whisk in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the almonds, polenta, baking poweder, lemon zest and jouce and the milk and pour into the prepared tin. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

When the cake has just come out of the oven, heat the honey and 60ml water in a pan until warmed through and just starting to simmer, then add a few drops of orange blosson water, if using. Skewer the cake so there are lots of holes in it, then pour the honey syrup all over it. Leave to cool in the tin.

Remove from the tin, top with the berries and a good dollop of creme fraiche or natural yoghurt if using, and serve.

Bake it Better for Great Ormond Street Hospital

Lisa Faulkner has provided this recipe to support Great Ormond Street Hospital's Bake it Better - an annual event to help raise money for the famous children's hospital. Host a charity cake sale at home, work or in a community space to help fund life-saving research, fund new equipment and provide important support for families.

Bake it Better takes place from May 22-28. For more information, and to sign up and request a Bake it Better fundraising kit, visit

Find out how to host a charity baking sale

Visit our baking section for more delicious cakes, biscuits and bread recipes


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.