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Polenta Pound Cake with Elderflower Crème Anglaise

The dense pound cake is flavored with orange-flower water, a fragrant distillate made from bitter-orange blossoms.

Plus: More Dessert Recipes and Tips

  • Servings: 8

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  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 sticks ( 3/4 pound) unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup orange-flower water (see Note)
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
  • Elderflower Crème Anglaise, for serving
  • Mixed fresh berries, for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter and flour a 2-quart loaf pan (10 by 5 by 3 inches). In a bowl, sift together the flour, polenta and salt.
  2. In a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the sugar and butter at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until each is incorporated. Add the orange-flower water and orange zest and beat until blended. Mix in the dry ingredients at low speed until thoroughly moistened, scraping the side and bottom of the bowl as necessary.
  3. Spread the batter in the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake in the center of the oven for about 2 hours, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Slice the cake and serve it with the Elderflower Crème Anglaise and fresh berries.

Make Ahead

The cake can be wrapped in plastic and stored in an air-tight container for several days.


Orange-flower water is available at Middle Eastern groceries and specialty food shops.

Suggested Pairing

To complete a summer supper, return to something cold and sparkling. No wine is quite as refreshing with dessert as a Moscato d'Asti from Italy.

Contributed By Photo © Simon Watson Published July 1998

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