Fig and Ricotta Polenta Cake Recipe

A slightly sweet and delicate cake, perfect for dessert, but just as good at breakfast or as a snack.
June 10, 2020, 11:00am
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Serves 8 to 12
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes


8 tablespoons|116 grams|1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing
1 cup|85 grams almond flour
¾ cup|155 grams finely ground polenta or grits
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup|125 grams granulated sugar
¼ cup|100 grams plus 1 teaspoon honey
5 large eggs
¼ cup|60 ml olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 ½ cups|390 grams ricotta, drained
1 cup|185 grams roughly chopped dried figs
½ cup|80 grams roughly chopped marcona almonds (or regular almonds)
¾ teaspoon flaky sea salt
½ cup|125 ml heavy whipping cream
⅓ cup|44 grams confectioners’ sugar


  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan or cake pan with butter and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, polenta, baking powder, and kosher salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl and using a hand mixer, beat the 8 tablespoons of butter with the granulated sugar and ¼ cup|100 grams honey over medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure each is fully incorporated before adding another. Add the oil, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla, and the lemon zest and juice to combine, then mix in 1 cup of the ricotta. Add the dry ingredients and mix to combine, then fold in ¾ cups|120 grams of the figs and 6 tablespoons of the almonds.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Place the remaining figs and almonds over the top of the cake. Sprinkle with the flaky salt and bake until the cake is golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool slightly.
  5. Meanwhile, make the ricotta cream. In a large bowl and using a hand mixer, whip the cream, confectioners’ sugar, and the remaining teaspoon of honey and ½ teaspoon of vanilla until stiff peaks form. Fold in the remaining ½ cup|145 grams ricotta and cover. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  6. Slice the cake and divide among plates. Serve with the ricotta cream on top.

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