Gluten-Free Roasted Rhubarb & Strawberry Polenta Cake

My dear friend Ashley has declared it to be the Summer of Popsicles.  And I am super excited to see all the popsicle creations she ends up blogging this summer.  And even more excited to get to taste-test some of them (hint hint). Her Roasted Strawberry & Coconut Popsicles have gotten me all excited about popsicles — and about roasting strawberries.  So after a vibrant brunch with Ashley and our friend Dani this morning, I got home and popped some strawberries in the oven.  Along with some rhubarb.  Mmmm.


I thought it would be great to put them in a cake, and so poked through one of my all-time favourite cookbooks (Tender by Nigel Slater.  Volume 1 is all about veggies, and Volume 2 is all about fruit) to see if there were any clever ideas.  And of course, the brilliant Nigel Slater came up with a rhubarb and cinnamon polenta cake.

I thought I’d experiment with a gluten-free version, added strawberries, swapped around the fat & sugar, and came up with this deliciousness.


I always think that Nigel Slater is brilliant, but his most brilliant move in this cake (besides the orange zest!) is to reserve the liquid that you get after roasting the rhubarb and strawberries, and then pour it over the cake when you serve it.  Yes, this is happiness.  (A.k.a. “Liquid Summer” — which was also the name that Dani & I gave to this morning’s fantastic raspberry limeade from Carol at Belmonte Raw!)



It’s like a cross between a cake and a crumble (a cakeble? crumbake?) with a cakey bottom, fruity middle, and crumbly top.   Enjoy in good health!


Roasted Rhubarb & Strawberry Polenta Cake
Adapted from Nigel Slater’s Rhubarb Cinnamon Polenta Cake, from Tender, Volume 2

  • 300g (2-3 stalks) fresh rhubarb, chopped
  • 200g strawberries (1 1/2 c.), hulled
  • 60ml (1/4 c.) maple syrup
  • 125g (3/4 c.) coarse polenta (coarse cornmeal)
  • 200g (1 1/4 c.) brown rice flour
  • 5g (1 tsp.) baking powder
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 150g (3/4 c.) + 24g (2 Tbsp.) organic coconut palm sugar
  • 50g (2.3 c.) coconut oil
  • the zest of an orange + 30 ml (2 Tbsp.) of the juice
  • 1 large egg

Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a springform cake pan.

In a large baking dish, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, and maple syrup.  Roast at 350F for 30 minutes, until the rhubarb is tender.  Drain in a colander or sieve, saving the juice for topping the cake.

Prepare the cake batter in a food processor or in a bowl using your fingers.  Add the polenta, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, 150 g (3/4 c.) of the palm sugar, coconut oil, and orange zest to the bowl and blitz or smush together with your fingers until you get a texture like coarse breadcrumbs.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the orange juice and egg.  Add to the polenta mixture and blitz or stir until all ingredients are incorporated.

Press 2/3 of the batter into the prepared springform pan, smushing it up the sides of the pan with your fingers.  Pour the roasted rhubarb & strawberries into the centre of the batter.


Top with crumbles of the remaining cake batter:

And sprinkle with the remaining 24g (2 Tbsp.) of coconut palm sugar.

Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes, then let cool a bit before removing the sides of the springform pan.  This cake cuts into tidier slices when you first let it cool.



Cut into slices and serve, drizzled with the juice from roasting the fruits.



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Categories: Dessert, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian


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9 Comments on “Gluten-Free Roasted Rhubarb & Strawberry Polenta Cake”

  1. Mike S.
    June 24, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

    Or Lordy! I just drooled on my freshly laundered t- shirt! Damn you Gluten- freeites!!!

    Looks deeeeeelish!

    • June 24, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

      Hey — I share cake with everyone, you don’t have to be gluten-free!! Save you some for Wednesday? xo

  2. June 25, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

    You bring me cake, I give you popsicles.
    (mint-chocolate ones just went in the freezer)

  3. June 26, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    Oh my…this looks so good! So many great recipes and so little time!!!

  4. March 4, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

    Is it possible to use egg replacer or flax or chia instead of egg on this awesome looking recipe?


    • March 7, 2013 at 12:15 am #

      I haven’t tried it yet, Cat, but I think it would work well. Let me know if you give it a go!


  1. Raspberries & Cream Ice Slice | The Kitchen Operas - August 8, 2012

    […] like I did for my Gluten-Free Roasted Rhubarb & Strawberry Polenta Cake, I opened up Nigel Slater’s Tender, Volume 2 (it’s the fruit book, Volume 1 is the […]

  2. Top 12 Recipes of 2012 | The Kitchen Operas℠ - December 31, 2012

    […] 6. Gluten-Free Roasted Rhubarb & Strawberry Polenta Cake […]

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