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I love how baking can build a sense of connection with each other, especially during the winter months. Having a fresh cake to share feels so welcoming. We may invite friends or family, or reach out to a lonely neighbor and make their day.

I served up this wheat-free lemon cake at one of our recent retreats and was asked for the recipe by a number of our guests, so here it is.

Benefits: Rosemary is a powerful herb, with numerous benefits, and may help to improve brain function and memory. This cake is wheat and gluten-free too, so ideal for those with a sensitivity to either. This recipe uses polenta and almonds, rather than flour, and coconut sugar rather than refined, which creates a deep, rich, moist cake. That lasts for a number of days in an airtight tin.


200 g butter

200 g coconut sugar

200 g ground almonds

100 g fine polenta 

1½ tsp baking powder 

3 large eggs

zest of 2 lemons

2 sprigs of rosemary chopped finely 


For the syrup:

juice of 2 lemons

100 g icing sugar



  • Line and grease a loaf tin.

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/ 350°F.

  • Cream the butter and sugar till pale and fluffy

  • beat the eggs add slowly add these to the butter and sugar mixture. 

  • Combine the almonds, polenta, baking powder and lemon zest, then slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet.

  • Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes.Test with a sharp knife, which should come out clean.

  • Make the syrup by melting the lemon juice and icing sugar in a bowl.

Prick the top of the cake all over with a fine skewer. Pour the warm syrup over the cake, and leave to cool before taking it out of its tin.

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