Upside Down Orange and Blueberry Polenta Cake



The highlight of every February is the much anticipated arrival of a box of Honeybells (also called Tangelos) thanks to Tim and Lolly’s generous annual gift. For those who have never had one, they are a cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit taking the best from each fruit; the juiciness of the grapefruit and the sweetness of the tangerine.  As corny as it sounds, they bring a touch of summer to this otherwise cold and depressing month. My box arrived last week and there are so many that I try to incorporate them into recipes as well as the obvious morning glass of OJ and the “occasional” evening cocktail.


For all my love of cooking, I have a primal fear of baking. One that I plan to overcome but that I’ve managed to hide for years by having this ONE amazing cake recipe. It is so easy and foolproof that it makes everyone who bakes it look like a domestic goddess. I even baked 4 of them at once when cooking for a friend’s large dinner that included the likes of Al Pacino and Sting! Thank god they went for my first suggestion of dessert as I didn’t actually have a second.


It comes from the self nominated domestic goddess, Nigella Lawson but was introduced to me by my fairy godmother, Eliot who first made it for me over 10 years ago. I thought I’d bake it for ValentinA’s day and get to use some of those juicy Honeybells – killing two birds with one stone.



Upside Down Orange and Blueberry Polenta Cake

Serves 6-8 people

Ingredients and Supplies: 

Parchment paper

1 1/3 cup of sugar

3 cups of blueberries

2 large eggs

The zest of 1 large orange (I just substituted a Honeybell wherever the recipe calls for an orange)

2/3 cup of freshly squeezed orange

2/3 cup of olive oil (not extra virgin)

1/2 cup of polenta

1 1/4 cup of all purpose white flour

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of salt



1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Grease and line the pan (I use an 8 x 8 inch pan) with the parchment paper hanging over the edges.

3. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of sugar over the base then cover with the blueberries.

4. In a large bowl, mix the eggs with 1 cup of sugar and the orange zest.

5. Whisk until mixed then add the orange juice and olive oil and continue mixing.

6. Add polenta, flour, baking powder and salt and mix until smooth.

7. Pour over the blueberries and bake in oven for approximately 45 minutes (insert a skewer and test – skewer should come out clean when cake is done).

8. It should be a nice golden brown on top and still springy to the touch.

9. Let cool for about 10 minutes and then invert over a plate and remove the pan and gently peel off the parchment paper.