Fig Pistachio & Polenta Cake + Pomegranate Syrup & Rose Labneh Frosting {gluten-free}

Fig Pistachio & Polenta Cake + Pomegranate Syrup & Rose Labneh Frosting (gluten-free) | The Polka Dotter

A gluten-free pistachio polenta cake, soaked in spiced pomegranate syrup, smothered in rose labneh frosting and adorned with fresh figs.

  • Author: Salma



Pistachio Polenta Cake

  • 60g unsalted butter, softened
  • 125g brown sugar
  • 60g Greek yoghurt
  • 60g almond meal
  • 60g shelled, roasted, unsalted pistachios
  • 100g polenta
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp cardamom
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • 30ml (1/4 cup) pomegranate juice
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature

Pomegranate Syrup

  • 125ml (1/2 cup) pomegranate juice
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Rose Labneh Frosting

  • 440g Greek yoghurt
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 12 tsp rosewater

To Serve

  • 45 fresh figs, washed and sliced into quarters
  • Handful roasted slivered almonds and sliced pistachios


Pistachio Polenta Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 175°C (155°C fan-forced) and grease or line one 15cm (6”) cake tin with greaseproof paper.
  2. Place pistachios on a small tray and roast for 5-7 minutes until fragrant, taking care not to burn. Allow to cool, then finely process to a pistachio meal.
  3. Beat butter and sugar in a free-standing mixer with paddle attachment until light and fluffy, then add yoghurt and beat further to combine.
  4. Place pistachio meal, almond meal, polenta, baking powder and ground spices in a bowl and mix together.
  5. Add dry ingredients to creamed butter, yoghurt and sugar in two batches, alternating with the pomegranate juice.
  6. Add eggs one by one, scraping the bowl down between each addition.
  7. Pour batter into prepared cake tin, smoothing the surface.
  8. Bake cake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Using a very thin skewer, place 12-15 holes in the cake, then spoon over with hot syrup. Allow to cool completely in cake tin.

Pomegranate Syrup

  1. Dissolve sugar in juice in a small saucepan over low-medium heat.
  2. Crack the cardamom pods and place them in the saucepan along with the cloves and cinnamon.
  3. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon.
  4. Remove from heat, then spoon two-thirds of the hot syrup over the hot cake, reserving the remainder for drizzling prior to serving.

Rose Labneh Frosting

  1. Assemble a sieve over a large bowl, then place a cheesecloth or fine muslin over sieve.
  2. Place yoghurt on cheesecloth, sprinkle with salt then gently twist the cheesecloth around the yoghurt to form a ball.
  3. Allow yoghurt to sit for 24-36 hours in the fridge. This will strain the yoghurt, removing the excess water and turning it into labneh, with a consistency slightly softer than cream cheese.
  4. When ready to make labneh into frosting – whisk icing sugar, vanilla and rosewater to taste into the labneh.

To Serve

  1. This cake is best assembled just prior to serving, given the fresh figs, the syrup and high dairy content of the frosting. If needed, it can be assembled up to a couple of hours prior to serving, then refrigerated and removed 30 minutes or so prior to serving to allow the cake to come to room temperature.
  2. To serve, place cake on serving dish and drizzle with remaining syrup, then top with rose labneh frosting.
  3. Decorate with fresh fig slices and sprinkle with pistachios and almonds.



Makes one 15cm (6”) cake and serves 6-8