Apple Polenta Cake

Hello everyone! So, I’m fully embracing fall in this recipe. Yeah, it’s time to showcase some apples! This Apple Polenta Cake is amazing!

This cake is essentially an apple flavored cornbread topped with soft caramelized apples. I mean, come on! How could you not like this one?

Let’s walk through the ingredients:

Polenta, or cornmeal, is a great vehicle…, really Melissa? VEHICLE? Sorry… Let’s just say it tastes good in cakes. Cornbread is often associated with savory food, but why not sweet? Cornbread has this addictive flavor to it that you can’t find anywhere else.

Apples are, of course, a classic baking ingredient. I used organic honeycrisp apples here. I would recommend a firm and crispy apple here as opposed to soft ones like gala or golden delicious. They break down easier so they will not hold up like honeycrisp or granny smith do.

This cake is definitely not an upside down cake because it doesn’t caramelize, but the texture is super balanced. The cake is fluffy and moist while the apples are a nice soft texture.

I, honestly, was expecting caramelization, but there wasn’t any. But, I actually like the cake without the browning on the top. Basically, I really like the cake this way which is why I am posting it!!

I am running out of things to write about. I did use the applesauce I posted a week ago in this recipe to really bring out the apple flavors. If you don’t have the time for applesauce or something, you could also use mashed banana or pumpkin puree. Keep in mind that the flavors will change with the fruit you choose.

I really hope you like this recipe because we seriously did. Thank gosh I managed to take photos before it disappeared. This cake makes a great and healthy breakfast, but can also be a stunning and delicious dessert.

5 Word Summary:






5 from 2 votes

Apple Polenta Cake

This cake has amazing textures and flavors that you can't find anywhere else.

Vegan, dairy-free, and oil-free.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword angel food cake, apple, polenta, upside down cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 1 cake
Calories 250 kcal


for the topping:

  • 1/2 medium apple (thinly sliced)
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar 1

for the cake;

  • 1 1/2 cup cornmeal 2
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour 3
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup non dairy milk 4
  • 3/4 cup applesauce 5
  • 3/4 cup liquid sweetener 6


for the topping:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375F. Line a 8 by 8 square pan or cake pan with parchment paper or oil. Sprinkle the 1 tbsp of sugar over the parchment. Then arrange the fruit to cover the entire bottom. Make sure there are no gaps. Set aside.

for the cake:

  1. In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together.
  2. In another bowl, mix all the wet ingredients together.
  3. Combine the wet with the dry. Do not mix too much.
  4. Pour the batter gently onto the arranged fruit. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  5. Let cool before inverting. Make sure to level the top of the cake as to not squish the cake. Once the cake is leveled, then slice it and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  1. Use any type of granulated sugar. I used organic cane sugar.
  2. Use a coarser ground of cornmeal. Fine ground might not hold up as nicely as medium ground.
  3. White whole wheat, spelt, and all purpose flour work here too.
  4. Any non dairy milk works. I used soy milk.
  5. I make applesauce by microwaving a peeled and diced apple and then blending it. You could also make my One-Ingredient Applesauce. Store bought works too.
  6. Any liquid sweetener will work. I used pure maple syrup.

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