Overhead shot of a gluten-free polenta cake flavoured with pear and ginger with a white ginger drizzle. Recipe shown on a vintage platter on wooden table.
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5 from 14 votes

Ginger and Pear Polenta Cake (gluten-free) with Pear Drizzle

This one-bowl gluten-free ginger and pear polenta cake is really easy to make and bursting with flavour. The sweet chunks of pear balance nicely with the cornmeal crumb, crystallized ginger and pear drizzle.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, International
Servings: 10
Calories: 346kcal
Author: Kate Hackworthy | Veggie Desserts


For the Ginger and Pear Polenta Cake

  • 415 g (15oz can) of pears, drained and finely chopped (juice reserved for drizzle)
  • 180 g (2 cups) ground almonds
  • 150 g (⅔ cup) unsalted butter, softened - use dairy free butter for a dairy free cake
  • 125 g (⅔ cup) castor sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 100 g (½ cup) polenta or fine cornmeal (not quick-cook polenta)
  • 3 pieces stem ginger in syrup (finely chopped) or 1 tbsp ground ginger or 3 tbsp crystallized ginger
  • teaspoons baking powder (check that it’s gluten-free, if necessary)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

For the Pear Drizzle

  • 6 tablespoons powdered icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
  • 3-4 teaspoons pear juice


  • Preheat oven to 180C/160Cfan/350F. Grease a 23cm/9inch loose-bottomed or springform cake pan and line the base with baking parchment.

For the ginger and pear polenta cake:

  • In a large bowl, or stand mixer, beat all cake ingredients until well combined.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread out evenly.
  • Cook for 35-45 minutes until the surface is browned and the cake pulls away slightly from the sides of the tin.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan before carefully turning out.

For the pear drizzle:

  • Stir the juice and powdered sugar together until smooth. Drizzle over the completely cooled cake and serve.


  • If you don't have polenta, you can use fine cornmeal instead.
  • You can use chopped fresh pears, or canned pears in juice.
  • The stem ginger in the recipe is the balls/chunks of peeled fresh ginger, candied in syrup. 
  • Substitute stem ginger for 3 tbsp crystallised ginger (the hard dry pieces of ginger covered in hard sugar) or 1 tbsp ground ginger.
  • If you use fresh pears, make sure they're ripe and peel them over a bowl to collect the juice for the drizzle.
  • If you like your cake spicy, use extra ginger.
  • Be sure to let the cake cool before adding the drizzle or else it will absorb into the warm cake.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is created with online calculators. Info will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.


Calories: 346kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 127mg | Potassium: 119mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 470IU | Vitamin C: 1.4mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 1.1mg