Redcurrant and Almond Cake

TImage of redcurrant bushhe squirrels got the cherries, the blackbirds scoffed the white currants, but we had a good haul of redcurrants from the garden this year. They usually end up made into jelly and the occasional summer pudding, but I thought it was time for a change. Cue my redcurrant and almond cake.

It’s a moist, flourless cake, useful for those following a gluten-free diet but pretty tasty in anyone’s book. It’s not a fancy concoction – I am useless at icing and piping and actually I prefer simple cakes to those smothered in buttercream – but it makes a fine dessert along with a dollop of Greek yoghurt or whipped cream.

Apologies for not showing the cake sliced; I left one at a friend’s house and fully intended to make another but ran out of time and certain vital ingredients. I’ll try to revisit this post soon and improve the picture content.

Redcurrant and Almond Cake

Image of redcurrant and almond cake


250g granulated sugar

250g butter

3 large eggs

250g ground almonds

125g fine polenta/cornmeal (not the grainy sort)

2 1/2g salt

5g baking powder (gluten free if necessary)

Zest of 1 orange

300g redcurrants + a few sprays for decoration

Icing sugar, for dusting the finished cake


Preheat the oven to 160C/140 fan/320F/Gas Mark 3. Grease the inside of a 23cm loose-bottomed cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.

In a large bowl, beat the butter with the sugar until smooth, pale and fluffy. In another bowl, mix together the polenta, almonds, salt and baking powder.

Add a couple of spoons of the dried mix to the butter and sugar and beat it in. Crack in an egg and beat again. Repeat until all the eggs have been incorporated into the batter (alternating the eggs and dry mix helps stop the batter from splitting). Now beat in any remaining dry mix. Gently mix in the orange zest and about three-quarters of the redcurrants.

Spoon into the tin, smooth the top, then scatter over the remaining redcurrants.

Image of cake ready for the oven

Bake for about an hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean and the cake is shrinking away from the sides. Cool in the tin.

Image of cooked cake

Once cooled, remove from the tin and plate up, lightly dusted with icing sugar (if you like) and garnished with the reserved sprays of redcurrants.

20 thoughts on “Redcurrant and Almond Cake

  1. Cake is about cake much better without icing if you ask me and this one sounds delicious Linda. The only time we see red currants here is in the lead up to Christmas. I’ve used them in summer pudding but that’s the limit of my experiece

    • I couldn’t agree more, I’m really not a fan of trowelling on buttercream. I’m guessing redcurrants are imported in Oz, then? They are delicious in a summer pudding, for sure.

  2. Oh how I love red currants. You know they were banned in most of the U.S. forever for some reason or another? Then a decade or so ago those crazy laws were loosened and somebody or another started supplying them to groceries. Alas, I guess they didn’t catch on because I never see them anymore. 🙁

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  4. Hello Mrs Portly. I am a newcomer to your site. Lovely writing and recipes. Was searching for a redcurrant cake. I’m not a great cake maker repertoire limited to the orange almond cake from Claudia Rodens book of Jewish food. This looks very similar and delicious. I’ll let you know how I get on.

    • Hi Carole, welcome to Mrs Portly’s Kitchen! Honestly, I don’t make huge numbers of cakes either as neither of us has a sweet tooth, but this is a favourite. I hope you like it and look forward to hearing your thoughts. All the best, Linda.

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