Manna from Heaven‘s lemony almond, polenta and coconut cakes are one of my favourite cafe treats and probably their most well known creation. I fell in love with them at the first bite and would often have one when I lived across the road from Toby’s. Moist, zesty and topped with a thick drop of lemon icing – who wouldn’t want to be best friends with such tasty little things?
You can imagine my excitement when I came across the original Manna from Heaven recipe in one of the many magazines my flatmate used to bring home from work. Although I cannot recall which mag it was in and the page does not say so I can only say that the recipe is also featured in the Manna from Heaven cookbook written by the bakery’s founder, Rachel Grisewood and published by Allen & Unwin. As I knew the recipe would come in handy once in a while I immediately confiscated the magazine from the house’s archives and added the page to my all time favourite gluten free recipes folder.
When Mr Chipconnoisseur asked me to cater for a gluten, dairy and wheat free lunch last week and I immediately thought of these little cakes. For the most part, it was not hard to adapt the recipe, although I did take a risk with omitting baking powder altogether (even the gluten free version can sometimes contain traces of wheat). The changes didn’t seem to affect the end result at all. The cakes rose and having tasted the real things, I can confidently say this slightly more allergy friendly version was just as delicious. In fact, one of the guests liked them so much, he ended up taking all the leftovers with him all the way back to Brissy. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’d call that a success!
Manna from Heaven lemon polenta cakes (gluten, dairy, wheat free)
Adapted from the Manna from Heaven cookbook by Rachel Grisewood (Allen & Unwin)
It’s a great recipe if you want to be on a safer side when catering for large groups or kids’ parties. I have also previously posted a recipe for a large gluten free lemon polenta cake.
For the cakes
- 75g nuttelex // or any other dairy free spread
- 75g white sugar
- 35g shredded coconut
- 35g almond meal
- 40g quick cook polenta (has to be the 3 min stuff otherwise cakes will be gritty)
- 1 egg
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
For the icing
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
Preheat oven to 150C fan forced (325F, gas mark 3).
To make the cakes, cream nuttelex and sugar until light and fluffy, add egg, keep mixing for another couple of minutes. Add zest, juice and dry ingredients. Fold to combine.
Grease 6-hole muffin tin with nuttelex and divide mixture between them.
Bake at 150C (fan forced) for 40 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and turn onto a wire rack to cool. Use a knife to dislodge cakes away from the sides of the tins, if necessary.
To prepare the icing combine lemon juice and icing sugar in a bowl. Drop a tablespoon of icing on top of each cake and spread a little to cover.