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Salted Honey Polenta Cake (Alivanca)

Slofoodgroup Team September 07, 2022

Alivanca with Honey and Sea Salt

Alivanca is an easy and traditional Romanian cake. It is somewhere in between a custard cake and cornbread and it can be traced back to the Roman occupation of Romania in the 6th century BC.

Our recipe for  is a foolproof, versatile dish that can be made with pantry items. Cream, milk, or even ricotta can be substituted for yogurt. A mix of corn and wheat flour can also be used instead of corn flour. Although this treat is delicious by itself, we like to finish it with honey-lemon syrup and sprinkle flake sea salt on top. A touch of light, crunchy textured flake sea salt makes the citrus in the syrup fresher and adds complexity to the entire cake. 

Serves: 8

Prep Time: 5‘

Cooking Time: 45’

Additional Time: 0’ 

Honey-Lemon Polenta Cake


For the cake:

  • 4 cups yogurt
  • 4 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower or canola oil
  • 2 cups corn flour

    For the syrup:

    • 4 tablespoons honey
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon water
    • flake sea salt to sprinkle on top

      To serve:

      • dollop of crème fraîche
      • fresh fruits or jam


        1. Preheat oven to 180°C/360°F, fan on.

        2. Add all the cake ingredients except the corn flour to a bowl and mix thoroughly.

        3. Once all the ingredients are well combined, stir in the corn flour.

        4. Pour the batter into a parchment-lined cake tin.

        5. Bake the cake at 180°C/360°F for 45 min. Cover with aluminum foil midway to avoid burning.

        6. In the meanwhile, prepare the syrup for the cake. To a saucepan, heat the honey, lemon juice, water, and a pinch of salt. Cook on medium until reduced to a light syrup.

        7. When done, remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the tin.

        8. Whilst cooling, spoon the syrup over the cake and sprinkle the flake sea salt on top.

        9. Serve next to fresh fruit or jam and crème fraîche.