Sultana Walnut Cornmeal Cake

4.8/5 - (10 votes)

This Sultana Walnut Cornmeal Cake is perfect for snacking, or as a dessert.

The sultanas provide such a wonderful fruitiness. Then the walnuts, chopped, provide a crunch and such a great flavour. Together with some cornmeal, in the batter, they combine to give a great texture to a cake that is difficult to resist.

So sultanas, walnuts and cornmeal enhance a simple cake batter. But you could swap out the sultanas and walnut for a different fruit and nut combination and still have a wonderful cake. For instance, pecans pair well with dried fruits such as cranberries, cherries and apricots. Hazelnut work well with raisins. So you can vary the ingredients to suit your preferences.

Sultana Walnut Cornmeal Cake
Sultana Walnut Cornmeal Cake

The recipe is simple and takes little time to prepare. It can be prepared by hand, with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer. Simply soak the sultanas for a while and then drain and dry them. That will plump them up nicely. Then make the cake batter with cornmeal, flour, butter, sugar, mascarpone, eggs salt and raising agents. A little zest, orange and lemon, will add a subtle citrus flavour too.

The cake batter is made in just a few minutes, then the cake is baked for slightly less than an hour. Of course you should then leave the cake to cool completely before slicing, if possible.

My Cake

55 minutes was enough time to bake my cake perfectly. It rose well and a skewer poked into the centre came out clean.

So I removed the cake from the oven and left it in the cake pan for 15 minutes. Then I transferred it to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the cake had cooled I cut a slice for tasting. It cut well, being nice and firm, due to the inclusion of the cornmeal. My sultanas did sink a little, so in the recipe below I have adjusted things, so coat them in a little flour.

Sultana Walnut Cornmeal Cake - Slice
Sultana Walnut Cornmeal Cake – Slice

I then had a taste and what a lovely flavour it had. The sweet fruitiness of the sultanas and the nutty crunch of the walnuts made a perfect combination.

The cake was just perfect for a snack with a lovely cup of tea. Though I also think it would be great with cream or ice-cream, or even custard, as a dessert.

Sultana Walnut Cornmeal Cake – Video

Another great cake is Lemon Cake with Pecan Streusel.

Sultana Walnut Cornmeal Cake

Recipe by geoffcooCourse: Cakes, DessertsDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 150g(1 cup, base on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) plain flour

  • 92g(2/3 cup) cornmeal(not coarse)

  • 140g(10 tbsp) softened unsalted butter

  • 200g(1 cup) caster sugar

  • 225g(1 cup) mascarpone(or ricotta, Greek Yoghurt or similar)

  • 2 medium eggs(large in USA)

  • 8g(2 tsp) baking powder

  • 2g(1/2 tsp) baking soda(bicarbonate of soda)

  • 3g(1/2 tsp) salt

  • Zest from one orange and one lemon

  • 120g(1 cup) sultanas, soaked in hot water for an hour then drained and dried.

  • 50(1/2 cup) roughly chopped walnuts

  • 8g(about 1 tbsp) flour to toss the sultanas.


  • Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F
  • Grease and flour an 8 inch/20cm cake pan, preferably loose bottomed, that is at least 2 inches deep.
  • In a large bowl(or stand mixer) cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined.
  • Next add in the mascarpone and zests and mix again until combined.
  • Put the cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the flour and stir around until combined.
  • Pour the dry mixture onto the wet and mix until just combined.
  • Toss the sultanas in the tablespoon of flour.
  • Add the sultanas and walnuts to the cake batter and mix in until evenly distributed.
  • Place the batter into the prepared cake pan and spread until even and covering the entire base.
  • Bake the cake for 45 to 55 minutes, until it has risen and a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and leave it in the pan for 15 minutes. Then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.

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