Sun-Dried Tomato-Pistachio Polenta Cake – The Home Bakers

Can a cupcake be savoury? or would it be called a muffin even if it’s baked in a cupcake pan? but it has ‘frosting’ (a savoury frosting) so you can call it a cupcake or?

It’s a debatable topic but I like to call The Home Bakers 8th bake ‘Sun-Dried Tomato-Pistachio Polenta Cupcakes with Olive Cream Cheese Frosting’. This is a monthly baking event organised by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours where the members all bake from the same book – “Coffee Cakes” by Lou Seibert Pappas – until every recipe has been baked from this book.

This recipe is filed under the ‘savory picnic cakes’ section of the book and it was selected by Yvette from My Worldwide Culinary Adventure. You can find the detailed recipe here on her site.

I made the full recipe which gave me 12 cupcakes and the only changes I made to the recipe was as follows:

  • Instead of olive oil I used the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes
  • I added a teaspoon of chili flakes (I love chili but I should have added more as you couldn’t really taste it)

For the olive cream cheese frosting/spread:

  • 2 tubs of Philadelphia cream cheese (herb or natural flavour)
  • 2 tablespoons olive paste (you can adjust the amount to your liking)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Beat the cream cheese then beat in the olive paste. Add salt and pepper to taste and frost/spread as desired.

This is the first time I have baked a savoury cake, at first I was a bit apprehensive but then it had all my favourite ingredients – sun-dried tomatoes, pistachio and polenta – so I couldn’t pass up this bake. The polenta gave it that grainy texture, the sun-dried tomatoes and Parmesan cheese gave it a distinct Italian flavour and the pistachio nuts gave it that nice crunch. I have to admit this cake was best eaten fresh out of the oven or warmed up as I found it slightly dry when eaten cold. Hence my addition of the olive cream cheese which matched it perfectly.

Lou Seibert Pappas – the author of the recipe book – does state that this cake is ‘an ideal complement to a Caesar salad or a lentil or bean soup for a light meal’.

But we had it as an afternoon snack whilst trying to catch the last of the summer sun here in Austria.

So instead of afternoon tea, we did as the Italians would and enjoyed a good drop of Italian red wine with a savoury cupcake in hand.

So would you call these a savoury cupcake?


I have also entered this to the Calendar Cakes Challenge hosted by Dolly Bakes and Laura Loves Cakes for

National Cupcake Week, 17 – 24 September 2012.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.