In the Kitchen With: Pauline Boldt’s Cornmeal Cake with Candied Lemons

I met photographer and creative director Pauline Boldt virtually after we worked on the same photography project here in Rome. We didn’t meet during the project; maybe we saw each other and never knew who the other was. When I finished my part, I went to the Slow Food Salone del Gusto in Piedmont, and Pauline went to Tuscany, where she produced the story behind this week’s Cornmeal Cake with Candied Lemons, among other fabulous stories. Given the wet weather we’ve been having in many parts of the world, I thought these dreamy images would help us kick off December with a clear winter sky (in the northern hemisphere). — Kristina

About Pauline: Pauline Boldt is an international reportage photographer and creative director who finds particular inspiration in people, places and food. Her editorial and commercial clients include Kinfolk, Airbnb, &LondonFiorentini + Baker and Tolaini Winery. Her work has been featured on What Katie Ate, as well as Sunday Publishing Cakebook. Pauline is also the photographer and creative director for a new venture called Le Tre, together with chef Marisa Curatolo and wine expert Tina Jones. Together, the three share their combined passion of wine, food and photography. You can see more of Pauline’s work at her photoblog, 26 Merton Road. She is also on Twitter (@26MertonRoad).

Read the story of the cornmeal cake and the recipe after the jump . . .

Photography, recipe and wine pairings by Pauline Boldt, Marisa Curatolo and Tina Jones of Le Tre

Cornmeal Cakes with Candied Lemons
Serves 10


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fine cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar, to dust


Candied Lemons


  • 1 large lemon
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water


To make the Candied Lemons

1. Cut lemon into 8 thin slices. Discard the seeds.

2. Bring sugar and water to a boil in a medium skillet, stirring to dissolve sugar. When liquid is clear and bubbling, reduce heat to medium-low. Add lemon slices, arranging them in a single layer, and simmer (do not let boil) until rinds are translucent, about 20 to 30 minutes.

3. Transfer lemons to a baking sheet lined with parchment. Let cool completely.

To make the cake

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Line a 9-inch spring form pan with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Sift together flour, cornmeal, baking soda and salt.

3. Beat eggs with sugar at medium speed until thick and frothy, about 3 minutes.

4. Add olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla.

5. Gently fold in dry ingredients until just blended.

6. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the center springs back when lightly pressed.

7. Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove sides and let cake cool completely.

8. Dust cake top with powdered sugar and arrange candied lemons over top.

Wine Pairings

  • Michel Torino 2010 Don David Late Harvest Torrontes Salta, Argentina
  • Callegaro Francesca nv Fior d’Arancio Colli Euganei, Italy


Why Pauline Loves This Recipe

I was fortunate enough to eat this cake earlier this year while in the heart of Tuscany, putting on events, photographing for a publication and soaking up the sunshine with Le Tre. Marisa felt inspired by the fresh lemons found in a neighboring village, and decided to make this Cornmeal Cake back at the Tolaini Winery where we were staying. After shooting the final product, we all devoured it. It’s as tasty as it is beautiful and reminds me of a great time with friends.

  1. Joan says:

    Beautiful photos!!


  2. Kim says:

    Love all of these beautiful photos and can’t wait to make the cake this weekend and have my own great memories with friends and family. Thank you!

  3. dolores says:

    Cake looks lovely! I might make the candied lemons as toppings for individual chesecakes, maybe with limes? Would that be perfect for Christmas..
    Thank you for this.

  4. Amazing pictues! :D


  5. eva says:

    i shall make it. yum.

  6. That cake looks fantastic – I’m always searching for new lemon cake recipes!

  7. I am curious to find out what blog system you happen to be working
    with? I’m having some minor security problems with my latest site and I’d like to find something more safe.

    Do you have any solutions?

  8. Amazing! Its actually remarkable post, I have got much clear idea on the topic of from this post.

  9. These are really great ideas in concerning blogging. You have
    touched some nice points here. Any way keep up wrinting.


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.