Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour 6-cup tube pan.
Set mixer to medium-high, beat butter and granulated sugar in large bowl until smooth. Add eggs individually, beating well after each. Stir in almond extract and zest.
In small bowl, add flour, polenta, baking powder and salt. Stir half the flour mixture into butter mixture. Add buttermilk, then remaining flour blend. Mix. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake 40 - 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in to center comes out clean.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes then invert onto cooling rack. Cool completely.
Combine powdered sugar and water to desired consistency to make glaze, drizzle over cake, garnish w/sliced almonds if desired.
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