This cake is inspired by my childhood favourite: the lemon drizzle cake. With the flavour of lemon-sugar crepes and the texture of a sponge cake, it’s a crowd-pleaser, and the perfect cake to brighten a rainy day. I created this recipe with my two nephews, both of whom refuse, as most kids do, to eat their greens. Courgette was added to show them that vegetables can be delicious, and can be used in all sorts of dishes, including a sweet treat. The Courgette also adds to the moistness of the cake, so served two purposes here and I wouldn’t bake it without it.
In this recipe, we’re using an ingredient that may be new to some of you, Xylitol. I can’t say the name is particularly attractive, so let’s talk about what this mysterious Xylitol is. Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol found in plants, including fruit and vegetables. Xylitol is extracted from Birch Trees and used to make medicine, although widely it’s known as a sugar substitute, and that’s how I’ll be using it in the recipe today. Xylitol has a similar sweetness to normal sugar, but contrary to sugar it has little effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. I use this as my main sugar alternative in baking, along with coconut sugar. In this recipe, you can of course use regular sugar if it’s all you have available or try this new alternative.
150ml coconut oil
Zest of 2 lemons
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Large Courgette
200g self-raising brown flour
50g spelt flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Start by melting the coconut oil in a saucepan over a low heat, do not bring the oil to a boil. Let the oil cool. Beat the eggs and add in the lemon juice and xylitol. Once the coconut oil is cool add-in and stir well.
Grate the courgette and lemon zest and add into the bowl, mixing well. Sift in the spelt and self-raising flour, along with the bicarbonate of soda. Fold the flour in, and mix well until there are no lumps in the mixture it’s perfectly smooth.
Grease and line a loaf tin. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin, and place in the oven to cook for around 50-55 minutes, or until you can insert a knife into the centre and it comes out clean, without any cake stuck to it.
While the cake cooks, we can make the delicious lemony frosting. Simply mix the juice of 1 lemon with 70g of xylitol.
When you remove the cake from the oven, pour the lemon frosting over the top and spread it evenly. Allow it to cool before taking it out of the dish. Garnish with some additional lemon zest and enjoy!