Sugar-Free Lemon Cake |

Sugar-Free Lemon Cake

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Prep Time: 25 Minutes | Baking Time: 35 Minutes

Makes a 20cm round cake (14 slices)

Though courgette in a cake may sound scary, it works in a similar way to carrots, adding nutrients and making this bake light and fresh. For a delicious lemony treat, that's also sugar-free, you won't be disappointed.


  • 300ml of light olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 175g of spelt flour
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
  • A pinch of fine sea salt
  • Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla pod or
  • 1 tsp of vanilla powder
  • 300g of runny honey
  • 3 large eggs
  • 225g of courgette
  • Finely grated zest of 2 lemons


  • 100ml of whipping cream
  • 200g of mascarpone
  • 3 tbsp of maple syrup
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon and
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp of poppy seeds


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Grease 2 x 20cm loose-bottomed cake tins with oil and place a circle of baking paper in the base of each.
  2. Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl and add the vanilla. Pour the oil into a separate bowl, add the honey and beat until well mixed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well in between each addition, then fold in the dry ingredients. Coarsely grate the courgette into a clean tea towel and squeeze well to remove the excess liquid, then add the grated courgette and the lemon zest to the mixture. Divide it evenly between the prepared tins.
  3. Bake the cakes on the middle shelf of the oven for 40–45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  4. If the cakes look like they are browning too much on top, cover them loosely with baking paper or foil halfway through the cooking time.
  5. When the cakes are cooked, take them out of the oven and leave them to cool for 5 minutes in the tins. Remove the cakes from the tins and leave them to cool on a wire rack.
  6. For the icing, whip the cream in a bowl, then fold in the mascarpone. Add the maple syrup, half the lemon zest and the lemon juice. Spread half the icing over one cake, then place the other cake on top and cover the top with the remaining icing. Scatter with the poppy seeds and the rest of the lemon zest and cut into slices to serve.

Recipe courtesy of Davina's Sugar-Free In A Hurry by Davina McCall, photography by Andrew Hayes-Watkins, Karl Gough (Orion Books, £16.99)