One of the things I like most about my job is when I get to speak at conferences or on the Calgary Stampede’s Kitchen Theatre Stage. I truly enjoy talking to people who have either tried our recipes or at least plan to. Often, people come up to me and ask me questions that I have to do some digging to work out. At Kitchen Theatre this year, I got received requests that I promised to follow up with both in my blog and in our next e-newsletter. Both questions concern our Zucchini Lemon Cake, a delicious and easy cake to make. It’s made muffin-style, so you don’t need to worry about having a mixer, or adding ingredients in a certain order. Here’s what a few of you wondered:

1) How much less sugar can I use and still have this cake taste good. I am always trying to make my recipes healthier.

I tried the recipe using ½ cup (125 mL) sugar instead of the 1 ¼ cup required in the recipe, and since I was trying to make it healthier I also decreased the oil to ½ cup (125 mL) instead of the ¾ cup (175 mL) in the recipe. This decreases the amount of batter a bit, so the cake is thinner, but it still tastes nice. I think if I were to do this again I would put in the grated peel from one lemon to bump up the lemon flavour, since the cake is less sweet.

2) Can you make this cake with Splenda?

I have to admit I haven’t cooked much with artificial sweetener, so I bought some and gave it a try. My recollection from years past is that artificial sweetener is usually sweeter that regular sugar, so I made the cake exactly as the recipe says—using 1 cup of Splenda instead of 1 ¼ cups of sugar. I achieved excellent results with this cake.

I hope you will continue to ask me questions when you see me or respond to my blog.

Good cooking, and Go Barley!


  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups (325 mL) granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup (175 mL) canola oil
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) lemon juice
  • 2 cups (500 mL) grated unpeeled zucchini
  • 2 cups (500 mL) whole barley flour
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 1 cup (250 mL) chopped walnuts

In a large bowl, beat eggs, sugar, oil and lemon juice. Fold in grated zucchini.

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add walnuts. Gently fold into zucchini mixture. Pour into a well-greased 9 x 13 inch (3 L) pan. Bake at 350⁰F (180⁰C) for 40 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool. If desired, pour lemon glaze over cake.

Makes 12 servings.

Lemon Glaze

  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) lemon juice
  • 2 cups (500 mL) icing sugar

In a medium bowl, stir lemon juice into sugar. If necessary, add more juice or sugar to make desired thickness.

Makes ¾ cup (175 mL).

Nutrition Information (per serving, includes glaze):

Calories: 436; Protein: 3 g; Carbohydrate: 59 g; Fibre: 3 g; Sugars: 43 g; Fat: 25 g; Saturated Fat: 2 g; Trans Fat: 0 g; Cholesterol: 48 mg; Sodium: 253 mg; Potassium: 145 mg