Sugar-free Lemon Cake


Week 5 of the Great British Bake Off was Free From week. The challenges included sugar free cakes, gluten free pitta breads and then dairy free ice cream rolls. I have had a go at making gluten free bread before; albeit with gluten free flour and not the powder they were using on the show, so I decided to have a go at making a sugar free cake.

I was trying to get ahead so searched for my sugar free cake recipe and bought my ingredients before the show aired. The recipe I found was for a sugar free lemon drizzle cake and used a plant based sugar substitute called Xylitol. The contestants on the show used honey, agave syrup and fruits to sweeten their cakes so were slightly different to mine. Not all of their cakes were successful, some were too moist and a couple weren’t sweet enough. I was pleased I’d used the Xylitol as the cake turned out really well and was sweet enough.

Xylitol has less calories than normal sugar and is therefore healthier, but it is quite pricey! Don’t get me wrong it is by no means extortionate (Β£2.70 for 225g), but when you compare it to normal sugar it is quite a bit more expensive. The original recipe was for a lemon drizzle cake, but for two reasons I didn’t add the drizzle. I’ve never been a fan of the drizzle as I don’t like the crunchy sugar, but for this recipe I needed a whole pack of the sugar for the cake, and then 50g extra for the drizzle. I didn’t want to buy another pack to just use a little bit and then for the rest to sit in my cupboard for years. So that sounded like a good enough reason to keep the cake drizzle free to me.


225g self raising flour
Β½ tsp baking powder
225g xylitol
2 lemons, zest only
2 large eggs
125ml sunflower oil
1 tbsp milk
200g 0% fat yogurt

  1. Preheat the oven to 180Β°C (160Β°C fan). Line and grease a 2kg loaf tin with baking parchment
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, Xylitol and lemon zest together in a bowl

2015-09-02 19.10.13

  1. In a separate bowl or jug, whisk together the eggs, sunflower oil, milk and yogurt. Once mixed, add the wet mixture to the flour and mix until fully combined

2015-09-02 19.22.29

  1. Pour the mix into the tin and smooth the surface if needed and bake for 1 – 1 hour 10 mins. Check the cake after 50 minutes and if it is getting too dark, cover it loosely with foil

2015-09-02 19.39.20

  1. Let the cake cool slightly in the tin before turning out and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack

2015-09-02 20.51.12

The original recipe can be found here –

Head to to check out the rest of the #GreatBloggersBake2015 entries.

Mummy Mishaps

10 thoughts on “Sugar-free Lemon Cake

  1. Jenny Paulin

    I think you have hit the nail on the head here, we are nib encouraged to reduce our sugar intake and yet sugar substitute products are so expensive !
    your lemon cake looks lovely – in fact please can you pass me a slice to have with my cuppa please?
    thank you for linking up x

    1. Cat Post author

      I really was shocked at how expensive it was compared to normal sugar – definitely not going to encourage many people to swap!
      Thank you πŸ™‚ x

  2. Emma

    I made this cake (on a sugar and yeast free diet atm) and it was yummy. Only problem was I cooked it for 1h 10mins, it looked great but when I cut it after cooling the bottom half was thick and raw looking whereas the top half was cooked sponge. Any advice on what I did wrong? I cut the top off and ate that half so as not to waste but would be good to get a whole cake next time!!

    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Emma,

      Sorry it’s taken so long for me to reply I’ve been on holiday.
      Sorry to hear it didn’t work out for you πŸ™
      This cake is slightly more dense than something like a victoria sponge because of the yogurt, but it definitely shouldn’t look raw. Did you cover it with foil so it could cook without getting too brown? Did a cocktail stick come out clean when you tested it? (Realised I forgot to write this in the recipe – sorry!) x

  3. Kirsty Robinson


    I would love to make this but I’m not sure if I’ve seen xylitol over here in Dubai.
    Do you think it would be ok to use Sweet n Low powder instead? If so, would I use the same quantity?

    Thanks πŸ™‚

    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Kirsty,

      I’ve just had a google to see what the Sweet n Low powder is and I can’t see why it wouldn’t work. It sounds very similar to Xylitol so I would use the same quantity.
      Hope it turns out ok if you give it a try πŸ™‚ x


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.