spiced zucchini and walnut cake

Each month the Delicious magazine arrives at work and I look through it for recipes to try. I saw this recipe for a spiced zucchini and pecan cake and as I was about to go to Dungog for the weekend I knew it would be the perfect thing to make.

I visited the girls and gathered a few eggs to use in the cake.

I'd just bought a large bag of walnuts so I decided to use those instead of pecans.

The recipe made a huge quantity of lime sour cream icing so I didn't use all of it, but it tasted very yummy.

Here is the original recipe though I did slightly adapt it to my taste. I used a 24 cm springform pan because that's all I own. Apart from swapping walnuts for the pecans, I also reduced the oil content and left out the sultanas. There wasn't any nutmeg in the cupboard in Dungog so that was omitted but no-one seemed to notice it's absence...

2 cups (300g) plain flour
3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

300g caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped

3 eggs
1 cup (250ml) sunflower oil
2 cups (300g) grated zucchini
100g sultanas

1 cup (140g) pecans toasted, chopped 

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 22 cm springform cake tin.

Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and nutmeg into a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk the sugar, vanilla, oil and eggs together. Fold the egg mixture, zucchini, sultanas and 1 cup pecans into the flour mixture.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 1-1¼ hours until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely. Remove cake from the pan when cooled. I placed the cake in the fridge before icing.

Sour cream and lime icing
1½ cups (225g) pure icing sugar, sifted
1½ cups (360g) sour cream at room temperature
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
½ cup (70g) pecans toasted, chopped

For the icing beat the icing sugar, zest and sour cream together until smooth. Remove cake from the fridge and decorate with the icing and the reserved pecans.

The light was just gorgeous that day, so I couldn't help but take a few more photos than usual.

I'll be back again on Wednesday with a shopshoot, so until then,



  1. Lovely photos and a very yummy looking cake!

  2. Anonymous2:27 am

    Cake looks so yummy! The frosting with the lime juice, wow, sounds good.

  3. Thanks, the icing was yummy. If you make it you might use full fat sour cream though . I tried making it with lite sour cream, which I bought by mistake and it was a total disaster.


  4. Anonymous1:19 pm


    Jillian - can you please tell me how much oil you used? I have been meaning to try this recipe for ages and just this week bought a piece while on holidays - it was so nice and your photos look just amazing - Thanks so much

    1. Hi Tricia,

      I'm away at the moment so I can't access my recipes. I can't remember exactly how much oil I used but it was either 2/3 cup or 3/4 cup. Both would work out fine as there's only about a tablespoon difference between the 2 quantities.

      Good luck with the recipe,


    2. Tricia11:42 am

      Thanks Jillian -

      i made the cake and it was DELICIOUS- Any ideas how i could make it healthier - ie reducing the oil and sugar - i have heard that you can use maple syrup to replace some sugar but i'm not really sure how to go about it.

      keep up the great work and love your recipes -

    3. Hi Tricia,

      when you consider how many slices of cake the recipe makes, the actual fat content per slice is low until you factor in the sour cream icing! I can't tolerate sour cream so if I were making the cake for myself, I would make a cream cheese style icing but would use low fat ricotta cheese instead. I've heard you can use some apple sauce as a fat substitute, something I've not tried myself. It would add some sweetness though allowing you to cut the sugar content down.

      The cake does have a whole lot of sugar but the problem with maple syrup as a sweetener is that it's a liquid sweetener. You'd risk having a very sloppy mixture if you used maple syrup as your main sweetener so you might need to drop an egg or increase the flour content a little. I'd be more inclined to swap out 1/4 cup of the oil and try replacing it with 1/4 cup apple sauce and hold back a bit of the sugar. Don't forget to write down what you do as you go or you may never be able to recreate the cake.

      Good luck and if you try the applesauce option, let me know how you go.


    4. Tricia1:08 pm

      Thanks Jillian - will do and let you know - i have made a second cake and everyone just loves it - think it will go into the cookbook as a family favourite -

      keep up the good work -


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