It isn’t often that I make a cake. I used to be an avid baker, my family always had a plentiful supply of brownies, muffins and other sweet things. When we got my daughter’s diagnosis and we found out we would need to have a strict diet, the fear of having to give up baking arose. I had really become attached to the pleasure I derived from baking, and I was sad at the thought of not sharing that with my children. Slowly that went away as I began to see an opportunity to learn how to cook other things, new things we could eat on a daily basis. As it turns out, the lack of brownies at home is no reason to suffer. I love the fact that now I can bake for special occasions and enjoy cooking healthy foods during the week. Plus, because I don’t bake so often anymore, we can really indulge when I do!

I loved making this lemony cake to take the Mam i Teca to celebrate the Fiesta de la Merce. It is based on a recipe I saw on David Lebovitz’s blog, which he had adapted from an Italian cookbook ( I adapted it again myself, reducing the sugar and substituting some of the flour for whole wheat. I added flour de sel and lemon zest. I used pecans that came all the way from the tree in my Grandmother’s back yard in Oklahoma, and I used extra virgin olive oil from Sergi’s Grandmother’s Olive Grove in Spain.

The results were great. Here is the recipe:

1 cup chopped pecans, 2 cups flour (1/2 whole wheat and 1 1/2 white) 
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp fleur de sel
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups finely grated zucchini
zest of 1 lemon

After making the cake, I drizzled a combination of lemon juice (1/4 cup) and sugar (1/4 cup) and confectioners sugar (1 cup) on top.