Sunday, July 10, 2011

Aunt Flora's Famous Courgette Cake

Honestly, I've never heard of courgette cake let alone tasted one until I came across this recipe in my favorite cookbook, Nigella Lawson's How to be a Domestic Goddess. The only veggie cakes I've ever tried are the classic carrot cake and the sweet pumpkin cake. I was really curious and at the same time a little apprehensive how this courgette cake would turn out. In my mind I was thinking of a very 'green' tasting cake if you get what I mean. But really it was not so. It had  a hint of pleasant cucumber-esque taste and was quite delicious really. Like a carrot cake it was moist and refreshing.  I would make this again as it was so easy to make. However, next time I'll  keep the ingredients secret as my veggie hating Daughter G refused even a teeny bite.  Though the lime curd filling was delicious, I think the zippy citrusy tang overpowered the already subtle and light courgette taste - I'll leave this out next time and just make the cake with the luscious cream cheese icing.

For the cake

60g sultanas, optional
250g courgettes, weighed before grating
2 large eggs
125ml vegetable oil
150g caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 x 21cm sandwich tins, greased and lined

If you're using sultanas, put them in a bowl and cover with warm water to plump them up.
Wash and wipe the courgettes with kitchen towel (don't peel them), then grate using the coarse side of an ordinary grater - anything finer or smaller can make them mushy.  When they're grated turn them into a sieve over the sink to drain off excess water.
Put the eggs, oil and sugar in a bowl and beat until creamy.  Sieve in the flour, bicarb and baking powder and continue to beat until well combined.  Now stir in the grated courgette and add the drained sultanas if using.  Pour the mixture into the tins and bake for 30 mins until slightly browned and firm to the touch.  Leave in the tins on a rack for 5-10 mins then turn out and let cool until you're ready to fill and ice.

For the Lime Curd filling
(Makes 350ml)
75g unsalted butter
3 large eggs
75g caster sugar
125ml lime juice (of approx 4 limes)
zest of 1 lime

Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan, add all the other ingredients and whisk to a custard over a gentle heat.  Let cool before filling a jar - or a cake - with it.  Keep in the fridge.

For the Cream Cheese Icing
200g cream cheese
100g icing sugar, sieved
juice of 1 lime, or more to taste
2-3 tablespoons chopped pistachio nuts (I used almond nibs)

Beat the cream cheese in a bowl until smooth, add the icing sugar, beating well to combine, then stir in the lime juice to taste. Spread on cake and sprinkle chopped pistachio uts on top.


  1. This is the first time I'm hearing of a courgette cake too but it does sound really good with that cream cheese frosting- and a fantastic way to get your kids to eat their veggies, if they don't actually see you making it.

    Just stumbled your blog by the way and am really liking it. Will definitely be back soon for more :)

  2. that's a very pleasant looking green! me too hesitating to bake a veggie cake besides the usual carrot cake, i think i must also put my perceptions away and bake one. That lime curd sounds yummy to me, if i make this, probably i make the lime curd and skip the cream cheese. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I recently only tasted courgettes myself and I must say, it really reminds me of zucchinis which are frequently incorporated in baking too! Your cakes looks fantastic though, love your icing and chopped nuts!

  4. Neither have I tried nor heard of courgettes cakes but they look good.

  5. Hi all, do give this cake a try. I'd love to hear what u all think of courgette cake.
    Btw, courgette is actually zucchini. Different countries call it differently. :)

  6. I just realized that it's the same thing! Are yours the short and fat courgettes? I used a long cucumber-like zucchini for my muffins and they tasted fantastic, so I'm thinking your cake with lime curd should be a match made in heaven!

  7. hi Janine, i used the long cucumber-like type.

  8. This cake was absolutely delicious and so easy to make. The first time I made it was for an after-church dinner. It was a huge hit!!! Everyone wanted the recipe. Try it! You will love it, too.

  9. Wow, it's great to hear! Thanks for the feedback. This recipe is from Nigella Lawson the goddess herself. You can't go wrong with her recipes! :)

  10. Wow! Just made this cake this morning and it turned out fabulous!Truly delicious and quite impressive looking. I noticed an oven temperature is missing in the recipe but I baked mine at 170 celsius for 25 mins and it turned out super soft and moist. Will definitely be baking this again, thanks for the recipe!


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