20 June 2010

Yummy Courgette Cake Recipe

We haven't baked cakes here for ages and like the No 10 bus, they all come along at once!

I've been trawling through the recipe books trying to find out ways of dishing up courgettes differently.  I love them chopped and fried in loads of garlic and served with pasta and cheese sauce.  Ian isn't that fussed about them one way or another.  Our son claims to like them but is always full when it comes to eating them so they're the last item left on his plate.  The girls refuse to eat them point blank.

I love growing courgette plants as their flowers are so pretty however, they can be very heavy producers and take up a lot of space.  It's recommended to place them a metre apart but ours is well over this size now.  Yesterday I harvested three courgettes and today another four are ready, hence my search for recipes.

So here it is:  Flora's Famous Courgette Cake recipe found in Nigella Lawson's "How to be a Domestic Goddess" book published in 2003 by Chatto & Windus:

(Preheat oven to 180oC/gas mark 4)

for the cake:
60g raisins, optional (but tasty)
250g courgettes (2-3), weighed before grating
2 large eggs
125ml vegetable oil (I used extra virgin as it was all I had & it tasted fine)
150g caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
half teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
half teaspoon baking powder
2 x 21cm sandwich tins, greased and lined
If you're using raisins, put them in a bowl and cover with warm water to plump them up.

Wipe the courgettes with kitchen towel (don't peel them), then grate.  The coarse side of an ordinary grater is best as anything finer or smaller can make them mushy).  When they're grated turn them into a sieve over the sink to remove 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 raisins.  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 (or buy one from the shop but it's very easy to make)
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 far - or a cake - with it.  Keep in the fridge.

For the icing:
200g cream cheese
100g icing sugar, sieved
juice of 1 lime, or more to taste
203 tablespoons chopped pistachio nuts

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.

The Verdict

We loved this cake.  It's a bit like carrot cake - light and moist - and very easy to make.  One of the courgette hating girls loved it, the other still refused it.  In future I'll know to keep the ingredients secret!  I also tried it out on a neighbour this afternoon who was nervous but then very complimentary and ate it all.

I didn't put the cream cheese topping onto the cake at the girls request, but the adults like to add a spoonful on the side of the plate, just like cream.

I've been told about a chocolate and courgette recipe that I'm going to track down next .... I'll let you know how we get on with that one.


  1. Oooh, that looks so good. Definitely going to give it a go - thanks!

  2. Hi Dee

    Had some of this cake at the flag raising at OL school today - just divine!! I will definitely be giving it a go this weekend!

    Great blog and web page!

    Chiara Hanrahan

  3. Its a really quick recipe Valula & thanks Chiara for your comments!

  4. I actually didn't plant courgettes this year as hate seeing some of them go to waste but reading this, they are definitely going back on the list for next year!

  5. I imagine you could freeze it too Lorna which would be even better.

  6. I saved this recipe in my to do list of things to bake and today's the day! Never tasted courgette cake but looking forward to giving it a go. I like that you can make it relatively healthy with the veg oil and I plan on reducing the sugar and adding dates and the sultanas for sweetness instead. Thanks for posting.


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