I made a traybake version of my carrot cake this week, and whilst I was making it I had the idea that I could easily turn this into a courgette cake. I’d always been interested in trying courgette in a cake, so here we are!
I know alot of people are put off carrot cake purely because they can’t imagine carrot in a cake, and I’m sure this will bring out the same feelings in courgette cake! But I assure you, it doesn’t taste like you’ve just plonked a vegetable into a cake, its delicious! The courgette isn’t overpowering and just gives a really delicate and fresh flavour.
This cake is SO moist and light. Honestly it feels like eating a cloud. The secret to that is twofold; using oil instead of butter (which may be a surprise as you’d expect the cake to be oily but honestly its not!) and whipping the eggs, sugar and oil for a good 4-5 minutes before adding the flour. Please don’t skip this step, I promise you the texture won’t be as light, fluffy and delicious!
I baked this in a small 10×8″ pan, purely because in lockdown I didn’t want to be left with a huge tray of cake – which I would absolutely eat all of…! Its a great size for a small gathering, but the recipe can easily be doubled to fit a standard 13×9″ traybake tin. The icing should only be increased by a 1/3 though.
Talking of icing – this lemon cream cheese icing is so delicious and the perfect accompaniment to such a light cake. Once again, you need to make sure you whip the icing (with an electric whisk preferably!) for a good 2-3 minutes so its really light and fluffy. The tangy cream cheese complements the fresh courgette so well and the lemon cuts through the sweet icing sugar perfectly. Can you tell I like this icing??
Decoration wise I spread 3/4 of the icing onto the cake, and then split the remaining 1/4 into separate bowls and added food colouring. Then using a palette knife I created flowers and leaves. I had a lot of fun decorating this cake, but you definitely don’t need to. A simple swirl of plain icing would still look pretty and be totally delicious! I just like to go overboard…!
Honestly I really love this cake, and I hope you do too! Let me know if you give it a try.
On with the recipe!
Courgette Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing
- 2 large eggs
- 115 ml sunflower/vegetable oil
- 90 g dark brown muscovado sugar
- 150 g self-raising flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 lemon zested
- 175 g courgette grated
- 300 g full-fat cream cheese
- 40 ml double cream
- 70 g icing sugar
- 1 lemon juiced
- gel food colouring of your choice
- For the cake: Preheat the oven to 180C/200C Fan, and grease and line a 8×10″ baking tin. Put the eggs, oil and sugar into a large bowl and using an electric mixer, whisk for 4-5minutes until the mixture becomes creamy and pale in colour.
- Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and fold in very gently. Add the lemon zest and courgette, then pour into the prepared baking tin. Bake for 20-23 minutes until golden brown and a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then remove and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
- For the icing: Place the cream cheese, double cream and icing sugar into a bowl and using an electric whisk, whisk for 2-3 minutes until thickened and smooth. Then mix in the lemon juice thoroughly.
- To assemble: Spread 3/4 of the icing onto the cooled cake, and divide the remaining 1/4 into separate bowls and mix different food colourings into each. Using a palette knife, decorate by creating flowers and leaves.