A lovely light and fresh cake without a hint of courgette taste but with the added goodness!
This was another cake I made when looking at ways of including vegetables in baking. I had no idea what courgettes would taste like in a cake as I’m not a massive fan of them. The recipe I used is one of Nigella’s which I found on a blog called Mix & Fold. The writer of the blog, Hannah, included a great quote from Nigella – “If courgette cake sounds dodgey to you, think about carrot cake or a moment, this is just an adaption of that”. After I’d read that and seen how pretty the cake looked, I definitely wanted to give it a go.
I made this cake for Rien to take into work because his colleagues were the people that gave me the idea of baking with vegetables. It was so good the next night I made another cake for me to take into work. When I told people it was courgette cake, most said they didn’t really like courgettes but I asked them to try a small piece anyway. They all loved it and like with most things, it was all gone quite quickly.
If you weren’t told, I don’t think many people would be able to tell that this cake has courgette in it because I don’t think you can taste them at all. One of the things I like most about this cake is how pretty it looks and how little effort it takes. I really like the green flecks of courgette you get throughout the cake and the look of the white icing oozing over the side of the cake.
I absolutely love cream cheese icing on cakes and this recipe had a very generous helping. Ignoring the fact its cake, I am still trying to be relatively good so instead of making the quantity of icing listed below, I halved it. The photos show the reduced amount of icing so you can see it is by no means stingy, but it is a way of making the cake ever so slightly less naughty. Plus it has courgettes in it – surely that means it counts as one of your five a day and therefore not a cake at all?! That might just be my wishful thinking…
For the cake:
250g courgettes (weigh before you grate them)
125ml vegetable oil
150g caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
- Preheat then oven to 180ºC. Grease and line two 8 inch round cake tins
- Rinse the courgettes and then grate them using a coarse grater – if the grater is too fine, the courgette will turn to mush
- Put eggs, oil and sugar into a bowl and mix until creamy. Fold in sifted flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. Stir in the grated courgette
- Pour mixture into the two tins and bake for 30 minutes until golden and a skewer comes out clean
- Leave to cool for around 10 minutes and then remove from the tins and allow to cool on a wire rack
For the filling:
- Turn one of the cakes upside down on a plate and spread a thick layer of lemon curd onto it
For the icing:
200g full fat cream cheese
100g icing sugar
Juice of 1 lime
3 tbsp chopped pistachios (not the salted kind)
- Put the cream cheese in a bowl and gradually stir in the icing sugar – there is no need to use a mixer for this as it is very easy to mix
- Once combined, add the lime juice. Pour the icing onto the cake and smooth to cover the cake
- Scatter with the chopped pistachios