Fluffy cupcakes filled with sharp lemon curd and covered in delicious cream cheese frosting. These cupcakes are far too tasty to get put off by the fact they have courgette in them!
Courgette or zucchini, whatever you like to call them, they seem to be in abundance at the moment. My parents have an allotment which appears to have the perfect courgette growing conditions because they have grown more courgettes than we could eat this year! They also grew one particularly huge specimen which was so big I made 24 cupcakes, a two layer cake and also a chocolate loaf cake. It really was a beast!
When I tell people the cakes have courgette in them, you can see a lot of people instantly get put off. Personally I am not a huge fan of courgettes, but in a cake they are delicious. It really isn’t any different than using carrot in cake – and we all know how good that tastes!
These cupcakes are so summery in taste. The lemon curd in the middle is so bright and zingy which along with the lime in the frosting makes them so incredibly delicious. I add the lime to my favourite cream cheese frosting which could be why I love these cupcakes so much.
Usually when I am making cupcakes, I fill the liners two thirds of the way which means your cupcake isn’t too much taller than the liner. With these cupcakes, I fill them around half way because if you fill them more than that they seem to rise up and look more like muffins. Muffins aren’t a bad thing, but it makes them harder to frost as you ideally need a nice flat surface. If you do get a bit carried away and they are quite domed, you may want to level them off with a knife before you add the lemon curd. This will all be hidden later when you frost them, and it also means you get to eat the off-cuts!
If you have a food processor with a grating attachment, I would definitely recommend using this. As well as making it far quicker and easier, it also creates very defined gratings of courgette unlike a hand held grater which can make it more mushy. If you only have a hand held grater this is still absolutely fine, but your mix may be slightly wetter. If the courgette is particularly wet once you have grated it, I would allow it to sit in some kitchen paper so it can absorb some of the excess moisture.
When you are making the frosting, add enough lime juice to get the right consistency. You don’t want it too think so it drips off the cupcake so don’t add all of the lime juice at once; keep adding small amounts until you have it right. If you do put in too much lime juice, just add a little bit more icing sugar to help thicken it up slightly.
Makes 18 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
125ml vegetable oil
150g caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
For the filling:
70g lemon curd (approx)
For the frosting:
200g full fat cream cheese
75g unsalted butter
500g icing sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lime
3 tbsp chopped pistachios (not the salted kind)
- Preheat then oven to 170ºC and line cupcake tin with liners
- 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 and then stir in the grated courgette
- Split the mixture between the cupcake cases make sure you only fill them half way. Bake in the oven for 17-20 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean
- Leave to cool for around 10 minutes and then remove from the tins and allow to cool completely on a wire rack
- To make the frosting, beat the butter until softened and then add the cream cheese and icing sugar and mix until completely smooth
- Add the lime zest and juice. If you have a particularly juicy lime, start by adding the juice of half of it and adding more if needed. Mix until combined and set aside
- Once the cakes are completely cooled, make a a hole in the centre of each cake make sure you don’t go all the way to the bottom. I do this using an apple corer but you could use a small knife, just mind your fingers
- Fill each hole with the lemon curd – about ½ teaspoon per cupcake
- Frost each cupcake and decorate with a sprinkling of chopped pistachios