Chocolate courgette cake

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 1 hr


Serves 10
Grated courgette gives this cake a lovely moist texture - a great way to use up a glut from your garden

Nutrition and extra info

  • Can be frozen uniced

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal716
  • fat40g
  • saturates10g
  • carbs84g
  • sugars55g
  • fibre4g
  • protein10g
  • salt0.43g
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  • 350g self-raising flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 175ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 375g golden caster sugar
  • 3 egg



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 500ml grated courgette (measure by volume in a measuring jug, but it's about 2 medium courgettes; if using 1 overgrown one, peel first and take out seeds)



    The courgette is a variety of cucurtbit, which means it's from the same family as cucumber,…

  • 140g toasted hazelnut, roughly chopped



    Grown in Europe and the US, hazelnuts are encased in a smooth, hard brown shell but are most…

For the icing

  • 200g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 100ml double cream


  1. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, mixed spice and 1 tsp salt. In another bowl, combine the olive oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla essence and grated courgette. Mix the dry and wet mixture until just combined, then fold in the toasted hazelnuts. Line a 24cm cake tin with greaseproof paper, then pour in your mixture. Bake for about 40-50 mins, or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool.

  2. To make the icing, place the chocolate in a bowl and bring cream to the boil in a saucepan. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until completely smooth and melted. Leave the icing to cool slightly and thicken, then spread it over the cake so it’s covered and the icing starts to drip down the sides. Serve with a cup of tea or enjoy as a pud with a spoonful of something creamy.

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Comments (143)

Nueces's picture

Also I used a marrow instead - squeezed out some water

Nueces's picture

This is a fab recipe, the cake is moist and soft, almost like a less indulgent brownie, still very rich and tasty. I didn't wanna use olive oil so I replaced it with coconut oil and turn out brilliant. I also didn't use the icing and I forgot the nuts... I think I'd taste great with vanilla ice cream on the side

mouse38's picture

Was expecting something more amazing than it was. It just tasted like a boring and slightly dry chocolate cake - perhaps my courgettes weren't watery enough. Will maybe try again and alter the recipe according to the texture of the veg.

eclectikat's picture

This was a big hit. A couple of people said it was their favorite cake ever! I thought it was really nice too. I didn't follow the recipe exactly, it was modified to what I had but I imagine it would be good following the recipe exactly too. I deliberately only used 250g sugar as I don't like very sweet cakes. I used spelt flour as that was what I had, adding baking soda and bicarb of soda to it. For spices I used a generous teaspoon or so of cinnamon, about half a teaspoon ground cardamom and the same of ground ginger. I didn't have vanilla essence. I had almonds which I toasted and chopped instead of the hazelnuts. And I didn't do the topping because it sounded excessive. The cake was delicious and disappeared very quickly indeed! Will make again. Oh it took quite a bit longer to cook as I didn't read the tip about draining the courgette. But well worth the wait!

shona_bryson's picture

I have a glut of courgettes and a work bake sale so thought why not! I underestimated the quantity of plain chocolate I had so made up the 200g with some chilli chocolate - it really works and I will do it on purpose next time. Best courgette cake I have made so far!

Moofiesmom's picture

This is THE chocolate cake recipe I have been waiting for all my life!! I actually made muffins topped with a vanilla buttercream topping with the mix. I didn't add the hazelnuts and only used 275g of golden caster sugar. These cakes lasted less than a day in our house! The mix made 28 muffins. It is SO moist and unktious - I cannot fault it!

Jules1909's picture

Tasted a bit plain. There was something missing, like fruits (cherries or oranges). Would not make it again.

choccie_123's picture

Delicious! I looked at other comments and decided not to ice this cake, as that would make it an expensive cake. It was sooo nice just as it was. I could not find toasted hazelnuts so used roasted. Will certainly be making again.

happybakingcat4's picture

I absolutely loved this cake, it is moist, and chocolatey, and I don't like courgettes, so I was overjoyed to find that I couldn't taste them! It went down amazingly with my parents, and I am definitely going to be making it again! For the icing I didn't have any cream, so I just made a simple chocolate water icing with was still delish! It is a massive cake which is great for my cake loving family! I give it 10 out of 10!!!!:-):-):-):-):-):-):-)

lucinda0607's picture

I made this cake this weekend and I have to say it has surprised me with how nice it is!
It is not a super chocolatey flavour, but it is still good.
The cake I made took well over an hour to cook - this perhaps could have been remedied by squeezing more water out of the courgettes.
Will def try again though!

pwincessp19's picture

Made this recipe as cupcakes today and so impressed! I subbed coconut oil for the olive oil, reduced the sugar as others had suggested, added choice chips instead of nuts as didn't have any and added almond essence instead of the vanilla. They are utterly delicious and can't wait for my colleagues to try them tomorrow! Very easy recipe, definitely make again!

bloghopper's picture

Delicious cake! Followed the recipe exactly and found it needed 55 minutes in the oven. Brought it into work, where it served more than 12. Pleased to see it's freezable pre-topping too. I've made chocolate and courgette cake before, but much preferred this as the toasted hazelnuts gave it a better taste and less claggy texture.

HeatherF1971's picture

Now making my second one! First one managed to last 4 days! Surprisingly. I actually prefer without ganache; just simply a cup of tea. For extra indulgence I have with cream! Love this cake!

HeatherF1971's picture

Loved by everyone! Even hubby who does not like courgettes! I had a square one and then after gazing at it all night hubby said to turn into a round and the corners would be breakfast cake! His theory being its vegetables so its one of his five a day!! So even before its been iced at least half had gone! Success . mine was cooked at exactly 46 mins but as I said I used a 23cms square tin so probably wasn't as deep as a round one would have been! Lovely as well without icing and a bit of cream!

lornamcinnes's picture

I was a bit unsure about this as I've had courgette cake before that I didn't particularly like, but after reading the positive comments I thought I'd give it a go. I used less sugar and less oil than in the recipe, as well as omitting the salt and adding a bit of cinnamon, but the end result was wonderful. Next time I think I might try it with a different nut, although I must admit I liked the hazelnuts.

Miss Piggy's picture

Wow! This the first time I have made a cake with courgettes and I certainly picked the right recipe to use. I made a few alterations....used x2 loaf tins to bake them in.....reduced sugar to 275g (still plenty sweet enough for me!). It was made with one giant courgette so I peeled and removed seeds as instructed and they have turned out just perfect. Lovely and moist with a great taste of chocolate and mixed spice. Def recommend this recipe and will certainly make again.

letswalk's picture

Worst cake I have ever made in 40yrs of baking. Should have trusted my judgement & not put the mixed spice or salt in as could taste both & not nice with chocolate. I will stick to my tried & tested choc cake recipe in future & use courgettes for chutney etc.

patriciaf's picture

Only one thing to say about this cake AMAZING

helen707's picture

Amazingly for me my cake looked just like the photo!
Really tasty, son had no idea courgettes were involved until I broke the news. My cake took about 20 min longer to cook, but well worth the wait. Lovely served as a dessert with black currants and cream or ice cream. A large moist cake too so you could get at least 12-15 portions. I reduced the sugar to 325g following another comment, works fine!


Questions (5)

LauraST's picture

Can you freeze this cake?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there, thanks for the question. Yes, you can freeze the cake uniced. 

HeatherF1971's picture

Yes you can without the ganache

Kaitlin's's picture

Can I use half coco powder and half drinking chocolate as I have run out of coco

goodfoodteam's picture

Yes you can, it may be a little sweeter but it will still work, thanks.

Tips (1)

sue rowe's picture

Fantastic recipe! But for a change add another tsp of mixed spice and substitute a cupful of sultanas in place of the cocoa - makes a delicious fruit cake!