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)

synneve's picture

Great and so quick to make. I stick to the original recipe and didnt bother to much about drying courgettes. Just gave em squezze before adding to the mixture. Used slightly bigger tin, 26 one and replaced extra virgin olive oil with light olive oil. Cake turned out great. Btw, I followed the advice from others and reduced the sugar to 300g. Still sweet enough. Will be making this again. Try yourself.

tc1006's picture

My kids loved it and only way I can get them to eat courgettes!

tastycakes's picture

I substituted walnuts for hazelnuts and squeezed some of the moisture from the courgettes as the recipe suggests so even with my extremely old oven it only took an extra 10-15 minutes to cook through.

It was extremely well received, even after I told my colleagues it was made with courgettes.

cherub-rock25's picture

I really didn't enjoy this one I'm afraid...The vanilla combined with the cinnamon and chocolate made for a very strange taste and the courgette was a little slimey despite removing as much moisture from it as possible.

A few friends who were brave enough to try it after witnessing my apathetic expression did think that it tasted quite nice though so it might just be me! Also, I didn't have any nuts to hand so maybe that's where I went wrong!

scewgreen's picture

Took a while to grate all that courgette, but was otherwise really easy to make. Looks great and the kids can't get enough of it!

esthermarypots's picture

This was beautiful!

I made a few changes - used a melted dark chocolate and cocoa (because I ran out of cocoa powder), I forgot to add the nuts and made it in 2 smaller tims and sandwiched it together (it still needed 50 minutes (but that's probably because my oven is rubbish) and i made the ganache with a mix of dark and milk chocolate. The result was a fantastically light, moist and tasty chocolate cake.

This will definately be added to my list of recipes to make again.

jmc123's picture

All I can say is this cake tasted "ODD". It ended up in the bin. Neither hubby or children liked it. So disappointing, waste of ingredients.

sammarlowuk's picture

I followed the advice of those who tried and tested before me, and substituted canola (rapeseed) oil for the olive oil. I didn't have any hazelnuts so used walnuts instead. The sugar didn't look excessive but the cake didn't taste overly sweet. I grated the courgettes in the food processor - definitely a good move as the courgettes remained quite dry and not soggy at all. The cake still needed an extra 15 minutes in the oven though. I only made half the amount of ganache, and that was fine, the cake was delicious on it's own, and would have tasted equally lovely without it. Even my husband who has an aversion to anything green and healthy loved this cake! Courgettes and chocolate sound so wrong, but taste so right! Check out my adapted recipe on my blog

purplemuffin's picture

This cake never fails to impress and is a great way to use up all those courgettes from the garden

burzulicious's picture

Mine had a very strange taste and texture. It wasn't necessarily bad, though. The ganache helped a lot. I wish I had split and filled the cake with ganache.

notsomuffintop's picture

so far so good, mine is in the oven at the minute, didnt quite have 500ml of grated courgette only had 400ml, so hoping that should be ok. didnt bother to roast the hazelnuts, just gave them a good pounding. put mine into two separate 9inch tins (sandwich) so will keep eye on them, i would give this 5 star for ease of method, so straight forward you cant go wrong.

vittoriacorda's picture

cut the sugar to 250g with sunflower oil and walnuts. made it like a zucchini bread without the frosting. very dense and tasty. great subtle chocolate flavor with the cocoa. baked 1 hour. pressed the water out of the courgette; was good recommendation.

bexybeck's picture

Took a lot longer to cook and people could tell there was something 'weird' in there. Not bad but probably wouldn't cook it again unless I really need to get rid of some courgettes.

sarahwells's picture

It was an odd taste abit like marmite you like it or you dont.It grew on me,I found it was nicer the next day.But the rest of the family were un sure.

higgins1983's picture

Best chocolate cake I have made yet. Made it a number of times. Great for using up courgettes from the garden during summer!!!!

bess2001's picture

I made this one twice this week, using gluten free flour and normal flour, and it is one of the most moist cakes i have ever made. I found the chocloate icing a bit too rich for me so am going to use the topping from the carrot cake next time i bake it ( probably tomorrow ) The kids absolutely adored this cake, and maybe i will try making it with beetroot at some point.

dsuniznice's picture

Outside of cake turned out really hard and inside was too stodgy

rkirby's picture

I've made this cake several times now, it's super good. It has won me points with my father-in-law ;-) I think I will try maidinfrances suggestion next and add orange peel and orange liquer, that sounds great too! Thanks

erimar's picture

This cake is easy to make and tastes really nice. I used walnuts instead of hazelnuts as I didn't have any in the cupboard but I think it worked well anyway. I was worried that it may be a little dry but it wasn't and the icing gives it that extra something. :)

mfbx8ch5's picture

This recipe works really well gluten free. The first time I made it I followed the recipe just replacing the flour with Dove's Farm gluten free self raising flour but it was quite oiley and the extra virgin tasted quite strong, also it was too sweet. Each time I make it now I use 325g flour and 75 g cocoa powder. Also I only use 140 ml of oil, vegetable rather than extra virgin and a couple of tablespoons of milk. I also decreased the amount of sugar to 300g and it tastes much better.


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