Chocolate courgette cake

Chocolate courgette cake

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(84 ratings)

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 (138)

elenab's picture

I made this recipe with sunflower oil and only 325 grams of sugar, the icing I made with an 80 % dark chocolate and the cream however I added icing sugar and a dash of Tia Maria.
Would definitely make again, but I might omit he spice.

angemcshane's picture

I found the EVOO a very strong flavour so I would change this next time. Everyone who tried this really enjoyed it......except for me as I felt the oil was too strong. I will make it with sunflower oil next time and I am really looking forward to a proper slice. The texture was fabulous :0)

janecole9's picture

Forgot to say - used sunflower oil ( waste of extra virgin - and I think would be too strong a flavour) and left out the nuts as my children not keen. Might try without the mixed spice nxt time. Had a lot of fun getting people to guess the secret ingredient! Might try it in muffin cases next time, not sure how long they would take to cook though. 40 mins?!

janecole9's picture

Fantastic! I used half a very large courgette (marrow!) that had been left to grow while we were on hols.Following all the advice I peeled the courgette and scraped the seeds out, I did squeeze out excess water from the grated courgette in a clean t towel, but didn't salt. Not sure this was totally necc. However it did cook in just and hour and my oven is rubbish! I also reduced the sugar to 325g. The icing was great and so easy. Will def make this again. Surely a big slice counts as 1 of your 5 a day??!!

sololiz's picture

This is a good deep cake. Grated, or rather chopped, my courgette in my mini chopper which took seconds. Put it on the lower middle oven shelf and gave it an extra 20 minutes or so baking time and came out lovely and moist. The icing was delicious. It wasn't too sweet at all!

samher's picture

Really lovely cake. I did reduce the sugar as suggested and I thought it was delicious.

janicechegwidden's picture

This recipe worked really well - I omitted the nuts, as I don't eat them and cooked the cake for longer than stated and the final result was delicious. Friends and family were dubious about chocolate and courgette cake, but all decided that it worked well, even those who don't like courgettes! This was the first time I had made icing using that method, and that was very easy and tasty too

emmalebreton's picture

Really liked this cake - it was delicious. I only used 300g of sugar, and didn't make the icing. Next time I would add a little bit more mixed spice, and a richer cocoa powder.

fionablandford's picture

made this over the weekend and it worked very well. Like others it needed bit longer to cook but came out moist and tasty, i used light olive oil which worked very and very littel mixed spice which worked fine. I used two medium round courgettes peeled them and then just grated, this worked fine, no problems. The icing was good though i had to used half milk half dark choc as not enough of either. I would def make this cake again

adie0106's picture

This was an absolute triumph. I followed the advise of reducing the sugar to 325g, and made sure I squeezed out as much liquid from the courgettes as possible, but did not salt them. The cake took 65 mins to cook.

arhg85's picture

I had to reduce the sugar to 300gr and the oil to 1/2 cup, and it turned out EXCELLENT! I had to leave it in the oven for about 1hour and 15minutes, but maybe my oven was just being silly. I loved it, I would absolutely make it again.

helen81's picture

Oh my gosh....favorite choc cake recipe ever. My boyfriend (cake novice) made this on a sunday afternoon and it was just so amazing. Changed how I look at him as a cook forever. We also reduced the sugar to 300, used sunflower oil, and had to increase the cooking time. It was moist, not too sweet and lovely crunch with the hazel nuts. MAKE THIS CAKE!!

mariabudgen's picture

Impressive cake - especially the way I made it, in a 20cm cake tin as I didn't have a 24cm one, and it came out incredibly deep - which probably contributed to the 90 mins it took to cook! Next time I will use 2 smaller tins as it's very filling and with the height of my version, you can't really cut slim enough slices! Not sure why one reviewer had problems grating the courgettes - just grate them end on, on the coarse side a grater, and its done in under a minute, no messing. The courgette disappears once cooked too, so even people who don't like courgettes would enjoy this cake I think. Only change I made to the ingredients was omitting the mixed spice which didn't seem to be a problem. Lovely and moist, with great icing, AND makes an interesting talking point!

me0wp00's picture

made this today, very yummy especially with whipped cream in the middle and the chocolate ganache, I cut the sugar down to 200G and it's sweet enough

gill1962's picture


barnetgirl's picture

A great recipe. I never got around to making the topping and it was still delicious, a bit like a big chocolate brownie cake! I think the topping would be good if making for a special occasion though and I think it would be fine without the nuts if you are not a nut lover.

paradisehouse's picture

Lovely moist (a bit crumbly to cut in fact) cake. I baked it in 3 x 1lb. loaf tins, 35-40 mins. Used sunflower oil, only 200g sugar, walnuts instead of hazelnuts, and 300g grated courgettes as I thought the volume measurement was pretty vague. Would certainly make it again.

yummybrittany's picture

Fab Recipe and a good use of excess Courgettes !! I used Toasted almonds instead of Hazelnuts, as I had them in the cupboard,half and half caster and demerara sugar (no golden sugar here) and Sunflower oil instead of EVOO as I thought it may be too strong. Used my food processor to grate the courgettes and I also used the course grater
I used a 26cm tin and cooked it for 55mins. Think it would be lovely sliced in half and filled with a spread of sieved marmalade. I also like the idea of using Cointreau and orange peel as suggested by MaidinFrance.
Will definitely be making another for the weekend for friends.

tpopi1's picture

Very nice!!! i used 300gr of sugar, and rapeseed oil. Also, put cinammon& nutmeg as didn't have mixed spice. Didn't put any nuts it. The cake was delicious& moist.... I baked it for more than 50mins though (around an 1hr and 5min)..

maidinfrance's picture

I made this cake by changing olive oil to sunflower oil, ordinary white caster sugar, used untoasted walnuts added 1.5 tea spoons of baking powder and mixed all the wet ingredients in my robot/magimix but first just blizted the egg and sugar until very light, then added the other ingredients and the grated courgette disappeared like magic. I also grated the courgette using my robot, quite a course grate, but quick. Used a 28cm round cake tin and it cooked perfectly in 50min. This cake recipe is thought to be quite bizarre by our french friends but really delicious and the topping is a ganache to which rum or brandy or other liquers can be added. I am going to swop the nuts for candied orange peel and flavour the ganache with 1tab sp of an orange flavoured liquer.


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