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Frosted courgette & lemon cake

Frosted courgette & lemon cake

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(64 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 25 mins Plus cooling

Easy

Cuts into 12 slices
This luscious cake is lemony and light, with an extra citrus kick from the lemon syrup drizzle

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freeze drizzled bases only

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal375
  • fat23g
  • saturates14g
  • carbs38g
  • sugars26g
  • fibre1g
  • protein7g
  • salt0.68g
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Ingredients

  • 250g pack unsalted butter, very soft, plus extra for the tin
  • 3 unwaxed lemons

    Lemon

    le-mon

    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs

    Egg

    egg

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

  • 2 medium courgettes, coarsely grated (you'll need 300g/10oz flesh)

    Courgette

    corr-zjet

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

  • 1 tsp poppy seed, plus extra to decorate
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 100g plain wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 85g icing sugar
  • 200g pack full-fat soft cheese
  • 4 tbsp lemon curd (optional)

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter 2 x 20cm sandwich tins and line the bases with baking parchment. Zest 2 lemons, then squeeze their juice into a separate bowl. Put 200g butter, the caster sugar, eggs, courgettes, poppy seeds, vanilla and lemon zest into a mixing bowl. Beat to a creamy batter. Stir in 1 tbsp lemon juice, the flours, baking powder and ¼ tsp salt. Spoon the mix into the tins, then bake for 25 mins or until risen, golden and springy in the middle.

  2. Make a drizzle by mixing another tbsp lemon juice with 25g icing sugar. Put the remaining icing sugar and butter into a bowl, add the soft cheese, remaining lemon juice (about 2 tbsp) and grate in the final lemon’s zest. Beat to make a creamy, smooth frosting.

  3. When the cakes are ready, cool for 15 mins in their tins, then turn onto a cooling rack. Prick several times with a cocktail stick, spoon over the drizzle and cool completely. Can be frozen at this stage for up to 1 month. Put one cake onto a serving plate and spread with just under half the frosting. Spread over the lemon curd, if using. Top with the second cake, spread the remaining frosting over the top and sprinkle with poppy seeds.

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Comments (96)

esthermarypots's picture
5

This is a fabulous recipe. I made cupcakes (baked for 25 minutes because my oven is rubbish) and they turned out really light, moist and superbly lemony. I will definately make this recipe again.

tartanlove's picture
5

This is absolutely lovely, and doesn't taste of courgettes at all, if you are worried about that. I gave some to friends, who almost curled their lip when I told them it was courgette cake....it was then declared the best cake they had tasted! Making again this week for work colleagues. Do wring out the courgettes though, you won't believe how much liquid they contain.

shacks's picture
4

I made this cake two days ago and was great. I've read a lot of people had problems with curdling?! I don't know why this happened as I'm no expert baker, the only thing I can suggest is that maybe you didn't drain the courgettes enough? - After squeeing by hand I also wrapped the courgettes in kitchen paper to squeeze them, with the kitchen paper absorbing the water.

The problems I had was that the butter wasn't soft enough so when it was all mixed together there were lumps of butter. I used my hand blender to blitz the mixture and this seemed to work fine.

I used silcone baking dishes and baked for 30 mins although possibly could have done with another 5mins or so.

My other error was I think too much lemon juice in the frosting making it a bit too runny.

Having said the cake tasted really good. Can't wait until I have some more courgettes to have a second go.

jocelynbenton's picture
1

I was very disappointed. Mixture looked curdled and it didn't rise. It was also very oily and was actually bubbling from the butter whilst baking. Very bizarre. My husband also found the smell of the cake baking rather offensive too.

vrog's picture
4

Delicious moist cake. Didn't rise well, but next time will squeeze the courgettes to see if that helps. (They seemed quite dry)

lizneedl's picture
5

I had no problems with this cake. It turned out beautifully and lasted no time at all. The first time I couldn't find any poppy seeds and as it was so beautifully moist, I didn't use the drizzle. Because we are dairy free I use 200mls of oil instead of butter and had no problem with curdling. I added the lemon juice after all the other ingredients were combined which may have helped. The second time I added seeds and drizzle. The drizzle made it very lemony and rather sweeter than before. Not sure which way I preferred. Both delicious. Without the drizzle would make it more suitable for lunch boxes, but the drizzle turns it into a beautiful dessert cake.

lizneedl's picture
5

I had no problems with this cake. It turned out beautifully and lasted no time at all. The first time I couldn't find any poppy seeds and as it was so beautifully moist, I didn't use the drizzle. Because we are dairy free I use 200mls of oil instead of butter and had no problem with curdling. I added the lemon juice after all the other ingredients were combined which may have helped. The second time I added seeds and drizzle. The drizzle made it very lemony and rather sweeter than before. Not sure which way I preferred. Both delicious. Without the drizzle would make it more suitable for lunch boxes, but the drizzle turns it into a beautiful dessert cake.

littlegreendragon13's picture
5

Sooooo good!! My effort was a bit dense/moist and didn't rise as much as I'd hoped so I would do some thorough squeezing of the courgettes next time I make this to see if that improves this but the result is delicious anyway!

carolinewaw's picture
5

I never imagined courgette cake could be so good! Can't wait for next year's glut!!

goffin's picture
4

Thanks for the advice to squeeze the water out of the courgette. It's amazing how much water came out. The cake still came out as rather soggy, but delicious. I cooked it in a flat bake tray - all I'd got - and made a square layer cake. Worked fine. Thought the recipe was a bit laborious and not as clearly explained as most

katydog's picture
5

This was a gorgeous cake and i used courgettes from my garden but squeezed all the moisture from them with a tea towel. This is my favourite lemon cake now. It doesn't need the lemon curd at all

cutielou1962's picture
5

Ok folks. Made this for the first time yesterday and it turned out fine. Made to the recipe, never squeezed courgettes, used 100g Doves Farm Buckwheat flour as never had wholemeal plain, mixed all first ingredients together then folded in flour, didn't curdle but I did use another 50g flour as seemed a bit too wet. Sponges did take an extra 15mins to cook properly and did not rise quite as high as the mag picture. Frosting made as recipe BUT I got a huge amount of juice from the 2 lemons I used so mixed everything else together first then loosened mixture with 2 tablespoons of the juice. Result was a lovely creamy consistency which firmed up nicely after finished cake was put in fridge overnight. Cake looked just like the picture when finished and lasted 10mins at work next day. TASTED FANTASTIC, will def make again, no one could taste the courgettes either so great one for the kids!

ginsterb's picture
5

So just thought I'd update that the cake was scrummy again but that was despite an error! I put the full 250g of butter in the cake (didn't spot the 200g bit in the instructions, d'oh!) and only when I got to the "put the remaining butter..." and thought oh dear!
Luckily it was fine. Perhaps if they wrote the ingredients separated out into cake and frosting they'd prevent future idiot mistakes by people like me ;o)

ginsterb's picture
5

Forgot to rate last time!

ginsterb's picture
5

Tried this last year and about to make it again as it was gorgeous, however, per some of the other posts, my first attempt absolutely failed. I think it is absolutely essential to cream the butter and sugar first (and I remember thinking at the time, why was this cake different) as otherwise it completely curdled and my first one never recovered.
My 2nd attempt however was absolutely delicious, went down a storm at work (with the usual surprise that how could it possibly have courgette in).
The icing was so good I've used versions of it ever since on other cakes as the very naughty cream cheese just adds something and I think makes it slightly less sickly than just butter icing.

debbiespratt's picture

I made this as a gluten free cake using Dove's Gluten Free SR flour and also added a few spoons of ground almonds. I did cream the butter and sugar first (essential with gluten free cakes) and it came out wonderfully. I didn't use the cream cheese, but normal butter icing and added the lemon to it. Took some to work and everyone loved it. I did use the lemon curd but found this made it very slippery and the top keep sliding off, but apart from that great way to use up allotment surplus courgettes.

d41d0y's picture
5

Delicious. Very zingy. Easy.

noirundblanc's picture
5

Cake turned out really well as I took the advice of removing as much of the moisture as possible. Personally i didn't really like the taste of the cake but the rest of my family did, especially my mumm who i saw devouring yet another slice every moment she got. Needless to say, the cake didn't last longer than 2 days...

roseew's picture
4

'Made this last week, and used oil.... not a good idea!!! 'Made it again today with butter. Grated the courgette onto a teatowel and blotted most of the juices out. 'Made it as a cake rather than a two tier. Used an extra 100gm of flour and omitted the lemon juice. Made up a 'drizzle' - sugar and lemon juice - skewered the cake and poured it over when cool. Beautiful!! Very light. Wonderful flavour!!

TIP: buy huge courgettes/lemons, spices etc., from an Indian grocers, they are much cheaper too!!

annawalton's picture

This is really scrummy. Squeezing the courgettes really works and also do not use too large lemons as it makes the icing a bit sloppy, made it for work and everyone was surprised it had courgettes in.

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