Frosted courgette & lemon cake

Frosted courgette & lemon cake

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(70 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 25 mins Plus cooling


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



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

  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs



    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)



    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

    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)


  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, questions and tips

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4th Mar, 2016
I agree that this recipe is really bad! I had exact same issues with the fact it came out a fatty stodgy mess. The butter goes all lumpy so the recipe should read that it should be creamed first before the courgettes go in. And the icing was so runny it was more a drizzle! I had to tip in an entire box of icing sugar and it still was too runny to use. A waste of time and resources in the end, will be using a different recipe next time!
29th Jan, 2016
I agree that the 'tip' about squeezing the excess water from the courgettes should be included above, or as part of the actual recipe, as I didn't see it till after when I scrolled down, and by this point it was too late. I also agree that the 'all in one' type method didn't work for me either, despite using very soft butter as instructed; if I had creamed the butter and sugar together before adding the other ingredients I feel I would've ended up with a smoother batter. As it was, I had lumps of butter in my batter that wouldn't smooth out because of the high water content, so mine also turned out a bit like a fatty stodgy pancake. Still tasted good though, just not exactly a cake! Didn't bother with the icing in the end so I can't comment on that
15th Jan, 2016
Stodgy cake, more like a thick pancake than a cake. Nice taste though, rubbish icing recipe, so runny!
1st Dec, 2015
Icing recipe is APPALLING. Otherwise, nice cake.
27th Sep, 2015
Really lovely cake! But I had some trouble with mixing the butter and cream cheese - even with very soft butter!! Next time I will make it with less butter in the frosting.
10th Aug, 2015
This was a great recipe. The people that complained about the all-in-one method couldn't have read the ingredients list that read 'very soft butter'. Those that complained that the frosting was too runny maybe used half fat cream cheese instead of full fat? Half fat will always go runny when beaten.
4th Mar, 2016
My butter was VERY soft and I used full fat cheese...
2nd Aug, 2015
I made this cake today , I switched the butter with organic coconut oil , it is delicious . I had a glut of homegrown courgettes to use up , couldn't think of a nicer way to use them . Will definitely make this cake again.
26th Jul, 2015
Delicious! We all reall enjoyed this cake. I followed the recipe exactly apart from using all white flour, it looked a little curdled but baked perfectly and tasted yummy! Will definately make again.
6th Jul, 2015
I have made this cake three times now. The first time I was making it for my sister's birthday last year and it didn't rise much but I hadn't read the tip about squeezing excess liquid from the courgettes. When.I tried again having done so it was fine (the mixture does look curdled even after folding in the flour but it doesn't affect the finished cake) and everyone declared it delicious. I have just made it again for my niece's wedding. There were three other cakes to choose from but this one went in a flash - when I went to get myself some cake all that was left of this one was a tiny two-mouthful slice but plenty of all the other three (including my chocolate one!). I did have to put more icing sugar in the frosting mixture and it still seemed a tiny bit soft but it set firmer after the cake was stored in the fridge overnight and was fine after that even though it was a very hot day. I'll definitely be making it again!


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