Frosted courgette & lemon cake

Frosted courgette & lemon cake

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(71 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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19th Aug, 2014
Beautiful, filled with a cream cheese, cream and icing sugar frosting and lots of fresh raspberries. Decorated the top with fresh raspberries. It was approved by all.
17th Aug, 2014
I baked this according to the recipe, without reading the comments which recommended creaming the butter and sugar before gradually adding the eggs... My mixture curdled, not at all a creamy batter. But it rose perfectly and wasn't dense at all so I don't think the curdling made any difference, thankfully! What a delicious cake and an unusual mix if ingredients. Love it!
16th Aug, 2014
Unfortunately this recipe was very disappointing and I ended up with an inedible cake! The recipe should instruct you to cream the butter and sugar together at first instead of combining everything but the dry ingredients. Ended up with a sloppy mixture with uncombined butter and ultimately a bad cake and wasted ingredients!! Disappointed after previous comments were so positive.
6th Aug, 2014
Lovely and light with a good lemon taste.
28th Jul, 2014
This is a lovely cake - I didn't see the tips re squeezing out the courgette liquid but I did use a fairly large courgette (think small marrow) and it wasn't too wet but it did need the additional 10 mins cooking time. It was a very nice texture although not so much 'cakey', but still light. I bypassed the cream cheese frosting and used whipped cream with lemon curd stirred through which was delicious. (only issue for me was dropping the half we didn't eat - soooo disappointing as no second helpings!!). Will definitely be making again - oh and yes my mixture did curdle but I never do find that to be a problem to the end result in cake baking!
20th Jul, 2014
Lovely cake, used up some courgettes given to me from bumper crop at friends allotment. I did squeeze the courgettes and a fair amount of water came out so would advise doing this. My frosting was very runny, not sure if this was down to the summer heat or maybe should reduce the amount of lemon juice. I had to add lots more icing sugar to thicken but very nice and would make again.
7th Jun, 2014
I wish the recipe had been laid out differently . Quantities used for the cake , separate to those used for the filling
18th Apr, 2014
Have just made this for a friends birthday, most disappointed, should have read all the comments! I ended up with a curdled mixture that didn't rise much, also runny icing.will try this recipe again but would cream butter and sugar, beat in eggs with a little flour, then fold in flour and courgettes last, with lemon juice and zest. Not sure whether to give it to her or not!
30th Sep, 2013
Wow this is sensational! Thanks to everyone for the tips: I squeezed the excess moisture from the courgettes, creamed the butter and sugar first with my trusty Kenwood before gradually adding the eggs and then mixing in everything else. If you have particularly juicy lemons you might not need all the juice for the frosting. Completely forgot about the lemon curd though...
16th Sep, 2013
Delicious! I followed the recipe to the letter and it worked perfectly (didn't need to remove excess liquid from courgettes etc). Think this cake is going to be the new family favourite (and good thing too as we still have a glut of courgettes to cook).


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