Chocolate courgette cake

Chocolate courgette cake

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(110 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 eggs



    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 cucurbit, 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
    Dark chocolate soup pots with double cream in spoons

    Dark chocolate

    dahk chok-o-let

    Dark chocolate means the shiny, dark-reddish brown treat produced from the cacao bean, theobroma…

  • 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, questions and tips

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Sam EP
22nd Nov, 2019
This is my go-to for an adult’s birthday cake or if I’ve got friends round for an afternoon. I don’t mess about with the recipe*, it’s perfect and I generally have all the ingredients hanging around. I’ve never bothered wringing out the courgette either, it just doesn’t need it. I always bake it in a bundt tin and it turns out perfectly every time. It’s super simple but looks and sounds fairly accomplished, especially when you tell people there’s courgette in it. *I used Orgran egg replacer when I last made it for my husband who doesn’t eat eggs and it worked so well I might continue without eggs.
Nicola Schofield's picture
Nicola Schofield
9th Mar, 2019
I like chocolate and I like courgette but not in a cake!! It didn't work for me despite being a confident baker & following the recipe. In order words it was bloody disgusting!!
8th Jun, 2018
There is the basis of a good recipe here. The hint about squeezing the water out of the courgettes is really a must do, as it is whenever baking with courgette. There are too many flavours with the spices, hazelnuts and vanilla all in one cake, very confusing to the palette and they don't work together. Decide upon the flavour you would like and adjust as necessary. Also unless you have a sugar addiction the recipe is overly sweet - reduce the sugar by at least 3oz or 80g, Just reading the icing ingredients was too much for me and so I used a less rich recipe for chocolate fudge frosting from Katie Stewart. So, use this recipe as a base but not one to follow slavishly.
5th Aug, 2017
Have made multiple times with the glut of courgettes from the allotment. Often use the giant marrows by peeling, de-seeding and then using the grater attachment on the food processor. Always get great compliments on this cake - moist and delicious- people always shocked to hear it contains courgette and admitted they probably wouldn't have tried if they knew but loved it once eaten. As we have so may courgettes I often freeze several of these cakes very successfully. Generally also add more mixed spice than stated as I love the flavour.
23rd Jul, 2017
Great recipe! Really lovely, moist cake which was liked even by family who dislike chocolate cake. I would avoid the chocolate sauce topping next time, it's too much and would be better without. Will definitely make again!
19th Jul, 2017
This is a great recipe, very quick and very moist
12th Apr, 2017
So moist, everyone is so surprised when I tell them it's a courgette cake!
1st Sep, 2016
Also I used a marrow instead - squeezed out some water
1st Sep, 2016
This is a fab recipe, the cake is moist and soft, almost like a less indulgent brownie, still very rich and tasty. I didn't wanna use olive oil so I replaced it with coconut oil and turn out brilliant. I also didn't use the icing and I forgot the nuts... I think I'd taste great with vanilla ice cream on the side
30th Aug, 2016
Was expecting something more amazing than it was. It just tasted like a boring and slightly dry chocolate cake - perhaps my courgettes weren't watery enough. Will maybe try again and alter the recipe according to the texture of the veg.


13th Aug, 2019
Is it ok to make the cake the night before with the ganache? How and where do I store it overnight?
goodfoodteam's picture
15th Aug, 2019
Thanks for your question. We'd suggest storing it in an airtight container in a cool place overnight.
13th Aug, 2019
Ooo naughty but heavenly nice :) Just made this scrumptious cake today and it was a hit with the family! I made it exactly as per the recipe and was divine. Will definitely be making it again.
21st Sep, 2014
Can you freeze this cake?
goodfoodteam's picture
15th Oct, 2014
Hi there, thanks for the question. Yes, you can freeze the cake uniced. 
HeatherF1971's picture
4th Oct, 2014
Yes you can without the ganache
25th Jul, 2014
Can I use half coco powder and half drinking chocolate as I have run out of coco
goodfoodteam's picture
4th Aug, 2014
Yes you can, it may be a little sweeter but it will still work, thanks.
9th Sep, 2019
I altered this quite a lot to make it vegan and gluten free. I used gluten free flour mix with some ground flax seed and ground almonds (added bicarb of soda and baking powder for the raising element), replaced eggs with applesauce, and heavy cream with coconut cream for the icing. I also drained the courgettes, used half the amount of sugar (I used muscovato sugar), and did not use vanilla extract as that seemed like too many flavors. The cake was a MASSIVE crowd pleaser. I will make it again for sure!
19th Feb, 2017
350g of sugar is far more than needed. I made with 250g sugar and topped with a bitter raw cacao and agave ganache. Made a much less rich and marginally healthier cake.
sue rowe
12th Feb, 2014
Fantastic recipe! But for a change add another tsp of mixed spice and substitute a cupful of sultanas in place of the cocoa - makes a delicious fruit cake!
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