Chocolate Courgette Cake

I love baking with veggies, there is something very satisfying about putting something ridiculously healthy into a decadent treat. I mean, there is no way this cake is ‘healthy’ but surely it is better for you than regular chocolate cake. Some of those vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidoodaas must have survived being enrobed in the sugary batter then subjected for 45 minutes in a fairly hot oven! This cake uses a lot of lovely cocoa powder  too {I use Green and Black’s Organic Cocoa Powder}, which is packed with anti-oxidants, so it’s all good.

I’ve been meaning to have a go at a chocolate courgette cake after having a slice at a cute little vintage style cafe in Dundee earlier in the year. Their cake had hazelnuts in it, mine was supposed to as well except I completely forgot I’d bought some until the cake was happily baking at 180. It doesn’t taste lacking though, it is a lovely chocolatey sponge, moist and topped with a slightly naughty white chocolate buttercream. I was playing around with quantities and I didn’t make quite enough frosting, that’s why it looks a bit scant on the pictures.

This cake is perfect for that yearly summer courgette glut, if you are grow-your-owners. I’ve baked with courgettes a lot because of this. The summer we spent in New Zealand produced a never-ending supply of them. The summers are so perfect over there for growing stuff, we earned our keep doing gardening and maintaining the veg patch. We had courgettes most days for tea in many different guises but there were still so many, so we baked- cakes, gingerbread, muffins.

We are happily settled house sitting in South Warwickshire, looking after an energetic, gorgeous dog, a pretty cat, a rabbit and a bearded dragon. The dog has such an amazing personality, she is super friendly and loves hugs. She is a massive telly addict, she watches anything but prefers animal documentaries! She has enjoyed a bit of the Olympics today, she liked the swimming.

Chocolate Courgette Cake

oven 180 C / gas 4

24 cm loose bottomed round cake tin, greased and the bottom lined with parchment

  • 2 largish courgettes
  • 3 free range eggs
  • 125 g golden caster sugar
  • 200 g light muscovado sugar
  • 125 ml oil {sunflower or vegetable}
  • 150 ml plain yoghurt {a 150 g pot)
  • 1/2 tbsp instant coffee mixed with 1 tbsp boiling water
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 50 g good quality cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 300 g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

First off you need to grate the courgettes. If your courgettes are quite big or old, halve them lengthways and scoop out the centre core of seeds with a spoon. Grate them coarsely by hand, this is better than using a food processor as it makes the grates thinner so they melt into the bake. You can peel your courgettes first if you wish, I didn’t. Once grated, heap into a clean tea towel and squeeze out the liquid, courgettes are full of water. You are looking for about 250 g of squeezed, grated courgette, a bit over or under won’t matter.

Place the eggs, sugars, oil, yogurt, vanilla extract and coffee into a large bowl and beat well with a whisk. Sift in the cocoa powder and the salt and fold in with a metal spoon. Stir in the grated courgettes.

Sift together the flour and bicarbonate of soda then fold into the batter. Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and bake for about 40 to 50 minutes. Check the cake after about 35 mins, cover with a piece of foil if it’s starting to cook to quickly on top. A cake tester should come out clean when it’s cooked. Cool completely on a wire rack.

White Chocolate Buttercream

  • 100 g white chocolate, chopped and melted
  • 200 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 50 ml double cream
  • 350 g icing sugar

Melt the white chocolate then set aside to cool.

Cream the butter and cream in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and well whipped. Sift in a third of the icing sugar, beat in then repeat until all of the icing sugar has been incorporated.

Beat in the melted and cooled white chocolate. Use a palette knife to spread it over your, now cold, cake. If you like, you can further decorate it with white chocolate curls or grated white chocolate.

8 Responses

  1. I’ve got a courgette plant about to go into overdrive so might have to give this a try – sounds much more interesting than endless courgette soup and stuffed courgettes for the next month!

  2. That very sleek pretty dog has great taste! I love Roger too with his laid back attitude and cheeky smile! Great sounding recipe as well!! p.s. what fun looking after all those animals!

  3. Dave says:

    That’s an amazing photo of the dog watching Sean Connery! I’ve seen dogs glance at TV before but not watch it so intently like that. As for the courgettes, my sister-in-law is harvesting 1-2 per day from her garden in Florence, so we were eating them in as many forms as possible during our visit last week! Looking forward to your next post. Dave.

  4. BrandiD says:

    That first photo is gorgeous and it looks delicious!!