I tried courgette and lime cake at a local cafe last year and I’ve told myself ever since that I would give it a try! It also makes me feel slightly less guilty about eating cake when its got vegetables in, surely that almost qualifies as healthy…?
There are a few recipes around but I decided to go for the one on the M&S website.
First job, set the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas 4 then grease and line a 900ml loaf tin (I wasn’t sure what the size of my loaf tin was as I’ve had it a while however when it came to putting the cake mix in, there was too much for my tin and I used the extra to make 9 cupcakes).
For the cake you need
- 4 eggs
- 250g caster sugar
- 100ml sunflower oil or light olive oil
- 6 tbsp Greek-style yogurt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 lime
- 250g courgettes
- 300g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 100g pistachio nuts
For the lime frosting
- 150g cream cheese
- 75g butter
- 300g icing sugar
- 1 lime (zest only)
Take a large mixing bowl and put in the eggs, sugar, oil, yogurt and vanilla extract and whisk together. I’ve got a standalone mixer so I can do other things while its mixing but it would work just as well with a hand whisk, plus its good for your arms!
Grate the courgette (I found that I used 1 and a half courgettes) and zest and juice one of the limes. Add this to the mixing bowl and stir it in. Next, sift in the dry ingredients – flour and baking powder, mix it together and when done, add all but 2 tbsp of the pistachios and fold these in. When everything is mixed together well, pour it into the loaf tin and put in the oven when it is at the correct temperature.
The recipe states that it should be in the over for 45-50 minutes but it took 60 minutes for mine to be cooked through so just check with a metal skewer or knife before you take it out. It should be well risen, springy and golden brown. Leave it in the tin for 15 minutes or so then turn onto a wire rack to completely cool.
Whilst the cake cools, you can start to make the frosting. The butter needs to be soft enough to mix through well, otherwise it will stay lumpy in the frosting mixture. Slightly ignoring the recipe, I put all the ingredients in a bowl (you only need the lime zest here, not the juice – I only realised after I had squeezed the juice but luckily before I added it to the bowl!) and mixed together well, trying not to make a winter kitchen scene with the icing sugar as I always seem to do! It didn’t take long to make the frosting but if you mix too much it will turn runny. Wait until the cake is completely cool then spread on the frosting – there was more than enough frosting for both the cake and additional cupcakes I made (see above) but if you would rather have less just reduce the amounts. Next, take the remaining pistachios and chop them roughly then sprinkle on the cake.
I took this cake to work today and a few people at work were slightly sceptical at the thought of courgette in a cake but all that was left at the end of the day were crumbs – speaks for itself!