Food & Drink

Courgette Cake with Lime Curd & Pistachio ~ Recipe

June 20, 2010

Courgette Cake with Lemon & Lime Curd & PistachioWe haven’t baked cakes here for ages and like the No 10 bus, they all come along at once! As a result I’ve been trawling through the recipe books trying to find ways of cooking courgettes (known as zucchini in several parts of the world) differently. I love them chopped and fried in loads of garlic and served with pasta and cheese sauce, Mr G isn’t that fussed about them one way or another. Our son claims to like them but is always full when it comes to eating them so they’re the last item left on his plate. The girls refuse to eat them point-blank.

Courgette (Zucchini) Cake RecipeCourgette flowers are like a burst of sunshine in the garden but the plants themselves can be very heavy producers and take up a lot of space. The flowers are edible (we’ve yet to fry them in batter as suggested) but if you pick them all, you may find yourself with no courgettes!  It’s recommended to place the plants a metre apart but ours is taking up well over that space at this stage.

Yesterday I harvested three courgettes and today another four are ready, hence my search for recipes.

So here it is. The ultimate courgette recipe that keeps everyone in our household happy:  Flora’s Famous Courgette Cake recipe found in Nigella Lawson’s “How to be a Domestic Goddess”:

Courgette (Zucchini) Cake recipe(Preheat oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4)

Courgette (Zucchini) Cake with Lime Curd & Pistachio Recipe

For the cake:

60g sultanas, optional (but tasty)
250g courgettes (2-3), weighed before grating
2 large free range eggs
125ml organic rapeseed oil
150g caster sugar, sieved
225g self-raising flour
half teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
half teaspoon baking powder

2 x 21cm sandwich tins, greased and lined

If you’re using sultanas, put them in a bowl and cover with warm water to plump them up.
Wipe the courgettes with kitchen towel (don’t peel them), then grate.  The coarse side of an ordinary grater is best as anything finer or smaller can make them mushy).  When the courgettes are grated turn them into a sieve over the sink to remove excess water.

Put the eggs, oil and sugar in a bowl and beat until creamy.  Sieve in the flour, bicarb and baking powder and continue to beat until well combined.  Now stir in the grated courgette and add the drained sultanas.  Equally pour the mixture into the tins and bake for 30 minutes until slightly browned and firm to the touch.  Leave in the tins on a rack for 5-10 mins then turn out and allow them to cool until you’re ready to fill and ice them.

For the lime curd filling (or buy one from the shop but it’s very easy to make)

Makes 350ml:
75g unsalted butter
3 large eggs
75g caster sugar
125ml lemon and lime juice (approx 3 limes and 1 lemon)
zest of 1 lime

Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan, add all the other ingredients and whisk to a custard over a gentle heat. If it’s allowed to get too hot the egg will curdle which isn’t a problem but will explain the lumpy bits.  Let the curd cool before filling a steralised jar – or a cake – with it.  Keep in the fridge.

For the lime and pistachio icing:

200g cream cheese
100g icing sugar, sieved
juice of 1 lime, or more to taste
2-3 tablespoons chopped pistachio nuts

Beat the cream cheese in a bowl until smooth, add the icing sugar, beating well to combine, then stir in the lime juice to taste. Sprinkle the pistachio nuts over the top.

courgette (zucchini) cake with lemon and lime curd & pistachioThe Verdict

We loved this cake.  It’s a bit like carrot cake, light and moist and very easy to make. I also tried it out on a neighbour this afternoon who politely tried it though I could tell it was the last thing she wanted to try, but was then very complimentary and devoured every last crumb.

If you like the idea of making cakes with courgettes, here’s a chocolate and courgette recipe that we had a go at too. If you’d like some other ideas for using up a glut of courgettes from fritters to soup, you can find some here.

Dr How’s Science Wows wrote a series of blog posts about using vegetables in cakes that makes for a very interesting read. I can’t wait to try the spinach cake that Naomi’s children claimed to enjoy the best!


Courgette Cake RecipeThis weekend I was catching up on blog reading when I noticed that Mona Wise had mentioned courgette cupcakes in a recent post. I had all the ingredients in my cupboard to make the cake above, as well as the usual summer glut of courgettes but couldn’t face tackling my exploding cupboard to root out a cake tin. I therefore decided to give the cupcakes a go.

Using the same method and ingredients as above, instead of turning the mixture into a cake tin I divided it into bun cases. This also cut the baking time down to 20 to 25 minutes, even better for hungry mouths!

When the buns were cool I removed them from their paper cases, cut them in half and spread the icing in the middle, before replacing the top. I then poured over the lime curd topping and grated some pistachios on top. Today’s toppings varied slightly from the original above as I had didn’t have enough lime so made a mixture of lemon and lime. The result was still scrummy!

Do you have any cake recipes that you make using vegetables? I’d love to hear about them.



  • Reply Valula Hedgehog June 20, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    Oooh, that looks so good. Definitely going to give it a go – thanks!

  • Reply Chiara June 22, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Hi Dee

    Had some of this cake at the flag raising at OL school today – just divine!! I will definitely be giving it a go this weekend!

    Great blog and web page!

    Chiara Hanrahan

  • Reply Dee Sewell June 22, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    Its a really quick recipe Valula & thanks Chiara for your comments!

  • Reply Lorna July 4, 2010 at 9:20 am

    I actually didn't plant courgettes this year as hate seeing some of them go to waste but reading this, they are definitely going back on the list for next year!

  • Reply Dee Sewell July 4, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    I imagine you could freeze it too Lorna which would be even better.

  • Reply diaryofacountrywife August 6, 2010 at 9:00 am

    I saved this recipe in my to do list of things to bake and today's the day! Never tasted courgette cake but looking forward to giving it a go. I like that you can make it relatively healthy with the veg oil and I plan on reducing the sugar and adding dates and the sultanas for sweetness instead. Thanks for posting.

  • Reply Alfie McCaffrey August 20, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    Courgettes.. can only be eaten with something else as they are tasteless and defy any reason for growing them.The are the vegetable worlds equivalent of politicians..totally useless

    • Reply greensideupveg August 21, 2012 at 12:52 am

      Haha Alfie, it’s a good job we’re all so very different or life would be boring! I agree that courgettes do need spicing up a bit but have to disagree on the useless. My most favourite way ever of eating them is fried in good quality olive oil, lashings of chopped garlic and served with a good cheese sauce and pasta…. and you haven’t tasted my cupcakes, though Margaret does now have the recipe 😉

  • Reply Cornbread Muffins « Ayearinredwood's Blog August 21, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    […] I love watching what other people are doing with courgettes.  I must try this cake from Dee over at Greenside Up […]

    • Reply greensideupveg August 21, 2012 at 6:21 pm

      Me too regarding zucchini recipes! Thanks for the link, the cornbread looks very interesting 🙂

  • Reply My greatest (only!) cake success. | Make, Bake, Craft & Create! July 5, 2013 at 12:25 am

    […] been asked for the recipe… I cannot claim to have invented it – I found it over here. I’d suggest you do as I did, and ignore how this particular blogger has […]

    • Reply greensideupveg July 5, 2013 at 7:16 am

      I’m glad this blogger liked the recipe. Given her comment I should point out that our girls decorated ours which I encourage as it gives them a joy for baking. Apologies if it offends anyone’s sensibilities 😉

  • Reply Beetroot and Chocolate Cake Recipe August 3, 2013 at 10:45 am

    […] not a food scientist in any shape or form but having baked and eaten several courgette, carrot and green tomato cakes over the years, I’ve observed how moist they are, that you […]

  • Reply Chocolate Courgette (Zucchini) Cake | Ayearinredwood's Blog August 14, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    […] over at Greenside Up has a Courgette Cake recipe too – but sorry Dee I can’t do oil in cakes!  I make a Pineapple Upside Down […]

  • Reply Choclette August 16, 2013 at 11:49 am

    With a glut of courgettes, I was just looking in my book at this recipe and thinking how good it sounded. I love lime curd and suspect it would go very nicely with the courgette cake. Yours looks fabulous. However, I want to get chocolate into mine, so I’m just about to embark on making a courgette and chocolate cake.

  • Reply Green Tomato Buns with Lemon Curd Topping September 8, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    […] used to here (two cups of sugar seems an awful lot, even for my sweet too). I therefore adapted a courgette cake recipe and added ingredients from the green tomato cake recipe found earlier. Voilà,  it worked. […]

  • Reply Sunday Snap - Four vegetable birthday cake surprise - Greenside Up September 28, 2013 at 11:04 am

    […] cake surprise made by Mr G. The Carrot Cake is a Good Housekeeping recipe and the Beetroot and Courgette Cake as well as the Green Tomato Buns can be found on the […]

  • Reply Charlieparker February 16, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    Hello! I found this recipe after searching on google for a courgette cake after being requested by my mother in law! I just wanted to say thank you as the cake was absolutely perfect and went down a treat! The lime curd is amazing and I will be making this again just to eat on its own! Thank you once again…..time to try the courgette and chocolate cake next!

    • Reply greensideupveg February 16, 2014 at 9:25 pm

      Delighted you liked it and thanks for taking the time to comment. We love the lime curd too!

  • Reply Patti July 19, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    This looks and sounds delicious. I know so many people here who grow this and it does produce more than anyone can handle. Now I know what to make with the extras I’m given. Love the pistachio extra touch too.

    • Reply greensideupveg July 19, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      Patti it’s delicious and our favourite summer cake so far, you’re visitors will be coming back for more 🙂

  • Reply Vegetables in baking: Part Three - proof in the pudding! - . September 25, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    […] seems to be another popular choice for baking, I like the sound of these recipes… Courgette cake with Lime Curd and Pistachio and this Chocolate Courgette Cake. A good tip from Catriona at Wholseome Ireland is to squeeze out […]

  • Reply Cooking Pumpkins in the CommunityGreenside Up October 14, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    […] cake, a recipe I’ve talked about on several occasions but gardeners had yet to try. The courgette cake recipe can be found here and the basic soup and delicately flavoured pumpkin rice recipes here. I’m afraid […]

  • Reply Reflecting - 14 Gardening Articles for 2014Greenside Up April 22, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    […] No. 3 – Courgette Cake with Lemon & Lime Curd and Pistachio – Recipe […]

  • Reply Squash Soup RecipeGreenside Up July 13, 2015 at 11:19 am

    […] squash soup a family can make, this year we’ll also be making pumpkin muffins based on the courgette cake recipe and will be roasting some of the seeds. I spotted this recipe for cocoa roasted pumpkin […]

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