Faced with a growing pile of courgettes from my allotment, I was pleased to find this fantastic recipe on the BBC Good Food website. Here’s a link to the original recipe Frosted courgette and lemon cake and below is my adapted version. Of course I changed it to use gluten-free flour, but I also added some ground almonds and used traditional butter icing for the filling and topping rather than a cream cheese frosting. I used lemon curd (my Mum’s home made one – I must get the recipe for that!) for the filling as suggested, but if you need to transport the cake anywhere, I would leave it out, as it makes the two layers slide apart.
One extra thing I added was a few teaspoons of a milled seed and nut “super food” mix from Linwoods. I thought this might make up for the loss of the whomeal flour from the original recipe. It’s entirely optional, but I found it added a litte extra something. I used the milled flax, sunflower, pumpkin, sesame and gojo berries mix. You can buy it in large bags, but I found a “Mini Variety” box in Holland and Barratt which has 7 sachets with five varieties so you can try all them out: Linwoods website and Mini variety packs info.
Don’t let the fact the cake contains courgettes put you off, think carrot cake – only green and even nicer! I took some slices to work the next day and all agreed it was tasty and moist and even those who purported not to like courgettes loved it.
Courgette and Lemon Drizzle Cake
- 300g butter, plus extra for the tin (200g for the cake and 100g for the icing)
- 3 unwaxed lemons
- 200g golden caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 medium courgettes, coarsely grated (you’ll need 300g flesh)*
- 1 tsp poppy seeds, plus extra to decorate
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 200g self-raising gluten-free flour
- 30g ground almonds
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1-2 tsps milled seeds and nuts (optional – see above)
- 225g icing sugar (25g for the drizzle and 200g for the icing)
- 4 tbsp lemon curd (optional)
- 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 of the butter and the caster sugar into a mixing bowl and beat together until light and fluffy.
- Gradually mix in the eggs and 2-3 tbsp of the flour. Add the courgettes, 1 tsp poppy seeds, vanilla and lemon zest and mix into a creamy batter. Stir in 1 tbsp of the lemon juice, the remaining flour, ground almonds, milled seeds (if using), baking powder and salt and mix well.
- Spoon the mixture into the tins, then bake for 25 mins or until risen, golden and springy in the middle.
- Make a drizzle by mixing another 1 tbsp of lemon juice with 25g icing sugar.
- 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 and spoon over the drizzle and cool completely. (Can be frozen at this stage for up to 1 month.)
- Put the remaing butter (100g) into a bowl and beat until soft. Slowly stir in the remaining icing sugar (200g) and enough lemon juice to make soft creamy icing. Grate in the final lemon’s zest and beat well.
- Put one cake onto a serving plate and spread with just under half the butter icing. Spread over the lemon curd, if using. Top with the second cake, spread the remaining butter icing over the top and sprinkle with poppy seeds.
*Courgettes can hold quite a lot of water, which can affect the finished texture of your cake. If your grated courgettes seem watery, place them into a clean cloth and wring out some of the liquid into a bowl. Then add the courgettes to the cake mixture as normal. The timing for cakes containing courgette can depend on the water content of your courgettes, so return the cake to the oven for another 10 mins if it needs it. Simply test with a skewer and make sure it comes out clean.