Courgette and Lime Cake

This has been a popular cake since I first started making it and is probably the cake I’ve had the most recipe requests for. Tom ordered a similar cake at a cafe once and it was so good that I looked for a recipe online to try and recreate it at home. The Courgette and Lime Cake recipe that I found proved to be a good one, and with one or two tweaks it’s become a firm favourite. Here’s my recipe which was very popular at a recent MacMillan Coffee morning.

Table of cakes at a MacMillan coffee morning
Delicious Cakes and Bakes for MacMillan

Recipe

Makes 24 squares.

Time needed: 2 hours

Ingredients

For the cake
  • 6 eggs
  • 250ml vegetable oil
  • 300g caster sugar
  • Zest of 2 limes
  • 450g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 500g courgette (grated)
For the frosting
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 300g icing sugar (sifted)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 250g full fat cream cheese (I use Philadelphia)
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 40g chopped pistachios
  • Lime zest (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C or 160°C fan. Grease and line a large rectangular baking tin (I used a 20x30cm).
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, vegetable oil and sugar until combined then add the lime zest and mix well. Add in the flour, bicarb and baking powder and beat well (I use a stand mixer on a medium speed for a couple of minutes). Add in the courgette and stir to combine, then pour the mixture into the prepared tin.
  3. Bake for 40-50 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
  4. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
  5. For the frosting, beat the butter with an electric whisk or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the icing sugar and salt and beat until it forms a crumbly paste. Add the cream cheese then mix slowly to combine. Turn up the speed and beat until light and fluffy but take care not to overmix as this can break down the cream cheese.
  6. Add the lime juice to the frosting slowly bit by bit, tasting as you go, until you have a good flavour but stop before the frosting gets too runny. You won’t need all the lime juice but you want the frosting to have a nice zing.
  7. Once the cake has fully cooled, spread the frosting over the top and then sprinkle with the chopped pistachios. You could also add some lime zest to decorate.
  8. Put the cake in the fridge for 1 hour (or until ready to serve) to firm up the frosting. Cut into squares and enjoy!
Squares of courgette and lime cake on a plate
Squares of cake ready to enjoy!

Optional Twists

This cake also works well as a round layer cake. Half the recipe will make two 20cm sponges and the icing can be used between the layers and on top. To make it extra special you can frost the whole thing and make a pattern with the pistachio nuts as I did for the birthday cake below!

Round courgette and lime cake with 60th birthday candles
A 60th birthday success!

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