Recipes - Desserts

Courgettes in breads and cakes

If you’re not a fan of sickly sweet cakes which are high in sugar and fat, why not try cooking and eating cakes which have vegetables in them – carrot, courgette, pumpkin, beetroot are healthy ingredients and help to produce moist and nutritious cakes and breads.  They don’t last long, but then, they don’t need to if they’re popular!

Here’s 3 recipes you can try with courgettes:  the first is a basic sweet loaf; the second is a layered cake which can be made for a special occasion with a rich filling and topping, or kept simple with a minimal filling.   The last one is just as tasty and will appeal to anyone trying to cut down their sugar intake.

Lemon Courgette Loaf Cake

About this recipe:  Pauline Webb, of Tennal Lane Allotments, makes this cake regularly to take care of the courgette surplus on her plot.    The lemon and sugar drizzled over the cooked cake gives it an extra kick.


  • 200g grated courgettes                                         
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 1 egg                                                                         
  • 110ml vegetable oil
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon                                          
  • 200g plain flour
  • ½  teaspoon salt                                                     
  • ½  teaspoon bicarb of soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder                                 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Pre-heat oven to 160 C or Gas Mark 3.  Mix courgettes, sugar, egg, zest of lemon and oil in a bowl.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in another bowl, add to courgette mix, and combine.
  3. Pour into a greased and lined loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes in the oven at 160 C or Gas 2.5.
  4. Mix lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of caster sugar drizzle over hot cake.  Leave to cool for 10 minutes before turning out.

Courgette Cake with lemon curd

About this recipe This is a Nigella Lawson recipe. It’s moist, delicious and not overly sweet if you leave out the topping

Serves 8 as a dessert


  • 2 medium – large courgettes, grated using course side of box grater (250 g in weight)
  • 2  large eggs                        
  • 125ml vegetable oil           
  • 150g caster sugar
    225g self-raising flour     
  • ½  tspn bicarbonate of soda and ½  tspn baking powder
    A large handful sultanas


  • Lemon curd with some lime juice to taste – optional

Icing for special occasions:   

  • 200g tub cream cheese     
  • 100g icing sugar, sieved  
  • juice of 1 lime

Alternative filling/topping:

  • 4 tablespoons crème fraiche
  • Icing sugar
  • 50 g dessicated coconut


  1. Preheat oven to 180 C.  Grease and line 2 sandwich tins (19-20 cm across)
  2. Grate courgettes.
  3. Combine eggs, oil and sugar in bowl.
  4. Sieve in flour, bicarb and baking powder and beat until well combined.
  5. Stir in grated courgette and sultanas.
  6. Pour into tins and bake for 30 minutes until slightly browned and firm to touch.
  7. Turn out after 5 minutes onto a rack.  Once cool, sandwich with lemon curd in middle.
  8. Sieve the cream cheese into a bowl with the cream cheese, mix to a spreading consistency, adding lime juice if liked.  Spread on the top and firm in fridge if preferred.
  9. Alternatively, make a filling/topping or just a filling with crème fraiche, icing sugar and coconut.  Mix in sieved icing sugar to a bowl with the crème fraiche to the preferred level of sweetness and add coconut to give a spread consistency for spreading.

Note:  Best eaten fresh – the inclusion of courgettes means that this cake doesn’t keep too long.

Courgette, Walnut and Mustard Teabread

About this recipe:   This recipe is on yellowing newspaper stuck in my cake recipe scrapbook – I think it comes from a Colman’s Mustard advert, inviting the reader to send off to Colman’s Kitchen for a free copy of A Taste of Colman’s enclosing a self-addressed envelope and 22p stamp!    That tells you how long ago I cut it out, and Colman’s Kitchen doesn’t seem to exist any more although there are recipes using mustard on their website.

Anyway, the beauty of this recipe is that it’s good for a teatime snack but only includes 2 TEASPOONS of sugar.  How about that?  When most of the recipes for cakes with veggies like courgettes, pumpkins and carrots have loads of sugar in them, that’s got to be a bonus.

So get cooking with your courgette surplus before everyone starts complaining and don’t bother with counting calories. 

By the way, although there’s walnuts in the recipe, I’d guess it would be as good with other types of nuts or no nuts at all.

Time:   Preparation 20-25 minutes    Cook: 60 mins

Serves: 12-16 slices


  • 170 g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (preferably caster)
  • 170 g courgettes, grated
  • 85 g walnuts, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 3 tablespoons French mustard
  • Optional to serve: butter


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C, Gas Mark 4/
  2. Sift the dry ingredients into a basin.  Add the courgettes and walnuts.
  3. Beat together the eggs, oils and mustard and stir into the mixture until evenly mixed. 
  4. Turn the mixture into a two pound loaf tin, greased, with the base lined.
  5. Bake in the pre-heated oven for an hour until well-risen and firm to the touch.
  6. Cool slightly then remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.
  7. Serve sliced, extra nice with butter.

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