Yes, you read that correctly! A couple of weekends ago I was craving some carrot cake, and had everything I needed at home – except the carrots. With a few courgettes in the fridge (I’ve been trying out courgetti recipes recently), I wondered what effect grated courgettes would have! As they don’t have an overbearing flavour, and are full of moisture, I thought they could be a great alternative for making a wonderfully moist and nutty cake. I added Pumpkin Spice (a mixture of cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg and ground cloves) and chopped walnuts, and the effect was literally heaven! For the frosting I stuck to my carrot cake favourite; a simple cream cheese icing.
For the cake, you will need:
- 3 large eggs
- 300g plain flour
- 300ml sunflower oil
- 300g soft light brown sugar
- 300g grated courgette
- 100g walnuts, chopped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
For the icing, you will need:
- 1 small tub of soft cream cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 tablespoon of icing sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. Peel and grate the courgettes, and set aside.
3. Combine the eggs, sunflower oil and sugar in large bowl, then slowly sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg, whilst stirring it in.
4. Once it’s all mixed, fold in the grated courgettes and chopped walnuts.
5. Pour the mixture into a greased baking tin (grease by rubbing it with a little butter), then pop into the pre-heated oven and bake for around 40-45 minutes. When you think the cake is done, stick a knife into the top of it and pull it out; if it comes out clean then it’s done, but if it’s covered in gloop then give it a bit longer!
6. Whilst the cake is in the oven, mix together the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla using a fork (don’t whip or use a food processor as it can change the consistency and make it too runny!).
7. Let the cake cool on a cooling rack, then cover it in icing and dust with a little cinnamon.
Enjoy straight away, or save it in the fridge for up to five days.