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Courgette and Chocolate Cake

Courgette and Chocolate Cake

Courgette and Chocolate, it works

Food Processor Required


For the cake

  • vegetable oil, for brushing
  • 100g shelled pistachios
  • 3 eggs
  • 180g light brown muscovado sugar
  • 300g courgettes, peeled and finely grated
  • 120g white rice flour
  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt

And the icing on the cakeā€¦

  • 100g unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 100g icing sugar, sieved
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 50g shelled pistachios, ½ roughly chopped, ½ left whole


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C gas mark 4. Line 2 × 18cm sandwich tins with baking parchment and brush a little oil around the base and sides.
  2. Blitz the pistachios for the sponge cake in a food processor until they resemble powder. If they clog together too much, add a tablespoon of the flour to help. Try to get them as close as you can, as it will dramatically affect the texture of the cake.
  3. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl for 2 minutes until pale and fluffy. Beat in the grated courgette and powdered pistachio, then the rice flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Beat again to make sure that everything is well mixed. Split between the tins, then bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes.
  4. When the cakes are cooked, turn them out onto a wire rack. Peel off the baking parchment and leave to cool for 15 minutes. Chill for another 15 minutes to make quite sure that they are perfectly cold before icing them, otherwise the icing will run off.
  5. For the icing, beat the butter in a large mixing bowl until pale and softened. Add the icing sugar and 2 tbsp boiling water, then beat again until it forms a paste. Beat for 1 more minute until the mixture has doubled in volume.
  6. Beat in the cocoa powder, 1 tbsp at a time, beating in between each addition. Once all the cocoa powder is incorporated, beat thoroughly for a final minute until the mixture is fluffy and full of air. If the cakes are not yet completely cold, cover the surface of the icing with clingfilm and set aside until ready to use.
  7. Lightly ice the underside of both cakes. Sprinkle one with the whole pistachios, then sandwich them together and ice the top. Finish off by sprinkling with the chopped pistachios. Keep in the fridge and take out 20 minutes before serving.