Many people I know seem to have a fear of baking cakes, or perhaps that’s just what they tell me so I make cakes for them! Anyway this is a really easy cake to make. You’ve probably had carrot cake but this is a courgette / zucchini cake. We’ve got courgettes growing in the garden at the moment and this is certainly a nice way to use them. It’s lovely and moist, not too sweet, and is perfect with a nice cup of tea. The cake uses oil instead of butter and I add some yoghurt too which I often put in my cakes and reduce the butter / fat in the recipe. This cake is based on a recipe in Tartine with a few adaptations.
So what do you need?
- 120 grams of marmalade
- 120 grams of sugar
- 120ml of vegetable oil
- 2 heaped tablespoons of natural yoghurt
- 2 large free-range eggs
- 1-2 teaspoons of fresh spices (cinnamon and cloves)
- 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
- 250 grams of grated courgette
- 300 grams of plain (all purpose) flour
- a handful of nuts / seeds (flaked almonds)
- a handful of dried fruit (sultanas)
What do you do?
Pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees F / 350 C.
Firstly, I put my mixing bowl on my kitchen scales and weighed in the marmalade and sugar. Then I added the oil, yoghurt, eggs, spices and salt and mixed all these ingredients together. I like to grind my own spices fresh and today I used cinnamon and cloves which I ground in my pestle and mortar along with the sea salt. It doesn’t take long and the spices have much more flavour if you grind them freshly each time you need them, but if you can’t be bothered or already have ready ground spices then that’s fine too, but the little extra effort does pay off!
Then I mixed in the grated courgette, which I squeezed in a tea towel to remove some of the excess water (this is optional), and the nuts and sultanas. Sometimes I use black and white sesame seeds in this cake but today I decided to use flaked almonds. The original recipe uses walnuts so use what you have / like. The mixture looked really good at this point, with the lovely green courgette in it.Then I sifted in the flour and the baking powder and bicarbonate of soda (if you don’t have both of these just use a teaspoon of whichever you have). The bicarbonate of soda needs some acid to make it work but the yoghurt in this recipe will do the trick here. Pour the mixture into a baking tin, I used a 29cm x 10 cm non-stick loaf tin, then sprinkle some nuts / seeds and a little sugar on the top and put it in the oven on a low shelf. It will take at least and hour to cook. Check it after about 40 mins if the top is already browning then you may want to place a bit of foil on top of the cake to make sure it doesn’t burn. After an hour see if the cake is done by inserting a skewer / cake tester and seeing if it comes out clean. This is quite a moist cake so it may need a little longer my cake took an hour and 10 minutes to cook. Once the cake is done put it on a wire rack still in the tin to cool for about 15 mins.Then run a knife around the edge of the tin and turn the cake out and place it on the wire rack. This is the only stage of baking I get a bit nervous at. If you aren’t confident at turning out cakes this is what I do. I put a tea towel over the top of the cake, when it’s in a long tin, if it’s a round cake I use a plate, and then turn the tin over and the cake normally just comes out, you may need to wiggle / tap the bottom of the tin. If you line the tin with baking parchment it will also help but with a non-stick tin I don’t find this cake needs it. Then place the cake on the cooling rack, the right way up and allow to cool. Enjoy with a nice cuppa!