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Layered Courgette Cake recipe

Layered Courgette Cake recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Vegetable cakes
  • Courgette cake

A deliciously moist cake, which is very similar to carrot cake. It's lightly spiced and topped with a cream cheese icing. Enjoy for any special occasion, including birthdays.

113 people made this

IngredientsMakes: 1 23cm round three layer cake

  • 375g plain flour
  • 600g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 350ml vegetable oil
  • 375g grated courgette
  • 225g cream cheese
  • 110g butter
  • 240g icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:25min ›Extra time:3hr cooling › Ready in:3hr55min

  1. Preheat oven to 170 C / Gas 3. Lightly grease and flour three 23cm round cake tins.
  2. In a medium size bowl combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, caster sugar and salt. Mix well.
  3. In another bowl beat eggs, vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon vanilla together. Pour into egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix well. Stir in the courgettes and pour batter into prepared tins.
  4. Bake at 170 C / Gas 3 for 25 minutes. Allow cakes to cool in tins.
  5. Meanwhile, make the icing. Cream together the cream cheese and butter. Add the icing sugar, a little at a time. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla and mix well. Spread on cool cake layers.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(145)

Reviews in English (126)

by Steve Whiting

Thought making this in three layers was too much work, so put in a 9x13 pan. Came out just great, and much simpler. Was a very moist tasty cake. Took to work & was a big hit with everyone. Will Definitely try again!!!-07 Sep 2004

by AmateurChef

I can't get enough of this cake. Everytime I bake it I add something different. Coconut, currants, walnuts, raisins. Also, I only use 2 cups of brown sugar and 3/4 cup of oil.-18 Jun 2006


Fantastic! Everyone loved it. I made it in a 13"x9" pan instead of 3 layers and it baked up moist & delicious. It's a new family favorite.-25 Aug 2002

Lemon Courgette Cake

This cake contains courgette, which keeps the mixture light and moist as well as making it a bit healthier than your average cake. A great way to use up your garden produce, or leftovers from the farmer's market.

So many fruits and vegetables come into season during June, like these delicious courgettes National Trust Images / John Millar
  • Preparation time 40 minutes (prep. time)
  • Cooking time 55 minutes (cooking time)
  • Serves 8

Zucchini Layer Cake

Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success:

  • This recipe calls for 2 full cups of coarsely shredded zucchini. I use this box grater to shred it. You’re going to want to really pack the zucchini into the measuring cup, and don’t drain it! We want all that wonderful moisture.

  • This recipe calls for 3/4 cup of oil, but you may use an equal amount of melted coconut oil in its place, if preferred. I do not recommend substituting oil with melted butter.
  • For best results, make sure your eggs, egg yolks, Greek yogurt, and milk have all come to room temperature before you begin baking.
  • When you measure your flour, be sure you’re not packing it into the measuring cup. Packed flour will yield a dense and dry cake.
  • The cake layers should all be baked on the middle rack of your oven. If there’s not enough room in your oven to bake them all in an even row at once, you can bake them in two batches.
  • For the rich chocolate frosting, you’ll want to make sure your butter is VERY soft before creaming it.
  • The cakes should be completely cooled before adding the frosting.
  • The assembly is a two part process: you’ll place one cake level on a large plate, top it with a thick layer of frosting, then add another cake level and repeat. Once you’ve added the final cake level you’ll want to leave the top bare and place the cake in the fridge to set for about 30 minutes. Once it’s set, you can finish frosting it, slice, and serve.

If you like chocolate zucchini bread, you’ll LOVE this Chocolate Zucchini Cake. Perfect with a cold glass of milk on a warm Summer day. Enjoy ♥

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Making a layer cake using zucchini may sound weird, but the end result is really a kindred spirit to carrot cake—the zucchini gives the cake a moist consistency similar to zucchini bread. The batter is mixed by hand with cinnamon and nutmeg, then grated zucchini is folded in cake flour gives it a light texture and fine crumb. The frosting is a riff on cream cheese frosting but uses a buttercream base with some yogurt mixed in for tang. Then, the whole cake is coated with toasted pecans for a stunning and unique spice cake that’ll help you use up zucchini from the garden.

What to buy: For this recipe, use bleached cake flour such as Softasilk, for a tender cake that will rise high and evenly. Do not use unbleached cake flour, which yields denser results.

Game plan: If you have a food processor, use it to chop the pecans. It’ll be faster and you’ll have more uniform pieces.

This recipe was featured as part of our summer ingredients recipe gallery.

Tips for Eggs

Eggs should keep a consistent and low temperature. This is best achieved by placing their carton in the center of your fridge. The eggs should also remain in their original packaging to avoid the absorption of strong odors.

It is wise to follow the “best by” date to determine overall freshness, but eggs can be tested by simply dropping them into a bowl of water. Older eggs will float while fresh eggs will sink. This is due to the size of their air cells, which gradually increase over time.

Cooked eggs have a refrigerator shelf life of no more than four days, while hard-boiled eggs, peeled or unpeeled, are safe to consume up to one week after they’re prepared.

The beauty of an egg is its versatility. Eggs can be cooked in a variety of ways. Here are some tips in accomplishing the four most common preparations.

Scrambled: Whip your eggs in a bowl. The consistency of your scrambled eggs is a personal preference, though it seems like the majority of breakfast connoisseurs enjoy a more runny and fluffy option. In this case, add about ¼ cup of milk for every four eggs. This will help to thin the mix. Feel free to also season with salt and pepper (or stir in cream cheese for added decadence). Grease a skillet with butter over medium heat and pour in the egg mixture. As the eggs begin to cook, begin to pull and fold the eggs with a spatula until it forms curds. Do not stir constantly. Once the egg is cooked to your liking, remove from heat and serve.

Hard-boiled: Fill a pot that covers your eggs by about two inches. Remove the eggs and bring the water to a boil. Once the water begins to boil, carefully drop in the eggs and leave them for 10-12 minutes. For easy peeling, give the eggs an immediate ice bath after the cooking time is completed. For soft-boiled eggs, follow the same process, but cut the cooking time in half.

Poached: Add a dash of vinegar to a pan filled with steadily simmering water. Crack eggs individually into a dish or small cup. With a spatula, create a gentle whirlpool in the pan. Slowly add the egg, whites first, into the water and allow to cook for three minutes. Remove the egg with a slotted spoon and immediately transfer to kitchen paper to drain the water.

Sunny Side Up/Over Easy/Medium/Hard: For each of these preparations, you are cracking an egg directly into a greased frying pan. For sunny side up, no flipping is involved. Simply allow the edges to fry until they’re golden brown. To achieve an over easy egg, flip a sunny side up egg and cook until a thin film appears over the yolk. The yolk should still be runny upon serving. An over medium egg is flipped, fried, and cooked longer until the yolk is still slightly runny. An over hard is cooked until the yolk is hard.

Eggs can easily be frozen, but instructions vary based on the egg’s physical state. As a general rule, uncooked eggs in their shells should not be frozen. They must be cracked first and have their contents frozen.

Uncooked whole eggs: The eggs must be removed from their shells, blended, and poured into containers that can seal tightly.

Uncooked egg whites: The same process as whole eggs, but you can freeze whites in ice cube trays before transferring them to an airtight container. This speeds up the thawing process and can help with measuring.

Uncooked yolks: Egg yolks alone can turn extremely gelatinous if frozen. For use in savory dishes, add ⅛ teaspoon of salt per four egg yolks. Substitute the salt for sugar for use in sweet dishes and/or desserts.

Cooked eggs: Scrambled eggs are fine to freeze, but it is advised to not freeze cooked egg whites. They become too watery and rubbery if not mixed with the yolk.

Hard-boiled eggs: As mentioned above, it is best to not freeze hard-boiled eggs because cooked whites become watery and rubbery when frozen.


  1. 1 Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Cut out 2 (8-inch) rounds of parchment paper set aside. Coat 2 (8-inch) cake pans with butter, place the rounds in the pans, and coat the parchment with more butter. Coat the pans and parchment with flour and tap out any excess set aside.
  2. 2 Place the measured flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to aerate and break up any lumps set aside.
  3. 3 Combine the eggs, sugars, oil, and vanilla in a second large bowl and whisk until the eggs are broken up and the mixture is thoroughly combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture until just combined. Fold in the zucchini until evenly mixed.
  4. 4 Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake side by side on the middle rack, rotating from one side to the other halfway through the cooking time, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes.
  5. 5 Transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Run a knife around the perimeter of each and turn the cakes out onto the rack to cool completely.
  6. 6 Using a serrated knife, trim a very thin layer from the top of each cake, just enough to even out the surface set aside.

For the buttercream frosting and nut filling:

  1. 1 Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on low speed until the sugar is incorporated, about 30 seconds.
  2. 2 Increase the speed to medium high and beat until the mixture is light in color, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.
  3. 3 Return the mixer to medium-high speed and add the vanilla and salt. Add the yogurt 1/3 cup at a time until all of it has been added, then continue mixing until the frosting is evenly combined and light in texture, about 3 minutes. (It’s very important that the yogurt is at room temperature, or the frosting will seize and form clumps.)
  4. 4 For the filling, transfer 1 1/4 cups of the frosting to a medium bowl and mix in 2/3 cup of the pecans set aside.
  5. 5 To frost the cake, place a layer on an upside-down cake pan. Evenly spread all of the nut filling over the top of the layer, then place the second cake layer on top, cut-side down. (This way you have a really smooth, even surface to frost.) Using an offset spatula or long, thin knife, spread the remaining frosting evenly over the top and sides of the cake.
  6. 6 Using your hands, gently press the remaining 1 1/3 cups pecans into the frosting around the sides of the cake. (It’s helpful to do this over a baking sheet to catch any falling pecans.) Carefully slide 2 long, flat spatulas under the cake from opposite directions, lift the cake off the cake pan, and transfer it to a serving plate.
  7. 7 If you don’t plan to eat the cake within 4 hours, tent it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for up to 3 days. To serve, let the cake sit at room temperature for about 45 minutes to take the chill off before slicing.


Firstly, we prepare the couscous as follows:

1. Add boiling hot water to a jug with the stock cube and dissolve it, or if using broth, bring it to a boil.

Then add it to the bowl with the couscous. Place a lid or plastic wrap over the bowl. (covering the couscous will allow it to steam and absorb the water.)

2. Add olive oil to a pan and cook onions and garlic. Add salt & pepper if you wish.

3. Whilst the onions etc are cooking, place the tomato in a jug with some hot water so the skin can be removed.

4. Cook the onions etc until they are translucent and everything is soft. Remove the tomato from the water and peel off the skin, and chop into cubes. Add to the pan of onions etc and combine. Remove pan from heat. Add the minced garlic now if you are using.

5. Remove the lid from the bowl of cous cous and using a fork, poke it around and stir it quite a lot until it fluffs up and the cous cous is not clumped together.

6. Add ALL the contents from the pan to the couscous. Do not drain first. You need the oil and juices to flavor the couscous. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add tabasco, fresh chopped herbs, and combine.

Next we prepare the other vegetables.

7. For the zucchini/courgette, slice lengthways and place in the pan with a drop of olive oil and lightly fry until half cooked. Remove and place on kitchen paper.

Do the same for the sliced mushrooms then set aside, and for the spinach, if using fresh spinach, wash well and dry.

8. Build the bake. (season with salt and pepper in between each layer if you wish!)
Use an oven proof dish roughly 8 x 8 inches or a little larger. You don't need to be too precise with the size.
Start with a layer using some of the mushrooms, then a layer of cous cous, then zucchini / courgette, then cous cous, then spinach, then cous cous, then mushrooms, ending in a layer of cous cous.

In between each layer, thinly sprinkle some grated cheese all over. Top with a sprinkling of cheese before the oven.

9. Place in preheated oven, 180 C or 350 F and cook until the top is browned. Should take around 20 - 30 minutes. Once ready, allow to stand for 15 minutes to make it easier for slicing, then serve!

You can choose any order of layers you like, however, please ensure, if using fresh spinach, it has a layer of couscous directly under and above it. This is so the couscous can absorb any water from the spinach during cooking, otherwise, you could end up with excess water in your bake!

We'd love to hear from you and what you thought of our post. Did you make any changes or add some other goodies? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and happy cooking!


Whisk the egg yolks in the bowl of a freestanding mixer on a high speed for five minutes, until pale, thick and creamy.

In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Add the lemon zest and vanilla paste and mix well. Add the whisked egg yolks and beat well. Add the flour and cornflour and mix.

In a clean, grease-free bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Stir one-third of the egg whites into the batter to loosen the consistency. Then gently fold the remaining egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.

Preheat the grill to high.

Grease a 20cm/8in round springform tin with oil and line the base with parchment paper.

Spoon some of the batter into the base of the cake tin and spread evenly across the bottom. Give the tin a gentle side-to-side shake to even out the top of the batter. Place on a shelf 10cm/4in below the grill and cook for two minutes, or until light golden-brown.

Remove from the grill, add another spoonful of batter, spread out with a pastry brush, and place under the grill for three minutes, or until dark golden-brown. Continue layering and grilling until you have 20 layers alternating in colour from light golden-brown to dark golden-brown. (Or continue until you have used all the batter.)

Remove from the grill and leave to cool in the tin for five minutes. Carefully release from the tin and turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

Melt the apricot jam in a small pan over a low heat. Pass through a fine sieve, then brush the top and sides of the cake with jam. This will help the glaze stick to the cake.

For the chocolate glaze, melt the butter in a small pan with the golden syrup, rum and vanilla paste and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, allow to cool for five minutes. Stir in the chocolate until melted. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool to a coating consistency.

Place a large piece of greaseproof paper under the wire rack holding the cake. Pour the glaze evenly over the cake to cover completely. Any excess glaze will be caught on the greaseproof paper and can be reused to fill in any unglazed areas of the cake.

For the vanilla glaze, sieve the icing sugar into a bowl. Add the rum, vanilla paste and milk, stirring until completely smooth. Drizzle over the chocolate glaze.


For the cake:
butter, for greasing the tins
50g desiccated coconut
1 mango, peeled and thinly sliced lengthways
400g Greek yoghurt
300g caster sugar
7 medium eggs, lightly beaten
400g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
For the German buttercream:
150ml whole milk
100g caster sugar
3 egg yolks
1 tbsp cornflour
350g unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ tsp vanilla extract
For the decoration:
25g coconut chips or desiccated coconut, toasted
150g mango pulp
To serve:
Greek yoghurt
extra mango pulp


  • Sunflower oil spray
  • 250g half-fat margarine
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp granulated sweetener
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
  • Finely grated zest of 2 limes
  • 200g courgettes, grated
  • For the icing
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp light cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • To finish
  • Grated zest of 1 lime

15 Summer Cakes

Matt Taylor-Gross

When we talk of summer desserts it’s easy to learn hard on the virtues of pie, cobblers, crisps, and their brethren—those dishes that overflow with fruit and stain shirts with both plumbs and aplomb. But summertime cakes are a beautiful thing, baked on the weekend and enjoyed for breakfast or snack or dessert throughout the days that follow. These, too, are an excellent foil for the season’s ripest produce and freshest flavors. And they get along handsomely with ice cream, too.

So bake a cake this weekend, be it stuffed with plums or lined with a bright lemony filling, and leave the pie for another day.

Vanilla Cake

This vanilla cake is anything but basic—the tang of buttermilk adds interest, while brown sugar bumps the earthy vanilla notes. Christina Tosi uses it as the base for her towering, masterful Strawberry Lemon Layer Cake. Get the recipe for Vanilla Cake

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Classic Carrot Cake

This version of the cake is a potluck and bake sale favorite the addition of crushed pineapple helps to keep it sweet and moist. Get the recipe for Classic Carrot Cake »

Strawberry Cake

Strawberry cake topped with strawberry cream cheese frosting is a favorite soul food dessert this delicious version comes from Bertha’s Kitchen in North Charleston. Get the recipe for Strawberry Cake »

Lemon Layer Cake

Lemon infuses this layered masterpiece in three ways: zested into the batter, in a tart syrup that get drizzled over the cakes, and in a thick lemon curd frosting.

Hummingbird Cake

This hummingbird cake honors the legacy of the Southern cook Edna Lewis. Get the recipe for Hummingbird Cake »

Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake

Pastry chef Anna Posey of Chicago’s Publican blackens rhubarb in a wood-fired oven for the cheesecake’s compote topping. A standard oven will also do the trick. Get the recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake »

Coconut Cake

Fresh coconut and its sweet water are the keys to this cake, passed down from pastry chef Ben Mims’ grandmother, Jane Newson.

Olive Oil Quatre Quarts with Chopped Fruit

This variation on a classic French pound cake, in which ingredient quantities are determined by relative weight, uses olive oil instead of butter for a light, fresh flavor. The recipe was developed by SAVEUR contributor Nancy Harmon Jenkins, who recommends using a Polder Kitchen Scale for accurate measure.

Black Forest Cherry Torte

This German dessert got it right by combining two of our favorite ingredients-chocolate and cherries!

Caramel Cake

The recipe for this butter cake draped in caramel fudge icing is based on a cake originally made by Louise Hodges, a home cook from Carmack, Mississippi.

Blackberry and Apple Cake

Loaded with ripe fruit, this moist cake is a cross between two classic English desserts, sponge cake and summer pudding.

Danish Dream Cake (Drømmekage)

This delightfully basic white sponge cake, encrusted with a coconut and brown sugar topping, is a dream to make and eat.

Yellow Cake with Fudge Icing

The key to making this cake’s rich icing is to stir it vigorously once it has cooled to the proper temperature.

Equipment: Mixer, 2 x 20cm round sandwich cake tins, greased and lined.

Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3.

Using a mixer, whisk together the butter and caster sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs and whisk
again. Gently fold in the flour, baking powder, chopped ginger and ginger ale, using a spatula.

Spoon the cake mixture into the two cake tins and bake for 45 minutes –1 hour, until the cakes are firmto
touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean, with no cake batter on it. When you have removed the cakes from the oven, make small holes over the top of each one using a skewer and drizzle over the Pimm’s so that it soaks into the holes. Leave to cool in the tins.

For the icing, whisk together the icing sugar, butter and enough milk to make a smooth, stiff frosting. Divide the mixture between 4 bowls, one for each of the flavoured icings.

Add the finely chopped cucumber skin and the cucumber purée to the first bowl, with a few drops of green
food colouring. Add a splash of Pimm’s and mix well.

Add the strawberry essence and a few drops of pink food colouring to the second bowl. Add a splash of Pimm’s and mix well.

Add the mint, mint essence and a few drops of green food colouring to the third bowl. Add a splash of Pimm's and mix well.

Finally, add the orange zest and rind, orange essence and a few drops of orange food colouring to the fourth bowl. Add a splash of Pimm’s and mix well.

After the cakes have cooled and are soaked in Pimm’s, cut each one in half to make 4 cake layers. Using a knife, spread a thick layer of buttercream between the layers so that each layer has a different flavour: cucumber, strawberry, mint. Spread the orange icing over the top and round the sides of the cake and decorate with strawberries, cucumber, mint leaves and orange slices. Serve straight away, with a glass oPimm’s on the side.

Start by making the lemon curd. In a large, microwavable bowl, add the sugar, butter and the zest of both lemons but the juice from 1 1/2. Microwave on a medium heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved, mixing every 30 seconds. Once melted, add the flour and allow the mixture to cool slightly before cracking in the whisking in the egg and placing back in the microwave to cook until thick, mixing every 30 seconds. Place in the fridge to cool completely.

How will I know when the curd is set?

After the flour and egg has been incorportaed and the mixture has been cooked, the mixture should resemble a thick custard.

Pre-heat the oven to 170c/338f and grease three 20cm cake tins with butter and line the base with greaseproof paper. Coarsely grate the courgette onto a plate a set aside.

In a free-standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl using a hand whisk, cream together the baking spread, sugar and salt until really light and fluffy and a much lighter shade of yellow. Add the eggs, one at a time and wait until the egg has been fully incorporated before adding the next.

Using a large metal or wooden spoon, carefully fold the flour, baking powder, chopped thyme and grated courgette into the eggy mixture until just incorporated. Divide the batter evenly between the cake tins and place in the oven for approximately 20-25 minutes or until the cake springs bake when lightly pressed.

In a free-standing food mixer with the whisk attachment or using a hand whisk, whisk the butter for 5 minutes until fluffy and the colour of cream. Add the icing sugar and whisk again until fully combined and fluffy. Add the curd and the mascarpone and whisk to combine.

Once cold, take the cakes out of the tins and slice in half horizontally to create four, equally sized layers of cake. Turn one layer of cake upside down and place on a serving plate, spread a third of the mascarpone icing over it. Top with another layer of cake and spread a third of the mascarpone icing over the second layer. Repeat this step until all layers of cake and all the icing has been used this should leave a six layered cake with a bare top. Alternatively, leave the cakes un-cut and have a three layered cake the choice is yours!

For the drizzle icing, mix the lemon juice and icing sugar to create an icing with a pourable consistency. Pour this over the top of the cake and coax it down the edges to create a lightly drizzled effect. Top the cake with the mini bunting, thyme springs and candied peel or add edible flowers for an opulent party cake fit for the best summer party!


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