Spring is here,
It’s finally starting to feel like spring is here and with that, I’m trying to spend more time outside in the garden, soaking up that Vitamin D! This Courgette, Lime & Pistachio Cake is the perfect dessert for a spring lunch, it’s light, sweet and tangy and looks amazing! I previously tried this cake at a local coffee shop and loved the taste & appearance. The courgette adds a pretty green fleck to the crumb and lightness to the sponge. Combined with sweet pistachios and zingy lime, this cake really is the perfect mix of flavours for spring and summer.
This cake is super simple to make in one bowl. Mix your sugar, oil and eggs until well combined. Then you need to grate your courgettes and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. This is really important to help the cake not be soggy. Just use clean hands and do it over the sink. The dry ingredients are added in next, folded into the wet mix carefully so that the air is not beaten out. The last step is the egg white that needs to be whipped to stiff peaks and folded in.
Pop it all into a cake or loaf tin, lined with baking paper and bake until firm and cooked through. Meanwhile, make your cream cheese icing whilst the cake is in the oven and store it in the fridge until the cake is baked and has cooled down.
Made with sunflower oil helps the Courgette, Lime & Pistachio Cake to keep for several days in the fridge without going off! You can also make a dairy-free version by switching the cream cheese frosting and using thick natural coconut yoghurt, with icing sugar to taste along with the zest of a lime.
My Top Tips for a Successful Bake
⭑ Be sure to use a coarse side of the grater for grating your courgettes, they will be too mushy if you use a very fine grater.
⭑ IMPORTANT TIP! After grating your courgettes, with clean hands, squeeze out as much liquid as possible. This is really important so that the cake isn’t too wet. The weight of the courgette listed in the ingredients is the weight prior to squeezing out the liquid.
⭑ I would highly recommend using a sheet of baking parchment to line your tray as the cake can be susceptible to sticking to the pan.
⭑ When you make your cream cheese frosting, mix very softly and slowly to avoid the icing getting too runny. If it does go a little runny, pop into the fridge for an hour to firm up.
Courgette, Lime & Pistachio Cake
For the Cake
- 2 eggs medium
- 200 g sunflower oil
- 240 g golden caster sugar
- 60 g unsalted pistachios chopped
- 50 g desiccated coconut
- 140 g courgette grated
- 170 g plain flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp cloves ground
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- A pinch of salt
- 2 limes, zest of
- 1 egg white medium
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 60 g unsalted butter room temperature
- 70 g icing sugar
- 180 g cream cheese full fat
- 1 lime zest
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 25 g unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 160C fan/Gas 3. Grease two 10-inch cake tins and line the base with parchment paper.
- Coarsely grate the courgette and squeeze as much liquid as possible.
- Pour the sunflower oil into a large bowl and add the caster sugar mix lightly with the balloon whisk for a minute or two. Add the two eggs and whisk again for a couple of minutes, this consistency of the cake should now resemble the creamy texture of mayonnaise.
- Add the chopped, pistachios, coconut, lime zest and courgette and fold with a spatula into the wet ingredients.
- Sift the flour with the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and ground cloves into a bowl, add the salt and gently fold into the batter, don’t over mix.
- Whisk the egg white with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form then gently fold into the cake batter again being careful not to over mix.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared tins and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes. To check, insert a cocktail stick into the centre of the cake and it should come out dry. Remove the cake from the oven and cool completely in the tin.
- To make the frosting, beat the butter with the icing sugar until really light and fluffy. Add the lime zest, juice and cream cheese. Briefly whisk again until smooth and well combined, don’t over mix. If the frosting turns runny, stick it in the fridge and it should firm up.
- Spread the cream cheese frosting on the top of the cake. Finally, chop the pistachios and sprinkle on the cake and serve.
* If you are dairy-free you can swap out the cream cheese frosting and use thick, natural coconut yoghurt, add icing sugar to taste and the zest of a lime.