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Chocolate swirl courgette cake recipe

Chocolate swirl courgette cake recipe

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

A moist and delicious chocolate courgette cake, with a twist. No need for icing, as this is gorgeous as is.

27 people made this

IngredientsServes: 24

  • 375g plain flour
  • 45g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 600g caster sugar
  • 350ml rapeseed oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 370g grated courgette
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 225ml buttermilk
  • 225g cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 85g milk chocolate, chopped
  • 85g plain chocolate, chopped

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:25min ›Ready in:55min

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Lightly grease two 23cm round cake tins. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, bicarb and salt.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat together 600g of sugar with rapeseed oil with an electric mixer on low speed until the mixture is smooth; add 3 eggs one at a time, and beat again to combine. Beat in courgette and vanilla until well combined. Beat the flour mixture into the courgette mixture by fourths, alternating with 60ml of buttermilk. Mix for 1 minute on medium-high speed, and pour the cake mixture into the tins.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese and 4 tablespoons of sugar until thoroughly combined, then mix in 1 egg until the cream cheese mixture is smooth. Spoon dollops of the cream cheese here and there over the cake mixture in the tins, and swirl with a table knife to make a marbled effect. Sprinkle the milk chocolate and plain chocolate over the cakes.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until a skewer inserted into the chocolate portion of the centre of the cake comes out with moist crumbs, 20 to 30 minutes. Cool on a rack.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(28)

Reviews in English (25)

by blkdimn

This made enough batter for a 13x9 and at least 12 cupcakes. Baked the cupcakes for 22 minutes and the 13x9 for ~55 minutes. I used only 2 cups of sugar and used 3/4 c. oil and 3/4 c. unsweetened applesauce. It was delicious!-26 Aug 2010

by Christina Albright Gargus

Very moist, zucchini is hardly detectable. The baking times is way off though. I used a 9x13x2 pan as recipe said but the cooking time was about 1 hr.. I believe if one used a jelly roll pan, then maybe it would bake in 30 min. Baking it longer made for a little bit of a cripsy crust which my husband really liked.-21 Aug 2010

by breebebabe

I used this recipe for cupcakes, without the swirl and just frosted it with cream cheese frosting. I brought it to a work party and it was a huge hit! Everyone loved it and a few of my coworkers even took some home for their kids and husbands because they loved them so much. Made TONS of cupcakes and they were super duper moist! I saved this recipe and will for sure be using it many more times in the future!-20 Aug 2010

Chocolate Courgette Cake

Morning fellow bakers, following on from the success of January’s Putney Bake Club, I wanted to share the recipe I made with you. On a more personal note, I wanted to talk to you about why I wanted to join a cake club. Living in London, can be quite a lovely adventure. I am lucky enough to live with my gorgeous boyfriend in South West London, not that far from where my parents live. I am at that stage in my life where my friends and relatives are scattered across the country (and world). Myself and my boyfriend both have a 45 minute/ hour commute to work and sometimes travelling 1 hour+ to visit friends that live in London/elsewhere seems like hard work after a week of commuting. When my boyfriend is away travelling or one of us is busy catching up with friends, I miss the informality of popping to a friends for a cup of tea after work or in between chores for 5 minutes . .. or the hours it may become.

Putney Bake Club has already enabled me to make one friend, who only lives 5 minutes away who will be lending me a cake tin for the next Putney Bake Club! It’s these sorts of things that make life easier and provide a small amount of comfort when you just need a friendly face at the end of the day. I am not saying I want to replace my far flung friends, in fact the contrary, I love them far too much and am dragging them one by one to Bake Club. In these days where electronic communication is the norm, its nice to have people you can see face to face at a moments notice as well as the long chats with your lifelong friends over the phone.

I hope that everyone that attends a Bake Club will meet new friends and I hope to support all the lovely Putney and Barnes members as much as I can. I’m not very good at meeting new people, I get very nervous and end up a bit sweaty with verbal diarrhea, I thank my fellow cake clubbers for putting up with me. Once common ground was found (apart from the cake) it was all worth it and my butterflies subsided!

Sorry for the waffle, here’s the recipe which I hope, if you tasted it, you enjoyed.

23cm round tin, greased and bottom lined with greaseproof paper.

175g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
100ml plain yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g plain flour, sifted
1.5 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp cocoa powder
300g courgettes, topped and tailed, put through the finest cutter on your food processor/grater.
150g milk chocolate, very roughly chopped (the last 50g from the packet is for you to munch as you go)

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
100g cream cheese
25g butter, softened.
2 tbsp cocoa
250g icing sugar, sifted

In a mixing bowl (or freestanding mixer), beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, don’t worry if it curdles, it will come back. Add the yoghurt and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, sift together, the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, in three parts using a large metal spoon to fold it in. Squeeze your courgettes with your hands (leaving the liquid behind) and add to the mixture, then add the chocolate pieces, stir.

Pour into the prepared tin, bake for 45-50 minutes (you may need to cover with greaseproof after 30 mins if it is browning too much) until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Skewer in two places in case you hit a choccy spot. Leave the cake in the tin for 40 minutes before removing and placing on a cooling rack to cool completely.

Whilst the cake is cooling, whisk together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, then sift in the icing sugar and cocoa powder, whisking as you go. I used a spatula to cover my cake and create the swirl but you could pipe it. As I thought grated courgette would be messy I grated lime zest for the edge of my cake.

Baking with Veggies: Chocolate Courgette Cake

Baked with carrots? Yes of course! I hear you scream. I always knew that vegetables made great additions to bakes but honestly rarely try it, but this recipe is a fantastic adventure into veggie baking.

If you’re looking for a rich chocolate cake but maybe don’t have as sweet a tooth as me, then this is a perfect tea time treat for you.

I’ve recently found myself in a pretty cruddy situation, recovering from surgery back down at my mum’s. Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes it is nice to put your feet up and enjoy people looking after you right? Definitely! But after a little while, I was itching to do something and it seemed that the most active I could be in my state was to bake.

Well nothing wrong with that eh?

I was going up to see my boyfriend’s mum and step-dad on their narrowboat and I couldn’t think of a better gift to take with me than a beautiful cake. Honestly, enjoying cake on a boat in the gorgeous Warwickshire countryside is something else!

Now my mum has the most beautiful little allotment in the garden, fenced off from our mischievous little doggos. This year she has had an absolute abundance of courgette. So here I am, desperate to get baking and with a load of my fave green veggie on my hands.

My mum always told me how they used to grow courgettes at home and how they would use them in almost anything, but how she’d never actually used them in cake. I was so surprised because I thought it would be my go to, so I set about trying to find the perfect recipe.

This cake is so so simple – because I am in no mood to be doing anything fancy right now – and really can’t go too wrong! It also just uses your absolute bog standard storeroom baking essentials so no need to find go getting extra stuff in.

The key ingredient though, is that all important courgette – a highly underrated vegetable if you ask me!

The courgette helps the cake stay super moist just like the carrot does in a traditional carrot cake, but doesn’t add a huge deal of sweetness to it. It actually adds a welcome texture in the cake that you wouldn’t expect, almost nutty. Delightful!

Now, just because we’re using a vegetable here, don’t be fooled into thinking this is a health kick recipe. It’s as decadently rich as any other cake! I have considered looking into trying to make this vegan however and I will be working with the recipe to see if that is possible…watch this space!

The crowning glory? Fluffy cream cheese frosting. I’ve had real issues with cream cheese frosting before, simply not getting the consistency right for spreading firmly, let alone piping!

Fear not, upon checking blogs and my many baking books I’ve found the perfect recipe! Slightly adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery (love, love, love) recipe, this frosting is simple, not too sweet, soft and fluffy and holds its shape beautifully.

The key to fluffiness…You have got to whip it…whip it good. In my own kitchen I will just chuck it in the stand mixer and let it go for at least 5 minutes. At mum’s we’ve only got a hand whisk so there I am, standing, whipping, twisting, waiting. But it’s worth the wait I promise.

Honestly? I’d top anything with cream cheese frosting…or just eat it with a spoon. Let’s just say the hump of this cake did not go to waste!

My main tip for this cake is to make sure you do not over-mix the batter! Because there is no butter in it, you really don’t want to overwork it as we don’t want a dry cake!


I love serving this cake with just a few fresh berries or with some whipped heavy whipping cream.

Other keto zucchini recipes on my blog


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How to Make Moist Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Cocoa Powder in Chocolate Cake

Cocoa powder lends more chocolate flavor than melted chocolate. But it can also zap some moisture, so read my tips below for how to make sure your cake is nice and tender and moist. This recipe uses natural unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process cocoa powder). Learn more about cocoa powder here.

For best results, weigh your cocoa powder and flour to ensure you don’t over measure. This will result in a dry cake. If you don’t have a digital kitchen scale, then use the spoon-and-level method.

How to Prepare Zucchini for Cake (IMPORTANT!)

To avoid gummy, dense, or unbaked cake it’s important to remove as much excess water from the zucchini as possible.

Start by washing the zucchini and trimming the ends. Grate using the big holes of a box grater. Scoop up the shredded zucchini and place in a strainer or colander. Move on to prepare the rest of the ingredients and batter for the recipe.

Once you’re ready to add in the zucchini, wrap it in a clean towel or paper towels and give it a very tight squeeze with your hands to wring out excess water. Do this a few times. If your hands aren’t quite strong enough you can also press the zucchini inside a potato ricer or hand held citrus squeezer. This is super effective at getting rid of water.

Once you add the zucchini to the batter, stir gently until JUST combined. Over-mixing can cause tough or gummy texture.

Why use butter AND oil in a cake?

I find this provides the best of both worlds. You get the wonderful flavor from the butter and the moist texture from the oil. This is because oil is a liquid at room temperature so it gives your palate the sensation of moisture. If you don’t have oil you can use 1 stick (113 grams) of butter for all the fat in the recipe.

How to Bake a Moist & Fudgy Chocolate Cake

In addition to the tips above, using ingredients like brown sugar, full fat sour cream, and an extra egg yolk all help to add richness and moisture to this cake. That’s because these ingredients both tenderize and draw and hold onto moisture. You can learn more about how baking ingredients work in my Magic of Baking online class.

Can I substitute the sour cream?

You can use full fat plain yogurt instead!

Metal vs. Glass Baking Pans

This recipe is best baked in an 8-inch metal baking pan. Metal conducts heat more quickly and efficiently than glass or ceramic so you won’t have any issues with an under-baked center. If you must use glass or ceramic, reduce the baking temperature to 325°F and increase the baking time by 5 to 10 minutes.

Can I double this recipe?

Yes! Double all ingredients and bake in a 9 by 13-inch pan and add about 5 to 10 minutes to the baking time. If using glass see note above.

Ingredient list for this courgette (zucchini) and apple loaf cake

  • Plain (all-purpose) Flour
  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground ginger
  • Ground nutmeg
  • soft light brown sugar
  • Vegetable or Sunflower oil (any flavourless oil would work)
  • eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • Finely grated courgettes/zucchini
  • chopped apples
  • raisins or sultanas
  • chopped pecans or walnuts (they add a lovely crunch and texture to this cake, but you don’t have to add them)
  • Demerara sugar for sprinkling on top of the cake

Chocolate and vanilla marble loaf cake

Simple and classic, this marble loaf cake is comfort food at its best. Chocolate and vanilla flavors are swirled to create a beautiful pattern topped with a dark and white chocolate ganache to give you a sense of what’s to come.

I love a good marble cake. I has been one of my favorites since childhood and every time I miss home and my family a slice of this marble loaf cake seems to make me feel better.

I remember my mom making it for almost every birthday party, along with the traditional birthday. For every family gathering.

Every time she would ask us what too make for us, we’d happily say : marble loaf cake. Oh, all the beaters we licked before my mom pulled the cake out of the oven.

Yesterday I asked her to make it again. Seemed like the perfect time.

It’s been raining here for the last two days. A steaming cup of tea and a slice of this cake put an end to a stressful week.

Although my mom’s marble loaf cake is comfort food for me, over time I adapted a little bit the recipe to fit my family’s taste buds.

Instead of vegetable oil I used melted butter. I scraped the seeds out of vanilla bean to give the cake a more intense vanilla flavor. Instead of just mixing cocoa powder in half of the batter like my mom does, I swirled a little bit of chocolate.

To make it a lighter and fluffier loaf cake I whipped the egg whites and gently added the rest of the ingredients to them making sure the batter still holds plenty of air.

For the topping I swirled melted dark and white chocolate to continue the swirl pattern from the cake.

If you’re looking for an easy, classic loaf cake, look no further. This chocolate and vanilla marble loaf cake combines the best of both chocolate and vanilla worlds.

It makes a perfect addition to your steaming cup of coffee or tea, or as a sweet treat in your lunch box.

Simple and classic, this marble loaf cake is comfort food at its best. Chocolate and vanilla flavors are swirled to create a beautiful pattern topped with a dark and white chocolate ganache to give you a sense of what's to come.

Our best vegetable cakes

Jessica Dady June 10, 2019 8:00 am

Vegetables? In a cake? No, we've not gone mad! Vegetables like carrots, parsnips, beetroot and courgette lend their natural sweetness to lots of classic bakes.

These vegetable cake recipes are sure to inspire. These delicious bakes are much healthier than your average cake and count towards your 5-a-day (well, only a little bit!)

Vegetables? In a cake? No, we’ve not gone mad! They might not seem like the most obvious cake ingredients, but vegetables like carrots, parsnips, beetroot and courgette can lend their natural sweetness to lots of classic bakes – and we’re here to show you just how delicious they can be.

From bundts to loaf cakes, cupcakes to muffins, we’ve got lots of vegetable cake ideas for you to choose from, so you can follow the seasons and cook with whatever produce is at it’s best.

Cooking vegetables in this way completely transforms their flavours, and they will work their magic making your cakes more moist and delicious than ever before. Who knows, you might just get the kids eating their veggies after all!

Essential kit

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.

Wash the courgettes and grate them into the centre of a clean tea-towel. Wring out as much moisture as you can over the sink – they hold a lot and you don’t want to end up with mush instead of cake.

Grease a loaf tin. Grate the chocolate, if using. Grate the zest from the lime.

Put the flour, cocoa powder or grated chocolate, lime zest, sugar and a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the oil. Add the courgettes and crack in the eggs. Stir well to combine, then pour the mixture into the loaf tin. Bake for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Tip: If you fancy a variation, try adding a selection of chopped nuts or dust with icing sugar and grated lime zest.

Start with the icing, though first preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4 and pop in a baking sheet at the same time. Put all of the icing ingredients except the chopped chocolate into a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil, making sure everything’s dissolved. Then turn off the heat – but leave the pan on the hob – then quickly add the finely chopped chocolate and swirl the pan so that it is all underwater, so to speak. Leave for a scant minute, then whisk until you have a darkly glossy icing, and leave to cool. I find this takes exactly the amount of time the cake takes to make, cook and cool. But do give the icing a stir with a spatula every now and again.

Line the bottom of your springform cake tin (you will need a good, leakproof one as this is a very wet batter) with baking parchment.

Put the flour, bicarb, salt and instant espresso and cocoa in a bowl and fork to mix.

Mix together the sugar, water, coconut oil and vinegar until the coconut oil has melted, and stir into the dry ingredients, then pour into the prepared tin and bake for 35 minutes. Though do check at the 30-minute mark to see if it is already done. When it’s ready, the cake will be coming away from the edges of the tin and a cake tester will come out clean, apart from a few crumbs. This is a fudgy cake and you don’t want to overdo it.

Once the cake is cooked, transfer the tin to a wire rack and let the cake cool in its tin.

Turn to your icing, and give it a good stir with a spatula to check it is at the right consistency. It needs to be runny enough to cover the cake, but thick enough to stay (mostly) on the top. So pour over the unmoulded cake, and use a spatula to ease the icing to the edges, if needed. If you wish to decorate, now is the time to do it. In which case, sprinkle joyously with rose petals and chopped pistachios or anything else that your heart desires otherwise, leave it gleaming darkly and, indeed, sumptuously. Leave to stand for 30 minutes for the icing to set before slicing into the cake.

Store note: Store in an airtight container (or under a cake dome) at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Freeze note: The cake can be made ahead and frozen, without icing. When cool, carefully wrap cake in a double layer of clingfilm and a layer of foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. To defrost, unwrap and place on a serving plate at room temperature for 3–4 hours.