Ah yes, dear reader, the courgette glut continues and no matter how many courgettes I thrust on unsuspecting friends, I keep finding more hiding under the large leaves and am coming up with all sorts of ways of using them up. The latest, and another popular one with my family, is a courgette and lemon loaf cake.
You may have noticed that I am partial to a loaf cake on this blog. I find them much more forgiving than a traditional circular cake which is particularly beneficial when you’re like me and are a fan of cooking all sorts of fruits and vegetables into your cake (lemon, orange, blueberry, courgette, banana, pumpkin, you name it and I’ll try and bake it into a cake!). The key with a loaf cake is to remember that it’s a deep dish so a low and slow bake works best and gives it the best chance to cook and rise thoroughly.
My initial attempt at a courgette cake was delicious, like a highly spiced carrot cake, but very heavy, very moist and dense. So, in a second attempt I was looking for something a little lighter, fresher and ideally keeping it vegan as I feel like a homemade vegan cake using home grown courgettes felt very on brand for me in that moment. Therefore, the following is what I came up with:
- One heaped cup of grated courgette
- Three quarters of a cup of golden caster sugar
- Half a cup of vegetable oil
- One level cup of self raising flour
- Half a teaspoon of salt
- One teaspoon of cinnamon
- A quarter of a teaspoon of ginger
- The zest of half a lemon
- The juice of half a lemon
- Half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
- Half a teaspoon of baking powder
Now, I know this ingredient list looks a little longer than a lot of my very simple loaf cakes but let me tell you, the method is really simple and the multiple flavourings really add something to the cake. As time goes on I find I am more and more partial to a lemon cake with a huge mug of Earl Grey tea. Fancy, I know. There’s something so perfect about the pairing of a delicate Earl Grey flavour at the fresh, zesty zing of lemon. So, onto the method:
Pre-heat your oven to 175 degrees, and using a little vegetable oil, grease a large loaf tin.
Mix together your courgette, sugar and oil in a large mixing bowl until you’re satified that the mixture is well combined. The courgette will add a lot of moisture to the cake, so don’t be alarmed if it looks very runny at this stage!
Then simply sift in your flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, bicarbonate of soda and baking power and fold it all into the wet mixture until all the flour is mixed in. Your final step is to add the lemon zest and lemon juice and give the mix one last gentle fold in order to evently distribute the flavour.
Pour the whole mixture into the greased loaf tin and place in the centre of the oven.
It should take around 50-minutes to cook, but I would check (by sticking a knife into the centre and making sure it comes out clean) from around thr 45-minute mark. If you spot the top going a little too brown for your liking, stick some kitchen foil over it and return it to the oven!