Courgette Cake with Lime Buttercream
If you love carrot cake, this bake is one to try. Perfect for using up a glut of courgettes, this moist and summery cake is finished with a zesty lime icing.
From the book
I will put plants in puddings given the merest hint of encouragement. And an abundance of courgettes, their bright, trumpet flowers winking at me like orange hazard lights in the veg beds, is all the invitation I need. This is a very simple cake, not nearly as odd as it sounds, and the answer to so many situations. Forget the buttercream and simply dust it with icing sugar for elevenses; or smooth out the buttercream icing and festoon it with flowers for a rustic celebration cake. The version below is somewhere in between the two.
|soft light brown sugar
|bicarbonate of soda
|courgette flowers, or any edible flowers, to finish (optional)
|For the Buttercream:
|unsalted butter, softened
|lime, zest and juice, plus extra zest to finish
You will need: a 21cm round cake tin and a freestanding mixer or electric whisk.
Cook time: 1¼ hours, plus cooling time.
Preheat the oven to 195°C/175°C fan/gas mark 5½ and line a 21cm round cake tin with baking parchment.
Beat the eggs and sunflower oil together in a jug until combined. This is your wet mix. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. This is the dry mix. Add the wet mix to the dry mix and combine with a spatula or wooden spoon.
Grate the courgettes on the coarse side of a box grater, then squeeze out the excess water and add the courgette gratings to the mixture. Fold everything together.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and level off the top. Bake for around 40–45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the tin as soon as your fingers can manage it, then leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, make the buttercream. Simply beat the butter and icing sugar together in a freestanding mixer until pale and fluffy. It will take several minutes. Add the lime zest, then gradually add the lime juice, beating well before adding the next drizzle of juice to prevent the mixture from curdling.
Once the cake is completely cooled (and it must be stone-cold, otherwise the buttercream will melt), place it on a cake stand or serving plate and slather the buttercream over the top. Finish with a grating of lime zest and a few edible flowers if you have them to hand. Courgette flowers would be especially neat. The cake will keep for 2–3 days at room temperature and another day longer, though less gracefully, if put in the fridge after that.