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Zesty Courgette & Olive Oil Loaf Cake


Recipe Name:  Zesty Courgette & Olive Oil Loaf Cake


Meal Type: Dessert
Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Cook time: 40 Minutes

Servings: 1 Loaf

Thank you to Antonia for this recipe, perfect for when you have a glut of seasonal summer veg in your plot and you want to trick your kids into eating some! Great for afternoon tea too! 

"This delicious cake is ideal for those with a glut of courgettes but I happen to think it is well worth buying courgettes specifically to make this moist, lightly spiced cake. You could of course do without the cream cheese icing for a more virtuous bake, but the delicious topping does make this hard to resist! For anyone unsure about using courgettes in a cake, this is quite similar to carrot cake – my young boys thought it was delicious and couldn’t believe it could possibly contain one of their ‘least-favourite’ vegetables." Antonia

A perfect summer recipe that has been scribed and tested by community member Antonia, who is a hard working mum with two boys. Her recipes are trialed in her much loved Aga range cooker and devoured by her family, allowing Antonia to provide accurate tips and advice on how to make the dishes a success! Go check her work out!  She is a country girl, happily surrounded by an excitable Lab, her dear husband, two boys and the Cotswolds. 


For the meringue:

For the cake:

  • 300g courgettes (approx. 2-3 courgettes, depending on size)
  • 2 eggs
  • 125 ml olive oil
  • 100g soft light brown sugar
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp. bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 75g sultanas

For the topping:

  • 100g full fat cream cheese
  • 100g softened butter
  • 125g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • Small handful pistachio nuts - for decoration (optional)

You may need...

  • A 2lb loaf tin
  • A cooling rack
  • A mixing bowl & spoon
  • A glut of allotment courgettes! 
  • Veg fearing kids!


1. Grease and  line a 2lb loaf tin. Wipe the courgettes clean and then grate coarsely. Place into a sieve or colander over a bowl or in the sink, to catch any excess liquid. Using a couple of pieces of kitchen paper, gently press down on the grated courgette – you don’t want the courgette to be too wet or soggy but equally don’t squeeze too hard as the moisture is key to the success of this cake!

2. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil and sugar. You can do this with an electric mixer but it is hardy worth the washing up – a quick beat with a wooden spoon works well!

3. Sift over the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and cinnamon and fold into the wet mixture. Finally, fold in the grated courgette and sultanas. Pour and scrape into the prepared tin.

4. In a 3/4 oven Aga range cooker;place grid shelf on the floor of the baking oven and place the tin on top. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until golden on top and firm to the touch.

5. In a 2 oven Aga range cooker;bake on grid shelf on floor of roasting oven with the cold shelf on the second runners. Swap the cold shelf for the large roasting tin halfway through baking (see tip below). Cool in the tin, on a wire rack.

5. To make the icing, beat together the softened butter and cream cheese. Sift over the icing sugar and beat to combine. Add lemon juice to taste. Spread icing over the top of the cooled cake and sprinkle with finely chopped pistachio nuts, if liked.

Antonia's tips:In a 2 oven Aga range cooker, you need to use the cold shelf to moderate the temperature. After approximately 30-40 minutes, the shelf will cease to be effective so swap it for the large roasting tin (cold!). 

In a 3 or 4 oven Aga range cooker, keep a close eye on the cake after 30 minutes of cooking – if the cake is browning too fast, slide the cold shelf onto the second set of runners for the remainder of the cooking time.

Notes: I’ve suggested adding lemon juice to the icing, but you could try orange juice and adding a little orange zest to the cake. 

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