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Courgette, lime and pistachio cake

This is a delicious cake, perfect for afternoon tea - with a twist.
Courgette in a sweet dish might sound a little surprising, but it really works - a great way of experimenting with a wonderful seasonal ingredient at this time of year.
I like to make it with a cream cheese frosting but you could serve it as it is or make a lime drizzle.
Prep Time 30 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Servings 8


  • 2lb loaf tin


  • 175 g caster sugar
  • 175 g sunflower oil
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 100 g pistachio nuts shelled and roughly chopped
  • 1-2 limes zested
  • 175 g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 200 g cream cheese at room temperature


  • Preheat the oven to 180˚C/ 160˚C fan/gas 4.
  • Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin.
  • Coarsely grate the courgettes, then give them a good squeeze with your hands to remove as much liquid as you can. Set them aside.
  • Mix the sugar, oil and eggs until well beaten.
  • Stir in the grated courgettes.
  • Stir in the pistachios (keeping a small handful to one side to decorate the cake), lime zest, self raising flour, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon. 
  • Stir again until everything is thoroughly combined.
  • Pour into your prepared tin and bake for 50-60 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
  • While your cake is baking you can make the frosting - you can do this by hand or in a mixer.
  • Beat the butter until it is smooth, light and fluffy.
  • Add the sifted icing sugar and beat again - start slowly, so you don’t get icing sugar all over the kitchen...
  • Add the cream cheese and continue beating until you have a smooth frosting. You could add a squeeze of juice from one of your limes, for an extra limey vibe.
  • Allow the cake to cool and then remove from the tin.
  • Once the cake is cold, smooth the frosting over the top of the cake and sprinkle on the reserved pistachios and perhaps a little extra lime zest.
Keyword cake, baking, seasonal, courgette