I am quite a traditional baker and normally stick to the classics. However last week I had 3 courgettes that were about to go off and I HATE throwing away food so thought I would try something different and make a courgette and orange cake. The recipe originally came from BBC Good Food but I have made a few tweaks to make it my own ( and because I forgot to buy everything in the original recipe!)
I’m sure most bakers have enough forethought to look up a recipe and then buy the ingredients they need. Well not me … at least I thought I did but soon realised I didn’t have a key ingredient, sunflower oil. Instead of heading out again in the wind and rain (it was horrible weather here last weekend), I used 250g of unsalted butter instead. This gave the cake a lovely, light texture.
Having never made a courgette cake before, I did a little bit of research and everyone commented on how much liquid courgettes release when being cooked. Because of this, you really need to squeeze as much as possible out. I squeezed by hand and then patted with kitchen towel to remove any excess liquid.Once I mixed all the ingredients together the mixture was very thick, I could hardly stir it. So I did add a splash of milk to make it manageable. However, you really do only need a splash as the courgettes release more liquid when baking.
My first slice was surprising DELICIOUS! Whilst it was baking it smelt a bit like roasted vegetables so I was apprehensive but it tasted really nice. It could of done with 5 minutes more in the oven as it was slightly underdone but for a first attempt, I am impressed with my courgette and orange cake. I will definitely be making it again.
If you’ve never tried cooking with courgettes before, this is the one for you.
- 350 g courgettes
- 200 g soft brown sugar
- 250 g unsalted butter
- 3 large eggs lightly beaten
- Grated zest 1 orange
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 100 g sultanas
- 300 g self raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Splash of milk
- 200 g full-fat cream cheese
- 100 g icing sugar sifted
- Good grating of orange zest
Heat oven to 180 degrees C. Lightly oil and line a loaf tin with baking parchment. Finely grate the courgettes ( no need to peel them) then squeeze out as much liquid as you can with your hands and then again with kitchen towel.
Beat together the sugar and butter. Add the eggs one at a time, adding a spoonful of flour with each to prevent curdling. Add orange zest, vanilla and sultanas and then fold in the remaining flour and baking powder. I added a splash of milk here as I could hardly get the spoon to move let alone stir!
Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for between 55 - 70 minutes until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.
To make the cream cheese drizzle, beat the cream cheese with the icing sugar and chill. Once the cake has cooled, drizzle over the cake and sprinkle with orange zest.