Courgette, Lemon & Poppyseed Cake

A surprisingly tasty, light cake. Perfect for getting some extra veg into children and adults alike! Serves 12.

Courgettes and ground almonds give this light, zingy gluten-free cake a wonderfully moist texture. With a dusting of poppy seeds inside and on top, this make an exquisite summer teatime treat. The moisture from the courgettes means it keeps well in an airtight container for several days. This delicious recipe is courtesy of Riverford Organic



For the Cake

  • 75ml whole milk
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • finely grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 250g unsalted butter, plus a little extra for greasing the tin
  • 250g soft light brown sugar
  • 4 eggs separated
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 200g gluten-free self-raising flour
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 250g grated courgettes (about 2 medium)

For the Icing

  • 300g icing sugar
  • 1½ tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  1. Heat the oven to 180oC/Gas4. Lightly grease a 23cm spring-form cake tin with a little butter and line it with baking parchment.
  2. In a small pan over a low heat, warm the milk with the poppy seeds and lemon zest for a couple of minutes, then set aside to cool.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale, light and fluffy (an electric hand mixer makes life easier). Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time. Gently fold in the almond extract, flour and ground almonds, then fold in the courgettes and cooled milk.
  4. Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until they form stiff peaks. Add a large spoon of egg white to the courgette mixture and stir it in, then gently fold in the rest, keeping in as much air as possible.
  5. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for about an hour (depending on your oven), until just firm to the touch; the cake should spring back when you lightly press the middle. Cool the cake in the tin for 15 minutes then turn it on to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and stir in the lemon zest. Melt the butter and, working quickly, pour it over the icing sugar. Add the lemon juice and quickly whisk together adding a splash of hot water if needed, until you have a thick but spreadable icing. Use a palette knife to spread it over the cake. Sprinkle over the poppy seeds and leave for about 30 minutes so the icing can set a little before serving.
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