Hope your weekend is peachy! Ours has been a bit challenging as we both succumbed to some mild infection (luckily not Covid, phew!) and have been feeling really weak and lethargic. Duncan has had to give up on his long awaited kayaking trip and I had to cancel my PT session, which I finally started to enjoy. As a result the recipe is a bit late, but it’s a good and a very seasonal one so I hope this makes up for the wait.
I made a vegan chocolate courgette cake or zucchini cake (depending where you live) with an extra bonus of added chocolate chunks. It’s deeply chocolatey, beautifully rich and moist and you cannot taste the courgette at all, promise. I based it on this recipe of mine I published last summer so if you fancy the idea but are not a chocolate fan, try the lemon version instead.
It’s super easy – as opposed to some courgette cake recipes I’ve seen, there is no need to squeeze the moisture out – and quick to make. It’s delicious on its own, but I love to enjoy it with a dollop of thick coconut yoghurt and a spoonful of stewed cherries or blackberries.
Combine grated courgettes / zucchini – no need to squeeze the moisture out for this recipe – oil and plant milk in a large bowl.
Add sugar – I used a mixture of caster sugar and demerara – and stir everything together until well combined.
Place a sieve over the mixing bowl and sift in unsweetened cocoa powder, mix well to combine.
Next sift in salt, both baking agents and flour in 2 batches, folding each batch slowly and gently into the wet ingredients.
Finally stir in chococolate chunks (or chocolate chips of that’s what you prefer) and ground flax seeds if you have used a gluten-free flour mix.
- 250 g / 1¼ cup sugar*
- 80 ml / 1/3 cup neutral oil or vegan butter block
- 60 ml / ¼ cup plant milk (I used soy)
- 240 g / 8.5 oz* coarsely grated courgette / zucchini
- 65 g / 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 210 g / 1¾ cups all purpose flour or GF all purpose flour mix (I use this one)
- 100 g / 3.5 oz vegan dark chocolate, chopped (optional)
- 1 tbsp ground flax seeds (GF version only)
- Set the oven to 175° C / 350° F. Grease a 1kg / 2lb cake tin (see NOTES) with a bit of oil or line it with a piece of baking paper.
- In a large bowl mix all the wet ingredients together. If using vegan butter or coconut oil, melt it and allow it to cool off before using.
- Place a sieve over the bowl with wet ingredients and sift cocoa powder in. Fold it into the wet ingredients until well combined.
- Next, sift in salt, both baking agents and flour in 2 batches, folding each batch gently into the wet ingredients.
- Fold in chocolate chunks if using and, only if using GF flour mix, ground flax seeds. Finished batter should be thick, not pourable.
- Transfer the batter into a baking tin. If making a gluten-free version of the cake, allow the cake to sit in the tin for 5 minutes before baking.
- Bake for approximately 45-47 mins. Let the cake cool down completely before removing from the tin and slicing.
*GRATED COURGETTE/ZUCCHINI: approximately 1½ tightly packed cups of coarsely grated courgette/zucchini.
Please be aware that 1 kg / 2 lb tins vary enormously between brands so I recommend measuring the volume of the tin you intend to use first. For this recipe, I used a 2 lb cake tin that holds approximately 1250 ml / 5 cups of liquid (to the brim). The batter should fill no more than 2/3 – 3/4 of the tin or else the cake may not raise.
*per 1 out of 12 slices (without added chocolate)