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Courgette, lemon and poppy seed cake recipe

Courgette, lemon and poppy seed cake recipe

33 ratings

The creamy texture of courgettes makes this simple vegetable bake wonderfully moist. It’s flavoured with poppy seeds, vanilla and a refreshing lemon sugar syrup that soaks into the courgette cake making it even more sticky. See method

  • Serves 12
  • 20 mins to prepare and 50 mins to cook
  • 303 calories / serving
  • Vegetarian


  • 350g courgettes
  • 175g soft brown sugar
  • 125ml sunflower oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100g demerara sugar
  • whipped cream or crème fraîche, to serve
No self-raising flour? Add 2 tsp baking powder for every 150g plain flour

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    13g 19%
  • Saturates

    2g 10%
  • Sugars

    24g 27%
  • Salt

    0.4g 6%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 45.8g Protein 5.2g Fibre 0.8g


  1. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Lightly oil and line a 1kg loaf tin with nonstick baking paper. Coarsely grate the courgettes onto a clean tea towel, and then squeeze the tea towel tightly to remove all the excess liquid.
  2. Tip the squeezed courgettes into a large bowl. Add the sugar, sunflower oil, eggs, the zest of 1 lemon, vanilla extract and the poppy seeds. Sift over the flour and baking powder and carefully fold together.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, smooth the surface with a spatula and bake for 50 mins or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  4. Mix together the demerara sugar with the juice of 2 lemons and the zest of 1 lemon. Poke holes all over the warm cake with a toothpick or a fine skewer. Slowly pour the lemony syrup over the top of the cake, waiting to allow the syrup to sink in before adding more.
  5. Serve warm or at room temperature in thick slices with a spoonful of whipped cream or crème fraîche.

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