Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography
Lemon cake has always been one of my favourites and something I will reach for at any tea party or coffee catch up. I think it is just the balance of sweetness whilst also being able to enjoy a sharp and citrus flavour. Paired with poppy seeds it is just pure bliss for me. During a blog shoot with my amazing photographer Hana, we went along to one of her favourite coffee stops in Bristol, where I tried the most delicious lemon and courgette cake. Since I had tried it, I just couldn’t stop thinking about how good it was and had to get my baking hat on to see if I could make something just as good. I have never ever baked before with courgette, but was optimistic as the one I tried was so good and I have heard very good things from people who use it a lot in their bakes. I used the base of a recipe I found online, but to be honest as with anything I cook or bake, I massively ran off course and went with what I thought was best. All in all the recipe has turned out to be very simple and not as time consuming as I had thought. It was light and fruity, whilst being moist in texture and the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon cup of tea.
For me, a lemon cake has to be extremely sweet and lemony. It cannot be dry and must always have a soft texture. These are always things that seem very simple to achieve in a bake, but in theory can be quite hard to get right. For this recipe, your biggest challenge is the courgette as it holds a lot of water. Once grated, ensure that you take as much water out as possible.
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cooking Time: 60 minutes
200g Courgette // 200g Caster Sugar // 1 Egg // 125ml Vegetable Oil // 200g Plain Flour // 0.5 Teaspoon Salt // 0.5 Teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda // 0.5 Teaspoon Baking Powder // 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon // 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract // 2 Lemons (Zest and Juice)
Icing – to ice I used the shop bought vanilla icing as I hate making butter icing and actually think it works really well with this recipe. However, you could easily make your own or add a lemon glaze.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees (160 fan). Prepare your chosen cake tin with baking paper.
Start by grating the courgette. I just use a normal cheese grater and try to get it as fine as possible. Empty all the grating out onto a clean tea towel and press as much as possible to remove excess water. The tea towel is usually dripping wet by the end.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg until it is a think liquid. Add the vegetable oil and sugar and thoroughly mix together. Then, add the courgette and mix again.
Using a sieve, add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Fold all these ingredients together. Then add the lemon zest and juice, as well as the vanilla extract. Thoroughly mix all the ingredients together until you have a smooth cake batter.
Transfer the cake batter into your prepared tin and place in the pre-heated oven. If you are using a loaf tin, the cake may need an extra ten minutes just because it is much deeper. Keep an eye on the cake and add foil to the top if it is starting to catch.