Courgette Chocolate Cake

I tried this cake out on my niece and nephew who scoffed it down with delight. They had no idea the cake was packed with courgettes. It’s hard to believe there are courgettes inside this cake – they magically disappear. This can be baked to form a sponge cake texture, or taken out of the oven earlier for a rich, gooey chocolate cake. The courgettes provide lots of fibre to offset the sugar load.

Ideally use xylitol for this cake. It’s a natural sugar ideal for baking as it has one ninth of the GL score of regular sugar and tastes the same.


  • 200g plain flour, organic if possible
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp quality salt, such as Himalayan or sea salt
  • 100g xylitol or coconut sugar (or soft brown sugar) or a combination of these
  • 2 medium organic, free range eggs
  • 180ml mild or medium olive oil
  • 170g quality dark chocolate, min 70% cocoa
  • 225g courgettes

For the frosting if using:

  • 250g organic cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp xylitol (or caster sugar)
  • Orange zest


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Grease a loose-bottomed cake tin.
  2. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Stir in the xylitol or sugar.
  3. Beat the eggs into the oil in a separate bowl.
  4. Melt the chocolate in a bain marie. (Place a heat-resistant bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. Don’t let the bowl touch the water). While the chocolate is melting, finely grate the courgettes.
  5. Mix the eggs and oil into the dry ingredients, then stir in the melted chocolate. Resist the urge to lick the spoon at this stage!
  6. Pour the mix into the cake tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cake is well risen, firm to the touch. For this timing, the cake should be gooey inside. If you’d prefer a more spongy texture, leave it in for another 10 minutes and a skewer comes out clean. Place on a rack to cool.
  7. Make the cream cheese frosting by mixing the cream cheese with the vanilla extract and xylitol or caster sugar until smooth. Spread on top of the cake.
  8. Grate some orange zest over the top.

Suggested variations:

  • You can experiment with adding 55g of finely chopped walnuts to the cake
  • Top with crushed pistachios
  • Make a rose water frosting, using 1/2 tsp rose water instead of vanilla extract
  • Emit the cream cheese frosting altogether if desired
  • Experiment and let me know how you got on!

Article by Jo Rowkins, nutritional therapist and founder of Awakening Health.

This recipe was inspired by Patrick Holford and Fiona McDonald from their book Food GLorious Food.

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