One of the great things about being a vegetarian is that I always seem to have an abundance of fresh produce in my house! But sometimes I am overly ambitious and either buy too many vegetables, or just don’t get around to using everything in time. This weekend I had half a courgette that needed to be used up, residual from my courgette fritters. I have heard a lot of about courgette cakes. I have enjoyed beetroot brownies, I adore carrot cake, but had yet to try baking with courgette!
I used my banana bread as a base, and carrot cake as my inspiration to create this delicious vegetable cake! I know using vegetables in a cake sounds crazy, but honestly, you can’t taste the courgette because of all the lovely spices and the natural sweetness of the fruit. The vegetables add a wonderful moistness and compliment the ground almonds and coconut flour perfectly.
I chose to ice the cake with a vegan-friendly cashew frosting. The cake was not vegan-friendly as I used eggs and honey, but you can make the whole thing suitable for vegans by using flaxseed soaked in water instead of eggs, and maple syrup instead of honey.
Be wary with your coconut flour. It can be temperamental. I always use flours from Healthy Supplies. The coconut flour is very absorbent which is why I have only used 1/2 cup. If you find that your mixture is too runny, add one tablespoon coconut flour until you have the right consistency. It should be resemble a thick mousse. You will need to spread the mixture as opposed to pour it. Cooking grain-free recipes can be tricky too, I find cooking for longer on a lower heat usually prevents the outside burning, and ensures the inside cooks thoroughly.
- 1 ripe banana mashed
- 4 tablespoons runny honey
- 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (avoid using pre-grated nutmeg, nothing compares to fresh!)
- zest of one lemon
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 medium courgette (grated)
- 1 medium sized carrot (grated)
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup ground almonds
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 cup of cashews (soaked overnight)
- 4 medjool dates (stone removed)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
- 50ml coconut milk
- Desiccated coconut, grated Apple or carrot.
- Mash the banana and add the honey, nutmeg, cinnamon, mixed spice, beaten eggs, vanilla powder and lemon zest.
- Melt the coconut oil and stir into the mixture.
- Sift in the ground almonds and coconut flour, stir in and add the rest of the cake ingredients. You should have a thick mixture which resembles a thick mousse as opposed to a liquid batter. If the mixture is too liquidy add a spoonful of coconut flour.
- Spread the mixture into the prepared tins and bake for between 40 – 50 minutes. Remove from tins and allow to cool.
- Prepare the frosting by adding all the frosting ingredients to a blender. Blitz until smooth and set aside.
- Once the cakes have cooled, spread the icing on top of one of the cakes. Sandwich the other cake on top and use the remaining icing to spread on top. Finish by adding your decoration. I used desiccated coconut, but you can use sprinkles, raisins, grated vegetables etc.
- Serve immediately. In the unlikely event that you have leftovers, store in the fridge. This is because the cake is super moist! Eat within 3 days!
~ Enjoy! ~