No will ever guess this wonderfully fluffy and fragrant almond cake is actually packed with veg for a lighter treat. Made with grated courgette, ground almond, with a hint of rosemary and zesty lemon, this pretty cake makes a great dinner party dessert when served with a dollop of whipped ricotta and fresh raspberries.
Almond, rosemary and courgette cake recipe
Serves 10, 15 mins to prepare and 50 mins to cook, plus draining
- 300g (about 2 medium-sized) courgettes, trimmed and grated
- 50ml olive oil, plus extra for greasing
- 130g ground almonds
- 70g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 75g light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 lemons, zested and juiced
- 1 tbsp icing sugar, for dusting
- 150g raspberries, to serve
- 250g ricotta, lightly whipped, to serve (optional)
Place the grated courgette in a colander and sprinkle with ½ tsp salt. Toss well, then place over the sink to drain for 30 mins.
Preheat the oven to gas 5, 190°C, fan 170°C. Grease a 20cm cake tin with olive oil and line the base with baking paper.
In a large bowl, mix together the ground almonds, flour, baking powder, pinch of salt and chopped rosemary.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs and lemon zest and juice.
Rinse the courgette to get rid of any excess salt and tip onto a clean tea towel. Squeeze out as much moisture as you can, then tip into the almond bowl and mix well.
Add the wet ingredients and stir well to make a smooth batter.Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 40-50 mins until lightly browned on top and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Top tips: If the cake is starting to brown too quickly, cover loosely with a piece of foil.
Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 5 mins, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
To serve, dust with the icing sugar before cutting into slices. If serving as a dessert, cut into slices and serve with a scattering of raspberries and a dollop of the whipped ricotta.
Top tips: Salting and draining the grated courgette is important for the final texture of the cake, otherwise it may be too soggy as courgettes naturally contain a lot of water.
Freezing and defrosting guidelines: The cake (without the raspberries or ricotta) will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or can be frozen for a future occasion. Freeze the cakes only. Bake according to the recipe, but stop before adding decoration. Allow to cool completely. Wrap in clingfilm and foil to prevent freezer burn and freeze for up to 3 months. Loosen the foil and clingfilm, but leave to defrost still wrapped at room temperature for several hours before serving.