Sweet sweet Friday: Spicy Zucchini Cakes

Remember the giant marrow? After slow-cooking half of it and stir-frying another large chunk, the rest of it went into these spicy cakes.

Spicy Zucchini Cakes
These are really just carrot cake in disguise, but I wanted to share this recipe with you because it’s much more finely textured than most vegetable cakes. It could be the amazing marrow, but I suspect it’s got more to do with the method, in which you beat lots of lovely air into the eggs and sugar.
You can ice these however you like – cream cheese icing is the obvious choice – but here I’ve used a light drizzle of icing sugar, orange juice and orange blossom water a la Nigel Slater. It’s not as easy to photograph, but it tastes delicious.

280g flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
250g caster sugar
180ml vegetable oil
180g grated zucchini (about two)
2 Tbsp poppy seeds
finely grated zest of an orange

Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly grease a 12-hole muffin tin (or baby loaf or bundt tins) – or a 23cm springform cake tin.
Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and salt into a bowl and set aside.
Beat the eggs and sugar together, either in a freestanding mixer or using an electric whisk, until thick and pale. Slowly drizzle in the oil, still whisking until it is well incorporated (a bit like making mayonnaise).
Mix in the zucchini, poppy seeds and zest, then gently fold in dry ingredients until evenly combined.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean (a cake will take about an hour). Let cool for 10 minutes, then take out of the tins (I use a plastic knife to dig muffins out of tins without heartbreak). Set aside to cool completely on a rack before icing.

Orange Drizzle Icing (with thanks to Nigel Slater)
Mix about 10 Tbsp of icing sugar with 1tsp orange blossom water and 1tsp orange or lemon juice. Add a little more orange/lemon juice until you get the right drizzly consistency.

Have a sweet, sweet Friday and a happy weekend!



  1. April 14, 2011 / 8:30 pm

    Hi Lou – hmmm, that's a tricky one. Maybe one of each? Zucchini has a softer texture, I think, but it's hard to know!

  2. April 14, 2011 / 8:49 pm

    ooh never tried this before~ wonder how it tastes! looks delicious!

  3. April 15, 2011 / 1:38 am

    yummo, love the orange blossom water in the icing tip.

  4. April 15, 2011 / 5:57 pm

    so yummy… I love a veg cake… they just get better and better with each day… something to do with the vegetable breaking down… anyhoo, just love it!

  5. April 16, 2011 / 9:21 am

    I'm not sure why I get so surprised when things like marrow or beetroot are used in cakes. I suppose I'm so used to the familiar carrot cake. I love the idea of using vegetables like this and it's such a good way to get children to eat them. It's a bit early for marrows here yet but I now know where to look for a recipe in the autumn.

    By the way Lucy I've tagged you for a Versatile Blogger Award if you have time and would like to join in.

  6. April 16, 2011 / 1:53 pm

    These look tasty! I'm a rubbish cook and baker, but have just invested in a new mixer and need to get cracking on the baking….

    Ali x

  7. April 17, 2011 / 10:58 am

    That marrow is just the gift that keeps on giving!! I adore zucchini cakes but till now have mostly made them with chocolate… would love to give this spiced version a go 🙂

  8. April 17, 2011 / 4:29 pm

    Yum, these look tasty! Might be just what I need to get some vegetables into my fussy husband…

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