Chocolate Courgette Cake

This is a rich, gooey, chocolately cake with no hint of the courgettes that lie within and it’s a firm favourite in my family. The courgettes provide fibre to help offset the sugar load from the chocolate and, together with the oil, make the cake very moist.


Serves 10

200g (7oz) plain flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp baking powder (gluten-free if necessary)

1/2 tsp salt

100g (4oz) xylitol (or soft brown sugar)

2 medium free-range or organic eggs

180ml (6fl oz) mild or medium olive oil

170g (just under 6oz) good quality dark chocolate

225g (8oz) courgettes

55g (just over 2oz) walnuts, finely chopped

For the cream cheese frosting

250g (9oz) low-fat cream cheese

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp xylitol (or caster sugar)


1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Line a 20cm (8in) loose-bottomed cake tin with baking paper and grease the sides.

2 Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Stir in the xylitol.

3 In a separate bowl, beat the eggs into the oil.

4 Melt the chocolate over a bain marie (see page 153, step 1) or in the microwave. Meanwhile, grate the courgettes.

5 Stir the eggs and oil into the dry ingredients, then mix in the melted chocolate, courgettes and nuts.

6 Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 25–30 minutes or until the cake is well risen, firm to the touch and a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack before icing.

7 To make the cream cheese frosting, mix together the cream cheese, vanilla extract and xylitol until smooth then spread on the cake. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Cook’s Notes

V • Can be made in advance • Suitable for freezing, but don’t ice the cake until it has defrosted

From Delicious, Health Sugar Free by Patrick Holford and Fiona McDonald Joyce. With special thanks to Fiona McDonald Joyce for use of these recipes for Holford Health Club members.

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