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Chocolate Courgette Cake – a Sweet Vegetable Traybake

Chocolate Courgette Cake

Traybakes, Vegetable Cakes | 16th August 2011 | By

A moist, tasty and not too sweet chocolate traybake with a crunchy top. You really wouldn’t know the courgettes were there. So this chocolate courgette cake is a good way to sneak some extra veg into the diet.

Along with the current glut of courgettes here in the UK, there seems to be a corresponding glut of courgette cake recipes. Guess what? I’m not bucking the trend. It took a while for our courgettes to get going this year, but they are now coming thick and fast. It’s courgettes for every meal at the moment so using them in a cake is merciful relief.

Chocolate Courgette Cake

I’ve made three courgette and chocolate cakes so far and none of them come from the three recipes I have in my cookery books. So, I thought I really ought to start ticking those off. This time I have gone with the one from the Riverford Farm Cook Book. Theirs is a large one and cooked as a traybake to feed the hungry hordes.

Chocolate Courgette Cake Squares

We were off to visit friends who were down holidaying in West Cornwall. So we needed something that would a) travel well and b) feed a crowd. Admittedly a small crowd, but teenage boys are not renowned for their small appetites.

The sugar gave the crunchy top I was hoping for and the cake was moist, tasty and not too sweet. The recipe had advised peeling the courgettes, but I’ve never done that before and couldn’t see the need. As I’d hoped, there was virtually no sign of the courgette. It was only on re-reading the recipe later that I realised I was meant to put an additional 100g of sugar in – no wonder it wasn’t too sweet!!!

Porthleven Coast

They were most welcome after an energetic walk along the coast, which despite the thronging crowds in Porthleven was virtually deserted.

Other Courgette Recipes You Might Like

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Chocolate Courgette Cake. PIN IT.

Chocolate Courgette Cake Squares

Chocolate Courgette Cake – The Recipe

Chocolate Courgette Cake
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5 from 4 votes

Chocolate Courgette Cake Squares

A moist, tasty and not too sweet chocolate traybake with a crunchy top. A great way to use up courgettes and to sneak some extra veg into your diet. Most wouldn't suspect the courgettes were there.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Afternoon Tea, Dessert, Picnics
Cuisine: British
Keyword: cake, cocoa, courgettes, traybake, vegetable cake
Servings: 16 squares
Calories: 286kcal


  • 450 g courgettes / zucchini
  • 120 g unsalted butter - softened
  • 200 g dark muscovado sugar
  • 125 ml sunflower oil (rapeseed oil would be fine too)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 100 ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 350 g flour (half wholemeal, half plain)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar (I used cardamom sugar)


  • Trim the courgettes and grate into a bowl. No need to peel.
  • Cream the butter with the sugar until well incorporated and most of the sugar lumps have disappeared.
  • Beat in the oil.
  • Beat in the eggs and carry on beating until the mixture weirdly resembles mayonnaise - in consistency if not in colour.
  • Beat in the milk and vanilla extract.
  • Sieve in the flours, baking powder, bicarb and cocoa.
  • Stir carefully until all incorporated.
  • Drain off the majority of any courgette juice that's formed and stir the gratings into the cake mixture. You can keep the juice for soup.
  • Scrape into a 9" sq silicone cake mould or lined tin. Scatter the demerara sugar over the top.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 180℃ (350℉, Gas 4) for 40 minutes until risen and firm.
  • Cool in the mould or tin then cut into 16 squares.


Please note: calories and other nutritional information are per serving. They're approximate and will depend on exact ingredients used.


Calories: 286kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 42mg | Potassium: 193mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 298IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 2mg


I’m sharing these chocolate courgette cake squares with me at Tin and Thyme for #CookBlogShare.



    16th August 2011 at 7:16 am

    Wow courgette in cake that sounds very innovative .

  2. A Trifle Rushed

    16th August 2011 at 7:16 am

    I love the three eggs 2 duck and 1 hen! I bet these didn’t last long with all those teenagers about!

  3. Karen S Booth

    16th August 2011 at 8:50 am

    Have a great time in Cornwall and that cake should keep the hungry hordes as bay! It looks delicious.
    I made my We Should Cocoa entry yesterday, I will post it this week as soon as I liberate the photos from my camera!

  4. Working london mummy

    16th August 2011 at 1:32 pm

    does it taste courgettey or chocolatey? ? am scared to try but I guess beetroot works in brownies so why not courgette!!

  5. spontaneous-euphoria

    16th August 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Beautiful! I’ve always wanted to visited Cornwall. and these look delicious.. I am a recent convert to courgettes and chocolate.

    Simply delicious!

  6. Choclette

    16th August 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Simply Food – an adventure worth trying!

    A Trifle Rushed – ha ha, I ran out of duck eggs! I suspect the teenagers would have enjoyed it more if I’d put in the full amount of sugar.

    Karen – thank you. We do live in Cornwall, but not in the holiday area down West, which is lovely. Looking forward to seeing your WSC entry.

    WLM – the courgettes are quite hard to detect. It’s more about giving it a nice moist consistency and making you feel virtuous whilst eating cake 😉

    Spontaneous Euphoria – I’m very lucky to live in Cornwall and you’re right, it’s a good combination.

  7. Dom at Belleau Kitchen

    16th August 2011 at 6:52 pm

    they look damn fine and I’ve been looking for a courgette recipe for the tea room, so this is perfect, thank you x

  8. Lucie

    16th August 2011 at 8:44 pm

    These look lovely – I’m sure the courgette gives these a wonderful moisture. Lovely photos x

  9. Suelle

    16th August 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Courgette glut? You’re lucky! Half our plants haven’t grown, and the fruit on the remining plants are rotting before they reach a reasonable size!

    Your cake looks very good!

  10. Jacqueline

    16th August 2011 at 9:42 pm

    I have been craving brownies for the last two weeks and have a courgette sitting in the fridge to go in a chocolate & courgette cake.

  11. Baking Addict

    16th August 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Yum! I made courgette cake once and it was delicious. Im not surprised yours went down well. The view look good albeit overcast!

  12. Janice

    16th August 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Saw a guy making a courgette choc cake on Great British Bake off. Your cakies look fab.

  13. Astra Libris

    16th August 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Love how you used hemp flour in these! I love baking with hemp flour, and I can imagine it would be so lovely and nourishing with the courgette in this wonderful cake – looking forward to fixing the recipe!

    I too have been wondering about the baking powder in the friendship bread recipe! It just doesn’t make sense to me either… I would love to hear if you have success using the starter without baking powder! I’m also eager to venture into savory recipes with my starter…

  14. Chele

    17th August 2011 at 5:48 am

    I have a brownie courgette recipe that I was thinking of trying, great minds obviously think alike ;0)

  15. Katie

    17th August 2011 at 6:13 am

    Those squares look so good and very moist and fudey, almost brownie like. Looks delicious

  16. Kate@katescakesandbakes

    17th August 2011 at 6:16 am

    A great way to use your homegrown veggies and feed a hungry horde after a long walk! Have you tried the courgette and chocolate recipe in River Cottage Handbook: Cakes? And of course the best thing about these bakes is that you feel you are being super healthy (well, I kid myself anyway!)

  17. tori

    17th August 2011 at 10:19 am

    How gorgeous. In the past I’ve used up the glut by making ribbons with a peeler and using them as mock noodles in Asian soups – but I have a feeling the husband will like them better in a chocolate cake.

  18. Brownieville Girl

    17th August 2011 at 8:59 pm

    I have a lovely lunch time courgette recipe to post soon (just have to do a bit of tinkering first!!)

    I love health food when it comes in cake form!!!!!

  19. nic@nipitinthebud

    17th August 2011 at 10:45 pm

    mmm, scrummers! And lovely timing, I’ve just included a link in my ‘M is for …’ post :o)

  20. Johanna GGG

    18th August 2011 at 3:39 am

    chocolate cake and the cornish coast sounds idyllic to me – I’ve never peeled my courgettes either – seems a waste of good greenery!

  21. Catherine

    18th August 2011 at 8:20 pm

    mmm crunchy sugar topping; how nice does that sound?! Those photos are really nice; hope you had a ball! Also, I love Riverford Farm; I made their root veg soup for my starter on the wee “Come Dine With Me” competition I had with my friends and it went down a treat!

  22. Gloria

    18th August 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Really love this cake!! gloria

  23. cookingvarieties

    19th August 2011 at 5:52 am

    hi choclette, never tried or seen this recipe before- guess i am no cougette nor cookie nor cake expert at all. would like to try yours, cos it looks so yummy
    glad i blog walk to your site.. hi, i am from malaysia,do visit my blog , would love to read a comment from you too. have a nice day

  24. C

    19th August 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Looks gorgeous and moist. I’ve just made my first chocolate courgette cake and wonder why I waited so long! I’ll have to investigate other recipes now!

  25. Choclette

    20th August 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Dom – well it would follow on well from the beetroot one 😉

    Suelle – yes, ours haven’t done nearly as well as last year and lots of them are rotting as they grow too – lack of pollination we think. They are just about coming to an end now, usually we get them until the end of September.

    Lucie – thank you, yes the courgette keeps the cake nice and moist.

    Baking Addict – not the best photos of Porthleven ever, but hopefully gives an idea.

    Janice – I caught up with GBBO on iPlayer and he peeled his courgette – seemed like a monumental waste of effort!

    Astra Libris – I used to use hemp flour a lot and then stopped for some reason. Luckily managed to find a supply again. As for the friendship starter, it’s sitting in the freezer at the moment. There’s just never enough time to play! I do make my own rye sourdough though, so I added a bit of that to the 1st cake I made.

    Jac – and have you made one?

    Chele – it’s just got to be done 😉

    Katie – they were really good, but not nearly sweet enough to be a brownie.

    Kate – that one is on my list, I’ve also got the G&B one to try at some point. Who’d have thought there were so many chocolate and courgette cakes!

    Tori – That sounds heaps healthier than a cake 😉

    BVG – look forward to your courgette lunch post and yes, it is great feeling virtuous when eating cake ;-0

    Nic – thank you, that was very kind of you.

    Johanna – ha ha, yes a good combination – shame it was rather grey. Peeling courgettes seems like a waste of time, but each to their own I guess.

    Catherine – ah thank you. Having your own Come Dine With Me must have been fun.

    Gloria – thank you

    Cooking Varieties – baking with vegetables is quite fun, especially when no-one can guess what’s in the cake.

    C – your cake looked delicious.

  26. Eileen Teo

    12th July 2015 at 5:07 am

    This is so interesting and unique recipe to use hen and duck egg! Sound lush!

    • Choclette

      12th July 2015 at 5:30 pm

      Thanks Eileen. I always bake with duck eggs when and if I can get them.

  27. Michelle Rolfe

    27th April 2020 at 11:58 am

    Yes this is perfect to convince my teens to eat a bit more veg! I’ll just hide it like I did when they were little. I’ve courgettes planted and waiting for a crop so suspect as usual they will all come at once so I’ve pinned to refer back to. Thanks for linking up to #CookBlogShare. Michelle

    • Choclette

      27th April 2020 at 12:12 pm

      It seems to be all or nothing with courgettes doesn’t it? We’ve just sown some seeds, so I’m waiting eagerly for them to emerge. Courgette cake is a good place to hide them.

  28. Chloe Cedges

    27th April 2020 at 1:30 pm

    Courgette is the only veg I will entertain in cake! And I haven’t tried a choc version yet so this looks fab!

    • Choclette

      27th April 2020 at 5:54 pm

      What not even carrot cake Chloe? It’s a British classic.

  29. Eb Gargano | Easy Peasy Foodie

    28th April 2020 at 12:10 pm

    I love that you’ve sneaked courgette into these! That means they count as one of your 5 a day, no? 😉 Eb x

    • Choclette

      28th April 2020 at 6:51 pm

      Absolutely Eb, although you might have to eat the whole thing to get it


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