I have 4 courgette plants in this year, one less than last year and it still seems like it is too much. Blink and they turn into marrows! This cake is a nice way to use up any extra courgettes you may have.

This cake is based on one my mum used to make, it’s a good everyday kind of cake, great for lunchboxes. My husband suggested adding the dates which proved to be a great addition! We also really like the dark chocolate on top.

Courgette, date and dark chocolate cake

200g dried dates, chopped in half
400g courgettes, grated
1/2 tsp salt
125g butter, room temperature
125g brown sugar
50g ground almonds or fine coconut
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
125g yoghurt
250g flour
50g cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp allspice or cinnamon

100-125g dark chocolate – I used Whittakers 72% dark Ghana, roughly chopped



Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. (fan bake)

Pour boiling water over dates and leave to soften.

Grate courgette and mix with 1/2 tsp salt and leave for 10 minutes while you sort everything else.

Cream the butter with the brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add ground almonds and mix well before adding the eggs one at a time, beating well between each one and scraping down sides. Strain the dates well and mash the dates with your fingers or a fork and add along with the vanilla extract and mix to combine.

Squeeze the liquid off the courgettes, one handful at a time and add into the mixture, along with the yoghurt. Mix together.

Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon/allspice. Mix until nearly incorporated and then add half the chopped chocolate. Mix gently until just combined.

Pour batter into a greased and lined 25cm cake tin, ideally with a spring form bottom or use a 25x30cm high sided roasting dish. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate over the top.

Bake for approximately 1 hour (depending on your oven) until a skewer comes out clean and the cake bounces back when touched. This cake will take about 20 minutes longer in a 22cm cake tin and only 40 minutes in the 25x30cm roasting dish.

NOTE – for dairy free
Swap out the butter for half a cup of olive oil and the yoghurt for coconut yoghurt.
Whisk the wet ingredients together. Fold in the dry ingredients and the grated courgette. The texture is slightly different so it pays to squeeze as much liquid out of the courgette as possible before adding.