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, Iv’e just added a few things and changed some ingredients. 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
1/2 cup (125ml) boiling water or hot brewed coffee would be nice
125g butter, room temperature
50g ground almonds
3 eggs
1/2 cup maple syrup or 125g brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g flour
50g dutch style cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp allspice or cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
125g yoghurt
3 cups (about 400g) grated courgette
100g dark good quality 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.

Cream the butter. If you’re using brown sugar add it now with the butter. Add almonds and 2 T of the flour to stabilise the batter and mix well before adding the eggs one at a time, beating well between each one and scraping down sides. Mush the dates with your fingers or a fork and add with the vanilla extract and maple syrup and mix to combine.

Sift in the flour, cacao powder, baking soda, cinnamon/allspice and salt. Mix until nearly incorporated and then add the grated courgette, yoghurt and 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. 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.

Serve with Greek yoghurt or whipped cream or half and half is nice.

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.

I also cooked it in a small deep sided roasting tray – 25cm x 30cm and it only took 40 minutes