Chocolate cake is something that should be bitter, decadent and, above all, moist. One of the best ways to achieve this, short of incorporating a multitude of sins, is to introduce a somewhat unexpected ingredient to the mix; courgette. This Chocolate Courgette Cake recipe is hands down my favourite chocolate cake of all time (so far).
As with carrot cake, vegetables – or fruit in this case – serve to hydrate and hold together a cake, developing a moist, dense structure. Of course, the inclusion of oil and black treacle (molasses) both help to soften proceedings a little, but it is the courgette that really lays the foundations of this smashing number.
The addition of nuts – hazelnuts or otherwise – only serve to provide this chocolate courgette cake with even more interest. The crunch provides a sweet and delicate contrast to the otherwise bitter hunk of decadence. Remember, even something as delightful as chocolate cake needs a surprise or two to make it truly exceptional.
Many chocolate courgette cake recipes plump for a ganache made with double cream. However, sour cream or even crème fraîche seem more appropriate choices given the bitterness of the sponge. A great deal of icing doesn’t always do it for me, but in this case the extra chocolate caps off a truly exquisite creation rather nicely.
Of course, chocolate cakes come in all shapes and sizes, and my recipe for Apricot Chocolate Fudge Cake is a decadent little number that’s also worth a bake.
Chocolate Courgette Cake
Makes 1 20cm cake
• 250g self-raising flour
• 3 small courgettes (around 325g), finely grated
• 60g cocoa powder
• 320g golden caster sugar
• 1 tbsp black treacle (molasses)
• 150ml vegetable oil
• 2 eggs
• 100g hazelnuts, skin on
• 200g dark chocolate
• 100ml sour cream
1. Preheat your oven to 160C (fan)/ 180C. Lightly toast your hazelnuts before roughly chopping them. Combine the flour, cocoa powder and sugar in a large mixing bowl, before mixing in the oil, treacle, eggs and hazelnuts. Finally, stir in the courgettes and pour into a lined baking tin.
2. Bake the cake for around 50 minutes – until a knife comes out clean when inserted. Leave to cool for ten minutes until turning out onto a wire rack.
3. To make the ganache, melt your chocolate gently in a bain marie. Set to one side for a minute or two before whisking in your sour cream. Spread the ganache over the cooled cake.
Cost: Though decadent in quality, this simple and understated chocolate courgette cake is relatively cost-effective at around £4.
65 replies on “Chocolate Courgette Cake”
What an exciting addition – the courgettes – and the cake looks wonderful. Nothing like a good chocolate cake 🙂
And this was a very good chocolate cake 😀
Your pictures made my mouth water! I’m craving sweet things today and I wish I had a slice of this chocolate cake in front of me.
Thanks – it’s very quick to make 😀
That sounds absolutely delicious, thank you!
MY pleasure – it was divine to make and eat.
Yum! I’ve got to say that your recipe looks denser and more chocolately than another one I tried recently! And after a fresh delivery of courgettes in my weekly veg box, I know just what I shall be making for this week’s sweet treat! Thanks!
Brilliant! A chocolate cake is always welcome, as is a recipe that helps us tackle the zucchini that is almost annoying abundant this time of year. Yes, it’s good but there’s just so much of it! I made zucchini soup for lunch today; hmm, maybe a chocolate zucchini cake for dessert this evening?
Exactly! Things should never be wasted, even if we have it in abundance.
Mmm it looks so rich and inviting! YUM! 🙂 Zucchini is a great addition to a chocolate cake and I also like that you incorporated molasses and hazelnuts! This is what I call Baking Art!
Aww thanks – that’s so nice. One of my favourites.
I love ANYTHING baked with zucchini. It makes baked goods taste magical. Magical!! Also, that ganache looks next level awesome.
IT really does – the ganache was almost the best bit!
Wow! I must try this one!
Zucchini makes so many baked goods moist and delicious. Definitely trying this out this week. Yummy!
That cake looks amazing ! And the courgette is a totally unexpected addition but guess it would add the same moistness as a carrot does to a carrot cake ?
Thanks – it does indeed, a really moist and delicious cake.
Your cake looks delicious, and I love that it incorporates courgette!
[…] Chocolate Courgette Cake | frugal feeding. […]
This looks amazing. I love the little surprise additions — they do keep it interesting! Plus, adding courgette adds that little bit of health to an otherwise decadent cake.
Thanks! It’s always good to have a smidge of healthiness.
Looks delicious. Chocolate & Zucchini is such a surprisingly good combination!
It is indeed!
YUM. My mom makes a similar chocolate zucchini cake, but hers is very sweet (not bitter at all) and not quite so fudge-y. I like the addition of the dark treacle/molasses and hazelnuts. I will definitely have to try your version!
I’m a fan of dark/bitter chocolate. Please do try it!
Love the sour cream ganache frosting!
Me too – it was delightful and worked very well.
This looks absolutely divine. I’ve just copied out the recipe and am off to the shop for some sour cream and courgettes!
Fantastic – enjoy!
My mum makes something like this. It’s the only courgette thing I like as it doesn’t taste like the courgette! 🙂 But it does make it really moist.
Exactly – I’m not massive courgette fan, so it’s a good thing.
Good combination with the perfect quantities. it looks very tasty…
Planning on making this today but 320g seems a lot of sugar especially if it is meant to be a bit bitter – is this definitely correct? Just saw another recipe with similar ratios only using 180grams…
Quite correct, though you could probably lower the amount if you like. It’s a pretty big cake.
Oh that is decadent, quite divine! Delicious shots! c
Thanks, Cecilia! Great to see you here!
Looks delicious – I used your post as a jumping off point for my recent gunsmokeandknitting post. Thanks for the inspiration.
Looks rich and moist and decadent. Oh yum!
Thanks – it was!
I’m always up for a “bitter hunk of decadence.” And it’s a nice way to use up any extra zucchini. I still have your fritters on my list though!
Aren’t we all? Those fritter are delicious – you must make them!
This certainly looks decadent! Beautifully rich… and always nice to know that it has the added bonus of a nutritious fruit/vegetable.
Exactly and one that you don’t even notice.
I grow courgettes every year, and I am always looking for fresh ideas to get the courgettes past the kids – and this could be the very thing [not on a regular basis but as a treat] as it looks divine!
That looks simply divine Nick! Wouldn’t mind a slice right now!
I’m sure you could veganise it in a jiffy!
That looks wonderful! I love vegetables in a cake – keeps it moist, and stops it being too sweet. I think I was born without much of a sweet tooth, so beetroot/courgette cakes are some of my favourites. Incidentally, William Sitwewll was doing a “campaign” in last month’s Waitrose about putting vegetables in cakes. It does seem like a PARTICULARLY good use of a courgette! X
Exactly! I’m not too sure about beetroot – I don’t much like the after taste.
I think Elaine is making one of these tonight Nick ……. nom nom nom.
Looks sooooo delicious! Got 2 courgettes and was thinking where I could use it. Perfect. Will try it today!
Thanks – perfect! Hope you enjoyed it, do let me know!
Can you freeze this before you put the ganache on?
I don’t see why not – cover it in something though otherwise it’ll dry out!
[…] For a more decadent version of this courgette cake, check out my recipe for chocolate courgette cake here… […]
Thanks for the recipe. It’s absolutely delicious. I made it last year, with the last of the zucchini from my garden. I just made it again, with the first of my zucchini.
Fantastic – glad you enjoying it so much you came back 🙂
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