food to glow

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courgette, coconut and lime leaf coffee cake // food to glow #baking #cakes #zucchini

You’ve caught me in a green phase, and in this case involving the rather disparate pairing of courgettes and Kaffir lime leaf. Last week it was of course the polenta with a kind of two-way broccoli and the rather lovely English blue cheese, and today it is cake. A cake I’ve made rather often in one form or another for my nutrition groups and gets encouraging mmms’s whilst being eaten. I’ve had oh, maybe two small slices in total. Remedied that today. For slice read slab, 🙂 Courgette, Coconut and Lime Leaf Coffee Cake // food to glowThese two rather green recipes don’t tell the whole story though. Pretty much most days I am out in our little patch of green, cutting off the tops of the kale, chard, and even still the purple sprouting broccoli, to stick in something breakfasty or lunchy. I will share my favourites here soon, but if you follow me on Instagram you will have already seen a few easy things that get me buzzing with energy and satiety. I love my greens.

And courgettes, although not one of the superstar green things we can be eating, are very useful in so many dishes, both sweet and savoury. And not forgetting the 5:2 diet and paleo phenomenon that is courgetti/zoodles. I am growing courgettes for the first time and, although mildew has attacked one plant in places, the yellow ones are going like gangbusters. I think soon I will be going through a yellow phase! If you are already going through your own yellow phase, you could do worse than check out this soup, one of my top ones on Pinterest. You can make it with green courgettes but you will miss out on the alluring saffron-yellow colour.

Back to the cake though, the courgettes and oats really keep this cake deliciously soft, with just enough sweetness in it to let you know it is a cake. A cake that because of the nature of its ingredients and lower-sugar, could double as breakfast in some homes. The coffee cake aspect comes from the optional last-minute step of dribbling over a little melted butter and sprinkling the browned top with a little brown sugar and more coconut. A bit on the decadent side for food to glow, but just cut into 12 slices to assuage any guilt or sooth any angst (I don’t bother with those feelings anymore, but that’s taken awhile to achieve). At food to glow we don’t believe in diet food but we do believe in portion control. Only as a theory at the moment.

Enjoy. xx

courgette, coconut and lime leaf coffee cake // food to glow

Courgette, Coconut and Lime Leaf Cake

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Use a bundt or loaf tin for this super-moist cake with delightful flecks of jade green and a subtle waft of exotic Kaffir lime leaf. No lime leaf? Use the zest of one whole lime. Not sure where to get lime leaf: I get mine cheap from the Thai supermarket and keep them whole in the freezer, blitzing in my spice grinder as needed (or whole in curries and rice).

300g (10.6 oz) courgettes/zucchini, grated and squeezed well in a tea towel

175g (6 oz; 1 2/5 cup) spelt flour or unbleached plain flour

50g (1.5 oz; ½ cup) oats

1½ tsp baking powder

60g (1.6 oz; heaped ¼ cup) toasted coconut flakes (desiccated)

¼ tsp fine salt

1 tsp finely ground lime leaf (I use about 3 leaves in a spice grinder) or zest of 1 lime

75g (2.7 oz; loose 1/2 cup) dark brown sugar or coconut palm sugar (I haven’t tried this with any liquids like maple syrup)

3 eggs

100ml (1/2 cup) organic rapeseed/canola oil or coconut oil (I use UK-grown rapeseed)

Extra for optional topping: 1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp melted butter; 1 ½ tbsp shredded coconut (toasted or not – it will be in the oven for only ten minutes)


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C (fan)/350F. Oil a bundt or loaf tin. Set aside.

2. Dry whisk the flour, oats, baking powder, coconut, lime leaf/zest together in a medium bowl.

3. In a larger bowl use electric beaters or strong arms and a balloon whisk to whisk the eggs and sugar until very light and fluffy – about three minutes. Gradually incorporate the oil and whisk a further two minutes.

4. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and just mix until the wet disappears. Fold in the grated courgette. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and gently level.

5. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 40 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and pour over the melted butter, sprinkle on the extra sugar and coconut and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes. Test for doneness with a metal skewer. If any batter clings to the skewer return the cake until it comes out clean when re-tested.

6. Allow the cake to completely cool in the tin before releasing/inverting carefully. This cake stores in a cake tin for a few days, and freezes well as slices. Enjoy with a cup of green tea or iced tea. I don’t like cake with frosting as a rule but this might be nice with a whipped coconut cream confection – if you eschew the already pretty daring for me coffee cake-type topping suggested above.

courgette, coconut and lime leaf coffee cake // food to glow

36 thoughts on “Courgette, Coconut and Lime Leaf Coffee Cake

  1. lizzygoodthings says:

    Oh Kellie, a beautiful post… a lovely cake… and we are planning to visit the Kelpies very, very soon! xxx

    1. Bring a raincoat!! Hope to see you very soon xx

  2. Love courgette cake, and I cunningly already have a large bag of lime leaves in the cupboard I am struggling to use up. Pinned for future cake making adventures!!

    1. Yay! Thanks Ceri 🙂

  3. looks yummy…my courgettes though have a little way to go yet, but I will try this out once they start flowing…I’m growing rather a large number of plants this year, and four varieties so may well drown in them!

    1. You know who can help you with any glut… 😉

      1. I’m counting on it 😉

  4. What a beautiful cake Kellie!!

  5. James Gielow says:

    That looks absolutely delicious!!

  6. Love the sound of this cake!

  7. Looks amazing, I love you’re pictures!! Can’t wait to have a go at making this XD will let you know how it goes!! xx

    1. Excellent. Do let me know and thanks for your enthusiasm 🙂

  8. sounds great

  9. Nicola says:

    Looks delicious and ‘make able’, just need to get some courgettes now!

  10. Looks amazing! 😉 and absolutely delish!

  11. superfitbabe says:

    What a beautiful recipe! I love how it looks a little green on the inside but still has the fluffy coconut inside! Bun cakes are amazing 🙂

    1. We love a bundt too! I always try to change any cake recipe I try so that it fits in a bundt tin 😉

  12. Definitely a variation to try over our regular zucchini cake (in Oz we use the Italian name rather than the French). I’ll be eyeing off some leaves from my new lime tree. I am not sure if you can grow it in your neck of the woods but spaghetti squash is a type of cucurbit(Cucurbita pepo subsp. pepo) that actually goes into spaghetti like strings after it has been cooked. One of our friends grows it and we like to use it when we are doing 5:2 penance.

    1. Hi Leonie. We love spaghetti squash too! I have a recipe or two on here somewhere with this amazing vegetable/fruit. Not penitential ones though! Thanks for taking the time to comment. 🙂

  13. Ground lime leaves, genius! This looks like my kind of cake with zesty and coconut-y flavors. Although at the moment it’s pushing 30 C here, and with no air conditioning in most buildings in this darn country, turning on the oven is the last thing I want to do right now. I’m sure this heat will be short-lived though, and I can return to baking once more. 😉 Enjoy your nieces visit!

    1. Thanks Katie! I keep a box of them in my freezer – they defrost in a flash. I just strip out the rib and chuck in my spice grinder thingy. We are just getting ready to have a cold snap as the upper winds change from southerly Azores to cold Arcic. I see more baking in my immediate future! Stay cool 🙂

  14. What a thing of beauty! The cake looks stunning, and the sculptures look pretty amazing too 😉 x

  15. That is one delicious looking cake Kellie! I still haven’t tried courgette cake, but it is something I have to do very soon.

  16. Jen @ Jen's Food says:

    This cake looks amazing Kellie. I’ve never thought about baking with kaffir lime leaves before. I just happen to have a new packet in the cupboard and some coconut sugar and I’m feeling all inspired now 🙂

  17. Camilla says:

    Awesome cake Kellie, it looks done to perfection and oh so tasty:-) Great shots!

  18. What a great looking cake, I love how well courgettes work in baking as well as savoury dishes. Always good when you grow them as they all seem to come at once!

  19. Yum!! 🙂

  20. Looks really tasty!

  21. ashleejean05 says:

    Reblogged this on ashlee jean .co.

  22. ideacribber says:

    Really digging those horse sculptures. 🙂

    This recipe sounds lovely. Bookmarking it now. Thanks a lot for sharing!

    I don’t believe in diets too. 🙂

  23. Ok i try this 😀

  24. What a fun and creative recipe, love it!

  25. michellefnia says:

    Reblogged this on fashion.

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