Recipe: Courgette and Lemon Cake

This cake is moist and delicious; the texture looks slightly wet but is deceiving, as it eats beautifully. Once again we are using up an abundance of overly large courgettes and some delightful fennel seeds fresh from the fennel plant. You can finish this cake by simply icing it, or if you have the time, decorate it with some dried lemon slices.
Recipe: Courgette and Lemon Cake

Courgette and Lemon Cake by Mercy Fenton

Courgette & Lemon Cake


175g unsalted butter

175g sugar

3 free range eggs

Grated zest and juice of one lemon.

200g self raising flour

1 tsp. bread soda

300gr courgette grated

1 tbsp fresh fennel seeds finely chopped if you don’t have access to fresh fennel use dried seed and grind in a coffee grinder.

20 gr sugar for lemon syrup


  • Lightly grease the base and sides of a deep loaf tin, roughly 20cm long by 10cm wide.
  • Peel and de-seed the courgette or marrow, you can grate in a food processor or by hand, before use squeeze well to remove excess water. (I peel the courgette so certain people aren’t asking me “what’s the green stuff in the cake” but you can absolutely leave the skin on if you wish).
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer using the spade attachment beat the butter, sugar and fennel seeds until light and fluffy.
  • Add the zest of lemon and beat again.
  • Break the eggs in a jug and mix with a fork.
  • Gradually add the egg to the mixture, scraping down the side and whisking well after each addition.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together self-raising flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt, and fold this into the cake mixture.
  • Finally, stir courgette.
  • Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean, and the top is golden brown.
  • Allow to cool in the tin.
  • Meanwhile heat the juice of the lemon with 20g of sugar and dissolve the sugar over gentle heat, cook to a light syrup.
  • Pierce the cake in a few places with a skewer, and then spoon over the syrup.

Whilst the cake is cooling prepare the lemon garnish.


200gr sugar

200 ml water

2 lemons thinly sliced about the thickness of a euro coin. If possible gently remove any pips.


  • In a medium sized pot heat the sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved then allow to simmer gently and carefully ad the lemon slices.
  • Simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes until coated in sticky syrup and tender.
  • Carefully lift out each piece and place on a tray lined with parchment paper. Leave to dry and cool.
  • If you have some fennel lowers add them to the syrup and cook for a few minutes before lifting out to dry. Next prepare the icing.


125 gr butter at room temperature

125 g cream cheese

400 gr Icing sugar


  • Beat the butter until light and fluffy then add the cream cheese and icing sugar.
  • Mix initially on low speed then increase the speed as the icing sugar becomes incorporated into the mixture.
  • Assemble Cake
  • Method:
  • Carefully cut the cake into three layers.
  • Spread the first layer with about one third of the icing add the next layer carefully on top and repeat until the top layer is coated and the third layer cake is assembled.
  • Decorate with some lemon slice and fennel flowers.

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