Courgette and Lemon Cupcakes

courgette cakes

Courgette and Lemon cupcakes with cream cheese icing

My friend Karyn asked if I had a good courgette loaf recipe to share and I realised I didn’t really. And I don’t even know why.

A few years ago I went through a phase of baking from a cookery book that uses vegetables in place of fat, Harry Eastwood’s “Red Velvet Chocolate Heartache”. The kids would be amazed at how good the sponge was and how they couldn’t tell the difference from normal sponge. And then the novelty wore off and they would get cross if I so much as mentioned the word cake in the same sentence as courgette…

It’s the beginning of the courgette season and if you start to get bored with them steamed or fried, give these a go.

In the end I decided to try cupcakes rather than a loaf. My first attempt had a much higher proportion of courgette but the longer the cupcakes baked, the wetter they seemed to get as courgette releases a lot of water as it bakes. So my second attempt was much more successful but will make between 9 and 12 depending on the size of your tins and cases. I made eleven. Next time I make them I will play around with the quantities to see if I can get to a proper dozen cupcakes and if I do will update this.

Before you dismiss these out of hand, just remember how delicious carrot cake is! Kids will love them but just don’t tell them what’s in them first or they might refuse to try them. If you want to keep them totally in the dark about the courgettes you could peel them to avoid getting the green flecks.

As carrot and cinammon go together, so do lemon and courgette. And I topped the cupcakes with a little cream cheese icing so we could celebrate my friend Gilly’s daughter’s birthday when they came for tea. You could have them with or without but the cream cheese icing goes really well. Next time I will add a dash of lemon juice to the icing also.

We had them with fresh fruit for dessert:

courgette cupcakes

Courgette and Lemon cupcakes for dessert



100g soft brown sugar

100ml light olive oil

1 egg

Zest and juice of half a large or one small lemon

150g SR flour

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

150g courgette, grated


Set the oven to 180ºC and line a 12 hole cake tin with paper cases.

Mix together the sugar, oil, egg and lemon juice and zest.

Fold in the flour and bicarbonate of soda.

Mix in the courgette.

Spoon the mixture into the cases and bake for around 20 minutes or until browned and firm to the touch. A skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean.

Leave for a few minutes to cool in the tin and then put on a wire rack to cool completely.

courgette lemon muffin

Cupcakes cooling

If you would like the cream cheese icing recipe you can find the ingredients and method in my Blueberry Cake post. You won’t need a full recipe quantity.

Courgette cupcakes 3

Happy 6th Birthday to Jenna! And thanks to Karyn for the inspiration – I hope you like these!

Happy Birthday Jenna!

Happy Birthday Jenna!

Categories: Baking, Cakes, Cupcakes, Desserts, Recipes, Vegetables

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

10 replies

  1. Happy birthday to your daughter!

  2. Happy birthday to Jemma! These cupcakes look so good!

  3. Beautiful 6 year old girl and wonderful desert suggestion!

  4. Oh goodness, these look fabulous! Please move to MI and open a bakery – I would visit ALL THE TIME! I love cupcakes and these sound quite tasty. It was so sweet of you to back them for your young friend.

  5. I’ll bet they were delicious.

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