Having My Cake And Eating It ~ That Would Be Gluten Free Lemon Zucchini Cake


This year I seem to have started off the zucchini aka courgette season with a glut. I anyway usually slice them into spaghetti strips or noodles to use, seasoned, sprinkled with fresh chopped oregano or coriander, and warmed through with a little oil or butter, instead of pasta. They go well with either tomato or meat based sauces.

But then as the harvest began to multiply beyond the sensible, including exceeding neighbour capacity, my mind wended towards cake. I remembered having a delicious slice of lemon courgette cake last year in a museum cafe.  So I did a trawl of recipes on the internet, and adapted a gluten free flour one found at The Pink Rose Bakery into a ground almond-polenta version. In fact I’ve been using ground almonds (and or polenta flour) in most of my cake recipes these days. They give much lighter, moister results.

So this is what I did:

Lemon Zucchini Cake

20 cm/8” deep cake tin, oiled

oven 180 C/160 C fan/350 F


250 gm/ good 8 oz of coarsely grated zucchini/courgette placed in sieve over sink to drain

2 large eggs

125ml/4 fl oz vegetable oil. I used groundnut

150gm/5 oz sugar. I used coconut flower sugar for its slight toffee flavour

112 gm/4 oz polenta flour

112 gm/4oz ground almonds

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder

3/4 teaspoon vanilla essence

zest of one unwaxed lemon, though zest of two would not hurt if you like lemon


1. In large bowl beat eggs, oil and sugar together until smooth;

2. Stir into the batter all the other ingredients except the zucchini;

3. Gently squeeze any excess moisture from zucchini and add to the mix, distributing well;

4. Pour into tin and bake for around 45 mins until lightly browned and firm to the touch. I was using a fan oven. Probably wise to check after 30  mins.

5. Cool in tin for 10 mins. Turn out onto rack and sprinkle with coconut flower sugar.

Options: You could drizzle it with icing made with lemon juice and icing sugar, or maybe add a carrot cake topping, although we found the cake sweet enough without. I’m also thinking you could swap the lemon zest for orange zest, and use half a teaspoon of cinnamon in place of the vanilla essence. And I think the cake would be good served with fresh raspberries and creme fraiche. Unfortunately we have now eaten it before I could try out this last suggestion. But never mind. There are plenty more essential ingredients growing at the allotment.

copyright 2017 Tish Farrell


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58 thoughts on “Having My Cake And Eating It ~ That Would Be Gluten Free Lemon Zucchini Cake

    1. A cake war! Is that an upscale bun fight? In any event, you’re on. Tish cake v. Mak cake. Maybe we should get Ark to be the judge, given his extensive experience cake-wise 🙂

      1. Ark has no experience, unless you mean tasting then I guess he has tasted good and bad he will not tell the difference 😀

  1. Perfect for me as I’m about to water a friend’s allotment as a favour (as many courgette’s as I can eat for a week) and I’m coeliac so the gluten free bit is perfect! Thanks Tish, looks gorgeous x

  2. Abundance is the mother of invention, or perhaps Frank Zappa. I like yours better, yum 😀

    1. That is a very good question – as bought in a well known supermarket and used much by Nigel Slater. I’ve just had to go and check and find it’s made from peanuts, so grapeseed oil would be a good substitute for allergy sufferers.

  3. I echo Jo! I wonder if I have any courgettes forming? My first plants were eaten, so mine are obviously much later than yours are. If I do get any fruit I shall certainly try this recipe. If I don’t I shall certainly try this recipe with courgettes from Tesco 😀

      1. I copied the recipe and maybe the girls will have a go. We do have zucchini growing but there isn’t any at the mo.
        BTW I meant to ask: When is the pickled lemon ready to eat? It’s been in the fridge around three weeks now, yes?
        And how does one serve it? (eat the peel as well, I presume?)

        And how long does it keep?

      2. It should be ready at 4 weeks. To serve chop off however much lemon is required, and then cut up finely – the whole thing apart from pips though I quite like those. It can be added to rice, bulgar wheat, a salad dressing, stir fry. Would be good with a rocket salad, beetroot. It might even work in a spicy tomato based sauce, or tart up spuds. Or as relish with goats cheese and pitta bread. Sky’s the limit. For meat eaters it makes a good stuffing with added chopped dates and rosemary for rolled breast of lamb. It keeps best if whatever is left in the jar is topped up with some olive oil (or other good oil) so it stops the lemon or chillies having contact with the air. That way it should survive in the fridge for ages. Enjoy!

  4. That cake looks delicious Tish. I may have to review my decision not to plant courgettes this season after struggling to dispose of the bumper crop last time. 🙂

    1. The cake is definitely v. good. The thing is with courgettes you one need one plant, but then you can bet your boots that if you confine yourself to growing one plant, something comes along and does for it. So the glut…

      1. 🙂 yes. I never plant one of anything, but I suspect that courgettes could be a reliable exception. Post apocalypse, the world will be populated with cockroaches and courgettes!

  5. It sounds fantastic and what a great way to use zucchini which seems to be the vegetable that wind the gold medal for growing well most anywhere.

    1. I don’t think I’m especially gluten intolerant , but try not to eat much wheat. Have discovered that ground almonds/polenta anyway make a much moister, tastier cake.

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