Courgette cupcakes, a carrot cake alternative

Carrot cake is a good excuse to eat cake and feel healthy too, so surely courgette cake is even better right? I do love a carrot cake (it’s up there in my favourite cake flavours!) and have used similar spices in these courgette cupcakes, although the flavour is slightly different as there are no carrots, I find the courgettes make this a lighter cake as they seem to just melt into the sponge.

Honestly, you really wouldn’t know these cupcakes were made using courgettes if I hadn’t told you!

Once again, an overflow of produce has meant finding some imaginative ways to use up some courgettes, so here is my recipe for some courgette cupcakes that really don’t stay around for long. It makes 24 large cupcakes in muffin size cases, but you can scale the recipe down for fewer – or pop any extras in the freezer for a treat on a winter day! The spices in these can make them feel rather autumnal, a little bit ginger bread like, they’re a perfect treat with a cup of chai tea on an autumn afternoon.

The icing is an optional extra, the courgette retains a lot of moisture in the cupcakes, so there isn’t really a need for icing, however the slightly acidic tang of lemon juice coupled with the sweetness in the lemon drizzle icing is a great pairing with the spices.

If you want a slightly more treacle tasting version you can use dark mucovado sugar instead of light brown sugar, perfect for this time of year when the seasons are changing as it adds a bit more depth to the cupcakes, I can imagine them working really well eaten warm with a helping of hot custard as a pudding…

Courgette Cupcakes Ingredients:

(Makes 24 muffins)

350g Courgettes, grated

300ml Vegetable oil

350g Light brown sugar

3 Large eggs

1tsp Baking Soda

350g Self Raising Flour

2 tsp Cinnamon

2 tsp Ginger

1 tsp Nutmeg

Method:

Mix the sugar, oil and eggs together, either by hand or in a mixer.

Sift in the flour and spices into the wet mixture and mix together for as little time as possible, just until the flour is incorporated – these cupcakes rise better when the mix is definitely not over beaten!

Add the magic ingredient – Courgettes. Peel and grate them and pop into the bowl then mix until they are covered with the cake batter (not too much mixing!).

 Spoon into muffin cases and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Centigrade for about 16-20 minutes. They should spring back up if you tap the top of them and turn a light golden colour.

Leave to cool on a cooling rack and then enjoy!

Optional extra – if you want to add a topping, these go really nicely with a lemon drizzle icing. Mix 100g of icing sugar with 1/2tbsp lemon juice and 1tbsp of water (or more lemon juice depending on how zingy you like it!)  until it is a runny consistency and use a spoon to gently pour over the muffins.

The lemon drizzle also works really well with the Blueberry muffin cake I posted a few weeks ago.

Let me know if you try this recipe, or if you have any other fruit or vegetables that you need a recipe for – pop a comment below.

Jenni