I said this before and I’ll say it again. I love incorporating vegetables into sweet things. I love the way they manage to bring a squidgy moistness to cakes yet imparts a nice earthy note to them. A while ago I took my butternut squash cake to my first Clandestine Cake Club, and aside from the carrot, I have also tried courgette, a vegetable very much in season at the moment and can sometimes seem a bit bland and uninspiring!
Now for those of you that don’t know, I only really started baking “seriously” just over a year ago and a version of these courgette cupcakes were one of the first things I experimented with, based on Zanthe Milton’s recipe in Eat Me. They paired perfectly with a zingy lime cream cheese frosting. A couple of friends even proclaimed them to be the best cakes they’d ever tasted. High praise indeed!
However, the recipe was long forgotten about and I hadn’t even thought about making them again until now. I am going away with said friends this weekend and want to make them as a bit of a surprise…now if my friends are reading this now, then it’s no longer a surprise!
I revisited the recipe and decided to rework it somewhat. Taking inspiration from the classic flavours of the carrot cake, I added extra spices to add a bit more depth of flavour and also walnuts to add texture. As with a carrot cake citrus is added to the cream cheese frosting, and I decided to stick with lime.
I think what really makes this cupcake is the frosting – creamy, smooth and sharp with lime. I could’ve just eaten it with a spoon! I made these cakes as minis and I got about 48. The recipe below will make approximately 18 standard sized cupcakes. I have to warn you though, if you make minis, you may have to exert some self control…I had to stop after popping them in my mouth one after another… I stopped at 2, but it’s better than 1 standard size right??
I really think you should try these out whilst courgettes are in abundance, and the recipe is very, very easy.
Courgette Cupcakes with Lime Cream Cheese Frosting
For the Cake
200g soft brown sugar
200ml groundnut oil (or any other flavourless oil)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
200g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
200g grated courgette (approx 1 1/2 med sized)
60g chopped walnuts
For the frosting
125g unsalted butter, room temp
200g full fat cream cheese
450g icing sugar
Finely grated zest of 2 limes
Preheat the oven to 180 deg C (160 deg C fan)
Line your muffin tray(s) with paper liners
Mix together the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until smooth, thick and combined well.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarb and spices. Add these into the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
Add the courgettes and walnuts. Mix again.
Divide between the muffin liners and bake for 20 mins for standard cakes and 10 mins for minis.
For the frosting, mix all of the ingredients well until light and fluffy and pipe onto the cakes.
Decorate with a shaving of extra lime zest and a walnut piece.