This Vegan Courgette Cake With Lemon Glaze is moist, zingy, lightly spiced in flavour and is a great way to use up old courgettes. Being dairy-free and egg-free, it also makes a delicious allergy-friendly sweet treat!
If you have a couple of courgettes lurking in your fridge that you don’t know what to do with, then you need to make this tasty vegan courgette cake with lemon glaze!
The cake is deliciously moist and the lemon drizzle makes it full of fresh lemony flavour. If you are trying to sneak extra veggies into the children, then this is a great way to do it.
Courgette (or zucchini as it’s known in the US) is actually quite bland in flavour, so you cannot taste the courgette at all in the cake, but what it does bring is a wonderful texture and moistness.
Delicious served as a sweet snack or as part of an afternoon tea, it also freezes really well and makes a great alternative to carrot cake.
Vegan cakes are easier to make than you think, my vegan banana bread is super easy too and you don't need lots of fancy ingredients, just store cupboard staples.
Another great way of using up courgettes is to make these egg-free courgette & sweetcorn fritters which make an amazing brunch dish.
🔎 I would love for you to read the whole blog post, as you will find lots of extra information & tips to help the recipe turn perfectly - but if you are short on time, click on the jump to recipe button at the top of the page & it will take you straight to the recipe card. 😀
🥘 Ingredients You Will Need
✋ Be sure to double check all packaging for allergens. ✋
- Courgettes - The superstar of the show! You cannot taste them, but they provide a really lovely texture and help to create a light and fluffy cake.
- Plant-Based Milk - Replaces cow’s milk. I have tested this recipe with soy milk, however, another neutral tasting plant-based milk like oat or almond milk would work just as well.
- Self-Raising Flour - Flour provides the structural base for the cake, holding everything together and allowing it to rise beautifully.
- Lemon - We use both the zest and the juice of the lemon. As we are using the skin, I would advise using unwaxed lemons if you can.
- Coconut Oil - As the cake is vegan, coconut oil is used as the fat instead of butter.
- Caster Sugar - This provides the sweetness in the courgette cake. Caster sugar is used instead of granulated as the granules are finer.
- Baking Powder - Although there is baking powder in the self-raising flour, I have added more for extra leavening power. The baking powder creates tiny air bubbles during baking, making the cake rise beautifully and achieve a light, airy texture.
- Cinnamon - Cinnamon adds a touch of spice that complements the other flavours in the cake.
- Salt - Salt doesn't make the cake salty, but prevents the cake from tasting flat and lifts the other flavours.
- Icing Sugar - This is mixed with lemon juice for the lovely lemon glaze.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
⚡ Variations & Substitutions
- ✔️ Make It Gluten-Free- Simply swap regular self-raising flour for a gluten-free version. I love to use Doves Farm Freee self-raising flour in all of my baking.
- ✔️ Swap The Citrus - For a citrus twist, use lime juice and zest instead of traditional lemon.
- ✔️ Chocolate - Use 215g of self-raising flour and 60g cocoa powder to make a deliciously rich chocolate courgette cake.
✏️ How To Make - Step-By-Step Instructions
⬇️ Here you will find an overview of how to make the recipe. For full information on ingredients and quantities please see the recipe card at the bottom of the page ⬇️
Step 1: Start by lining a loaf tin with baking parchment paper. I have tested this recipe using a tin measuring 9” by 5” so if your tin is another size you may experience different results. Another option is to use a silicone loaf tin, these can be great as they don’t require baking paper or pre-greasing as they are non-stick.
Step 2: Pop the coconut oil in a small bowl and put it in the microwave until melted. Zest the lemon by using a citrus zester or the finest side on a grater. Be careful not to zest the white pith of the lemon as this can be bitter. Juice both of the lemons.
Step 3: In a large bowl, mix the coconut oil, sugar, lemon zest (from 2 lemons), and the juice of one lemon until combined, then add the milk and give it a final stir.
Step 4: Grate the courgette using the coarse side of your grater. Next, gather the grated courgettes in the middle of a tea towel and squeeze out any excess liquid over the sink.
Step 5: Add the grated courgette, flour, baking powder, salt, and a sprinkle of cinnamon to the bowl. Give it a good stir until the mixture resembles a thick batter.
Step 6: Bake in a preheated oven for 55-65 minutes. How do you know it's ready? Stick a skewer in; if it comes out clean, it’s done!
Step 7: Allow the cake to cool fully before removing from the loaf tin.
Step 8: To make the icing, in a large bowl, mix the icing sugar and lemon juice slowly until combined. Drizzle the delightful icing over the cooled cake, letting it cascade down the sides.
💡 Tips & Tricks
- ✔️ Grating: Use the coarse side of a grater. Fine shreds can turn mushy in the batter.
- ✔️ Squeeze The Moisture: Don’t skip the step of placing the grated courgette in a tea towel to squeeze out excess liquid. Too much moisture will make the cake soggy.
- ✔️ Don't Over-mix: Gently fold the ingredients until just combined. Over-mixing activates the gluten in the flour, resulting in a tough cake.
- ✔️ Monitor Baking Time: Keep a close eye on the cake as it bakes. Oven temperatures vary, so start checking for doneness around the 55-minute mark by inserting a skewer. If it comes out clean, your cake is ready.
- ✔️ Allow To Cool: Make sure the cake is completely cool before attempting to frost it. This prevents the frosting from melting.
💬 Recipe FAQs
Wrap leftover cake tightly in clingfilm or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Yes! After cooling completely, wrap the cake tightly in clingfilm and then aluminium foil. Place it in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before enjoying.
Don't over-mix the batter! Gently fold ingredients until just combined. Over-mixing develops gluten, resulting in a tough cake. Also, ensure you squeeze out excess moisture from the grated courgettes.
Yes, you can substitute coconut oil with vegetable oil, olive oil, or any other plant-based oil of your choice.
More Vegan Recipes
Check out these other delicious vegan recipes below.
Vegan Courgette Cake With Lemon Glaze
- 200 g (7 oz) courgette approx 1 medium
- 100 ml (3.5 fl oz) plant based milk I used soya
- 275 g self raising flour
- 175 g ( 6 oz) caster sugar
- 80 g (3 oz) coconut oil melted
- 2 medium lemons - zest of
- 1 medium lemon - juice of
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 200 g ( 7 oz) icing sugar
- 1 medium lemon juice of
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C / 160˚Fan).
- Line a 9” by 5” loaf tin with baking parchment or use a silicone tin.
Mix Wet Ingredients With Sugar
- Heat the coconut oil in the microwave until melted, then zest and juice the lemons.
- In a large bowl, beat together the coconut oil, sugar, lemon zest (from 2 lemons) and the juice of one lemon. Add the milk and stir until combined.
Prepare The Courgettes
- Grate the courgettes (no need to peel) on the coarsest side of the grater.
- Place the courgettes in the middle of a tea towel, then gather the edges of the tea towel and form a bundle around the grated courgettes.
- Hold over a sink and squeeze until no more liquid comes out of the tea towel.
Add The Dry Ingredients To The Wet
- Add the grated courgette to the bowl, along with the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon, then stir to combine.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55-65 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean
- Allow the cake to cool before frosting.
Make The Icing
- Add the icing sugar and lemon juice to a large bowl and gently stir to combine.
- Drizzle the icing over the cooled cake allowing it to drip down the sides.
- Grating: Use the coarse side of a grater. Fine shreds can turn mushy in the batter.
- Squeeze The Moisture: Don’t skip the step of placing the grated courgette in a tea towel to squeeze out excess liquid. Too much moisture will make the cake soggy.
- Don't Over-mix: Gently fold the ingredients until just combined. Over-mixing activates the gluten in the flour, resulting in a tough cake.
- Monitor Baking Time: Keep a close eye on the cake as it bakes. Oven temperatures vary, so start checking for doneness around the 55-minute mark by inserting a skewer. If it comes out clean, your cake is ready.
- Allow To Cool: Make sure the cake is completely cool before attempting to frost it. This prevents the frosting from melting.
- Make It Gluten-Free- Simply swap regular self-raising flour for a gluten-free version. I love to use Doves Farm Freee self-raising flour in all of my baking.
- Swap The Citrus - For a citrus twist, use lime juice and zest instead of traditional lemon.
- Chocolate - Use 215g of self-raising flour and 60g cocoa powder to make a deliciously rich chocolate courgette cake.