Tamal Ray’s recipe for courgette and coconut cake

If the idea of a courgette cake has you raising a sceptical eyebrow, think of it as the summer equivalent of carrot cake. Although the courgettes add little in the way of flavour, they give texture to the crumb and, as they cook, release water that makes for a deliciously moist finish. There’s still butter and sugar in the mix, so while it’s not exactly a low-calorie recipe, it does contribute to your five a day, and is probably the closest I will ever come to writing a “healthy” cake recipe.

Courgette and coconut cake
Seeing as this is a variation on a carrot cake, you could try substituting the courgette with root vegetables later in the year – grated parsnip would work well.

Prep 25 min
Cook 55 min
Serves 8-10

100g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature, plus extra, melted, for greasing
175g light brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
325g courgettes, coarsely grated
2½ tsp baking powder
225g plain flour
75g desiccated coconut, plus 3 tbsp extra, to decorate
1 handful blueberries, to decorate

For the topping
240g mascarpone
150g Greek yoghurt
2 tsp lime juice
80g icing sugar

Line the base of a 20cm round cake tin with greaseproof paper and grease the base and sides with a little melted butter. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, then stir through the eggs, followed by the grated courgette, baking powder, flour and coconut. Pour the batter into the tin and bake at 170C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4 for 55 minutes, until well browned and a skewer inserted into the centre emerges clean.

While the cake is baking, make the topping. Beat the mascarpone until it’s light and smooth, then stir through the yoghurt, lime juice and icing sugar.

Once the cake has finished baking, remove it from the oven and set aside to cool. Put the remaining coconut on a baking tray and roast for five minutes, until toasted. Once the cake has completely cooled, spread the mascarpone mixture over the top with a palette knife, then scatter over the toasted coconut and blueberries, slice and serve.