Gluten and Dairy Free Chocolate Courgette Cake

It would be crazy for me to label this recipe as a ‘family favourite’ because the reality is that I’m the only one in our family who likes it (Reggie licks off the icing and launches the rest across the table, Peggy hates the hazelnuts and Chris thinks the dark chocolate is what ruined his stomach last week!) But I’ve had some requests for the recipe following my Instagram Post so here it is.  It should be noted here that this is what I call a ‘special cake’ – it takes time to prepare and around an hour to bake, so if you’ve got ½ an hour to rustle something up this isn’t the recipe for now!  But if you’re wanting to invest some time in a cake for a special occasion or for someone special who is gluten and dairy free, this is the recipe for you. 


** Icing; Option Ais dairy free and option Bcontains dairy.  My Gluten Free (and Dairy Free if required) Chocolate Courgette Cake recipe – bloody gorgeous (in my opinion!)


(Serves 10)


250g/9oz gluten-free plain flour (I use this one)


100g/4 oz ground almonds


2 tsp baking powder


2 tsp xanthan gum or a baking fix like this one


50g/2oz cocoa powder


1 tsp mixed spice


1 tsp salt


175ml/6fl oz extra virgin olive oil


375g/13oz golden caster sugar


3 large eggs


2 tsp vanilla essence


500ml/18fl oz peeled then grated courgette (measure in a measuring jug)


140g/5oz whole hazelnuts


ICING A – Dairy Free


180g cocoa powder (sifted)


60g coconut oil (melted)


120g maple syrup


1 tsp vanilla extract


75ml unsweetened almond milk
ICING B – Contains Dairy


200g dark chocolate, chopped


100ml/3.5 fl oz double cream


1; Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4


2; Toast the hazelnuts in the oven.  I had no clue how to ‘toast’ hazelnuts before this recipe and, if I’m honest, tried to cut corners the second time I made it and bought chopped hazelnuts in a packet.  It didn’t taste half as good and, although a pain, it’s worth toasting them yourself.  Follow this link for some instructions and try not to laugh uncontrollably at the ‘energetically massage your nuts’ instruction like my 16 year old nephew did when helping me do this!  Roughly chop them once toasted.


3; Line a 24cm cake tin with baking parchment (I refer to this as ‘large’ cheesecake size)
4; Use a large bowl to combine the flour, almonds, baking powder, xanthan gum (or baking fix), cocoa powder, mixed spice and salt.



5; Use another bowl to combine the olive oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla essence and grated courgette.  Try to distract your mind from what these ingredients look like at this moment in time as I promise it’ll taste a lot nicer than it looks right now! 


6; Mix the dry and wet mixtures together until just combined, then fold in your toasted, chopped hazelnuts.  Scrape into the tin



7; Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack and leave to cool




1; Add all ingredients (apart from the milk) into a small mixing bowl


2; Mix until everything comes together, slowly adding the milk to achieve a glossy, thick consistency which is spreadable


3; Spread over the cake.  Enjoy! 


Put the chocolate in a bowl and bring the cream to the boil in a pan.  Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until melted.  Cool to thicken slightly, then spread over the cake.  Enjoy!




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