Courgette and Cardamom Loaf Cake

Courgette and cardamom loaf cake

IT IS THAT TIME. The courgette tide has arrived and will not abate. The marrows crash through the allotment, like huge, watery uninvited guests at a dinner party. (I end up making spiced courgette chutney every year; here’s the best recipe I’ve found).

I’ve made courgette cake before but wanted to throw in something extra. Enter cardamom. I love cardamom. It adds a wonderful, warm, comforting flavour to cakes.

Since there’s no butter in this recipe (and not much sugar, either), it got me thinking… it’s really sort of a bread isn’t it? And so, before I knew it, I had sliced, toasted, and was eating the cake hot and buttered. Je ne regrette rien.

Courgette & Cardamom Loaf Cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 130ml coconut oil (or sunflower)
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 350g courgette, grated (and peeled, if you’re using a marrow-sized one)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean extract (or 1/2 vanilla pod)
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • A handful of walnuts
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • Butter, to serve

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180c/350f/Gas Mark 4. Line a 2lb loaf tin.
  2. Crack the eggs into a large bowl, and add the oil and sugar. Whisk together until well-combined.
  3. Stir in the courgette and vanilla bean extract.
  4. Crack the cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar and extract the seeds from the husks. Grind the seeds into a rough powder.
  5. Tip into the mixture, along with the walnuts.
  6. Add the flour in thirds, folding in gently until combined.
  7. Spoon into the prepared tin, smooth over the top, and bake for around 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  8. Cool on a wire rack. Slice thickly and serve toasted, spread with salted butter.  

Good luck to all your courgette hoarders out there. If you liked this post, why not sign up to my newsletter for more recipes, news and subscriber-only offers?

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Four Blackberry Recipes for August

Blackberries are one of my favourite things about the long, late summer days of August. This year, thanks to the rain and blazing sun, they’ve been particularly bountiful. On my allotment, the bramble bushes (some deliberate and some, ah, not) have been weighed down by berries, most of them plump and bursting with purple, gritty juice. Blackberries picked from brambles and hedgerows have their own taste and scent; a musky, deep, almost feral sweetness and fragrance that sets them apart from any other berry.

Since they’re heavy in the hedgerows right now, I thought I’d share a few past recipes, to make the most of the blackberry harvest before rain and coming autumn catches hold of them.

Blackberry Madeleines

Madeleines are so simple, yet ridiculously moreish, and I love them combined with a burst of blackberry in the centre of each.

Blackberry Madeleines on wooden background © Laura Madeleine
Blackberry Madeleines

Hazelnut Cake with a Blackberry Sloe Gin Glaze

One of my all-time favourites, this. Toasted hazelnuts and a deep, sweet, sticky glaze, flavoured with home-made sloe gin. (Though of course you could replace the sloe gin with creme de mure, or a cordial of your choice).

A picture of a cake with blackberry glaze and fresh blackberries
Hazelnut Cake with Blackberry Sloe Gin Glaze

Blackberry and Bay Galette

A super easy, stick-in-the-oven-and-forget dessert, and a good addition to Sunday lunch. I love the combination of blackberry and slightly bitter, botanical bay leaf.

Blackberry and bay galette with cream
Blackberry, Bay and Apple Galette

Blackberry Crumble Cupcakes

An oldie but a goodie from my days on the cake beat at Domestic Sluttery; these blackberry crumble cupcakes are a way to combine cake AND crumble in an explosion of blackberry stickiness.

blackberry crumble cupcakes

And of course, if you’re not in the mood for cake, there’s always jam, or a good, old fashioned crumble, or even gin (I always add a handful of blackberries to my sloe-gin). Does anyone else have favourite, go-to blackberry recipes? Drop me a line below or over on Twitter or Instragram to share!

And if you liked these recipes, there are plenty more where those came from via my newsletter, which goes out monthly to subscribers with free short stories, recipes, news and more.

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