My mother-in-law over in New Zealand gave me this recipe, and it’s a cracker! Mary makes masses of these cakes when she has a glut of courgettes, freezing them to ensure she has enough, ready-made, for a good few months. It defrosts beautifully. Mary serves her courgette loaf thickly buttered, with a cup of tea.


  • 220g Courgette, grated (1 medium courgette)
  • 250g Caster sugar
  • 225ml Sunflower oil
  • 3 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 vanilla pod, scraped of seeds, or use 1tsp of vanilla essence
  • 330g Self-raising flour
  • 1tsp Cinnamon powder
  • 1tsp Baking soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 60g Raisins, or chopped dates


  • STEP 1

    Preheat the oven to 160C

  • STEP 2

    Line a 900g loaf tin with greaseproof paper.

  • STEP 3

    In a mixing bowl, beat together the grated courgette, sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla.

  • STEP 4

    Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt into the mixture and stir to combine. Add the raisins and pour the cake mix into the prepared tin.

  • STEP 5

    Bake in the hot oven for around 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes clean when inserted into the centre of the cake. Cover with a square of foil if the top of the cake begins to brown too much.

  • STEP 6

    Remove from the oven and cool in the tin before turning out. Stored in an airtight container, the cake should last well for up to 3–4 days.


Claire Thomson is a chef and food writer, and almost always in the kitchen.