If you don’t really ‘do’ cakes (like me!) give a loaf cake a go – they’re just so easy. The Pistachios, lime and zucchini in this one are a match made in heaven, I reckon, and the cream cheese frosting is just the ‘icing on the cake’ (or the frosting on the loaf, more like).
I’ve said on here before that I’m no baker (just not keen on all that precision 😉 ), but loaf cakes … well, they don’t faze me. They’re easier than a multi-layer cake, of course, but the main reason I make a lot of them is that they always seem to turn out well on the first attempt.
A great baking ego-booster, in other words!
For a while now, I’ve been wanting to copy a really gorgeous lime and pistachio cake I tasted in a café not too long ago. The owner very kindly gave me the recipe (how great is that?) but silly old me ended up LOSING it. I put it in a ‘safe place’ and then forgot exactly which ‘safe place’ I’d put it in … you know how it goes (or maybe it’s just me??).
So I had to use another recipe for my loaf, but never mind. In true Mr. Scrummy style, the hubs had something odd to say (“this reminds me of a Chinese meal I once had”) but don’t take any notice of him … the flavours in this WORK, let me tell you! And don’t worry – the cake doesn’t taste of ‘vegetable’, but what a bonus that there’s a bit of extra goodness in there (a perfect excuse to have more than one slice).
You’ve got the ‘carrot cake-like’ texture from the zucchini, the tangy lime and the crunchy, slightly salty pistachios – all topped with the sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting (a big fat layer of it).
Just don’t do what I did when you make this – buy unshelled pistachios. I spent AGES shelling them all! Then I forgot to add the lime juice and so ended up grabbing the cake out of the oven after it had already been in there for over 5 minutes and adding it straight into the loaf tin! I can’t believe I’m admitting this to you, but you see what I mean now about loaf cakes always turning out well? Even when you do something totally stupid like I did …
Go on, you know you want to give this cake a go! 😉
- 4 eggs
- 200 grams/7 ounces soft brown sugar
- 100ml/3.4 fl. ounces (just under half a cup) oil (I used rapeseed)
- 6 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 lime (zest and juice)
- 250 grams/9 ounces zucchini/courgettes, grated
- 300 grams/10.5 ounces self-raising flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 100 grams/3.5 ounces pistachio nuts
- 125 grams/4.4 ounces cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 275 – 300 grams confectioners’/icing sugar
- 1 lime (zest and 2 teaspoons juice)
- Line a loaf tin with baking paper and pre-heat the oven to 170C/340F.
- Whisk together the eggs, sugar, oil, yoghurt, vanilla essence, lime zest and juice in a large bowl.
- Stir in the zucchini and then fold in the flour and baking powder and most of the pistachios (save a couple of tablespoons).
- Pour the mixture into the loaf tin, then bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the loaf is risen and golden and a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean. Then cool completely on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, make the icing. Beat together the cream cheese and butter, then add most of the lime zest and the juice. Finally, stir in the icing sugar. Keep adding more icing sugar until the icing seems thick enough to sit on top of the cake without sliding off!
- When the cake is completely cool, spread the icing over the top. Decorate with the remaining pistachios and lime zest.
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