If you don’t really ‘do’ cakes (like me!) give a loaf cake a go – they’re just so easy. The Pistachios, lime and courgette (zucchini!) in this one are a match made in heaven. The cream cheese icing makes it a little like carrot cake – with a twist!
I’m not a huge baker, but when I do bake I usually go for super easy, crowd pleasing and fool proof.
The other kind of cake that doesn’t phase me is loaf cakes! (And if you’re a fan of loaf or pound cakes too, try this Nutella cake)
My original intention with this cake was to copy a gorgeous lime and pistachio cake I tasted in a café. The owner very kindly gave me the recipe (how great is that?) but of course I lost it.
So what’s so great about this courgette cake?
So I had to use another recipe for my zucchini bread, but I’m happy to say it’s just as delicious. The cake doesn’t taste of ‘vegetable’, but what a bonus that there’s a bit of extra goodness in there. It’s 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).
What ingredients do you need?
Other than the usual suspect cake ingredients – eggs, sugar, oil, flour, baking powder – this is all you need:
- Greek yoghurt
- 2 limes (one for the cake, another for the icing)
- grated courgette/zucchini
- pistachio nuts
For the cream cheese icing (don’t skip this part!) you need just cream cheese, butter, icing sugar, and a lime.
Pro tip: Buy shelled pistachios! I know they’re expensive but just buy as many as you need from a ‘Scoop and Weigh’ or similar. The first time I made the mistake of buying unshelled pistachios and they took forever to get out of the shells.
How do you make it?
There are just 4 simple steps:
Step 1: Whisk all of the ‘wet’ ingredients together, including the lime zest and juice. I use oil instead of butter, so there’s no creaming of butter and sugar.
Step 2: Fold in the grated courgette / zucchini, flour and pistachios.
Step 3: Pour into a loaf tin and bake!
Step 4: Top with a yummy cream cheese and lime icing. Sprinkle more pistachios and lime zest over the top for added pizzazz!
Got lots of zucchini to use up? Try these light and crispy zucchini fries!
More cakes to impress with
Here are some of my other go-to cakes:
- No one can believe this ooey, gooey 30-minute chocolate cake is healthy! You can serve it plain or turn it into a birthday cake. I once turned it into a digger or ‘construction cake’ like these ones for my son’s birthday and it was wonderful!
- When I want an easy crowd pleasing cake for guests I nearly always choose this Italian apple cake or this 6-ingredient Swedish chocolate cake.
- If you have friends or family coming over for morning or afternoon tea and cake, may I suggest either this lemon mascarpone cake or this sticky blueberry lemon curd cake? Both absolutely delicious!
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pistachio, lime & zucchini loaf
Ingredients (UK/Australia? Click below for grams/ml)
For the loaf
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup soft brown sugar
- 1/2 cup oil (I used rapeseed)
- 6 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 lime zest and juice
- 9 ounces zucchini/courgettes grated
- 2 cups self-raising flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3.5 ounces pistachio nuts
For the lime-cream cheese icing
- 4.5 ounces cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cups 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.