River Cottage Australia



Paul deals with the zucchini glut and turns to his sweet tooth for inspiration! Try this delicious recipe.


  • 180g unsalted butter

  • juice and zest of 1 lemon (about ¼ cup juice)

  • 180g caster sugar

  • 3 eggs

  • 100g self-raising flour

  • 100g plain wholemeal flour

  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice

  • ¼ tsp sea salt

  • 1 tsp poppy seeds, plus extra

  • 2 medium zucchini (300g), coarsely grated

  • 300ml whipping cream

  • 250ml mascarpone

  • Sugared leaves

  • 8-10 marigold leaves and flower petals

  • 1 eggwhite, lightly beaten

  • caster sugar, for dusting

  • Icing

  • 2 cups pure icing sugar

  • juice of 1 lemon (¼ cup juice) and grated zest of 1/2 lemon


  • 1.

    Preheat oven to 180C. Grease two 20cm round sandwich cake tins and line with baking paper. Cream the butter in an electric mixer, add the lemon zest, sugar and vanilla seeds and beat well until light and creamy. Add eggs and beat well. 

  • 2.

    Sift together the flours and baking powder in a bowl. Stir in the salt and poppy seeds. Fold in the butter mixture until well combined. Squeeze excess moisture from grated zucchini and pat dry with kitchen towel. Fold zucchini and lemon juice into cake mixture. Divide mixture evenly between the tins and bake in oven 20-25 mins, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let sit 5-10 minutes in a tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • 3.

    To make mascarpone cream, whip cream to form soft peaks. In a small bowl beat mascarpone to soften and fold in three large spoonfuls of whip cream, folding together to soften. Fold mascarpone mixture into whipped cream.

  • 4.

    To make icing, combine lemon juice, zest and icing sugar in a medium bowl and beat together well. When cake is completely cool, pour half the icing in the middle of the cake and carefully spread it to the edges with a small spatula. Carefully smooth icing to the edge of the cake and let it dribble down the sides slightly. Add more icing as needed, again pouring into the middle and pushing out slowly with the spatula. Decorate with sugared leaves, petals and extra poppyseeds.

  • Top Tip::

  • 1.

    Leaving the skin on the zucchini gives the cake a green hue, and including it is a healthier (more nutrient rich) option.

  • 2.

    Candied flowers/ leaves – use edible flowers and leaves that haven’t been sprayed with pesticide. Rose geranium leaves are also pretty decoration.

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Posted by Christine1243Report
Lovely moist cake, made it in one tin instead of two as I didn't have the marscapone, I just slowed the temp and cooked for a bit longer. I also used spelt plain flower. Not sure where the ground mixed spice is supposed to be added, so just omited it completeley. Will definitely make again as I also have a glut of zucchini's!