Courgette, Basil, Lime and Pistachio Cake with Avocado Lime Cream and Raspberry Jam

Image for Courgette, Basil, Lime and Pistachio Cake with Avocado Lime Cream and Raspberry Jam

This cake sings with fresh summer flavours. The courgette keeps the sponge layers wonderfully soft as they ooze with the refreshingly light lime cream and sharp raspberry jam. Finish with edible flowers from the garden. It makes a show-stopping birthday cake, too.

12 People
Prepare in
2-3 hours
Cook for
20 minutes

What you do

Courgette (zucchini) cake

90 g (3 oz / ⅔ cup) pistachio nuts, preferably activated dried
60 g (2 oz / ½ cup) coconut flour
1½ tsp baking powder
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
180 g (6¼ oz) courgettes (zucchini), grated
150 g (5¼ oz / scant ⅔ cup) natural coconut yogurt
150 g (5¼ oz / scant 1¼ cups) coconut sugar
3 eggs
¼ tsp Himalayan pink salt
Finely grated zest of 3 limes
15 g (½ oz / ½ cup) basil leaves, finely chopped, plus about 4 extra leaves for scattering over the lime cream
60 g (2 oz / generous ¼ cup) coconut oil, melted, plus extra for greasing

Avocado lime cream

200 g avocado flesh (about 1 large avocado)
250 g  natural coconut yogurt
100 g blonde coconut nectar
Finely grated zest of 1½ limes
60 ml  lime juice
80 g coconut oil, melted

To finish

170 g quick-cook raspberry jam or no added sugar high fruit content raspberry jam
Small handful chopped pistachio nuts
Edible flowers such as honeysuckle or rose


Make the avocado lime cream first as it needs time to firm up in the fridge. Blend the avocado, coconut yogurt, coconut nectar, lime zest and juice in a blender until smooth. Add the coconut oil and blend until completely smooth. Place in a bowl and cover the surface of the cream completely with cling film so it does not oxidize and lose its colour. Chill in the fridge for 2–3 hours to firm up.

Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3. Grease and line the base of three 23 cm (9 inch) loose-bottomed or spring form cake tins with coconut oil and baking parchment. Line a small baking tray with baking parchment.

Spread the pistachio nuts out on the lined baking tray and toast for 5–7 minutes until just getting colour. Leave to cool then roughly chop into small pieces.

Sieve together the coconut flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. In a large bowl, mix together the rest of the sponge ingredients except for the oil. Add in the sieved flour mix and chopped nuts, then finally stir in the oil. Divide the mix equally between the three tins (about 300 g per tin). Spread the mix with a palette knife (frosting spatula) or small knife to make a thin layer.

Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the tins and bake for another 10 minutes until the top is dark golden brown and bounces back slightly when pressed. Leave to cool, remove from the tins and carefully peel off the baking parchment from the bottom of each sponge.

To assemble, spread the bottom layer of the sponge with half the jam (jelly) and about a quarter of the avocado lime cream. Tear the basil leaves into small pieces and scatter half over the lime cream. Top with the middle layer of sponge and repeat the process with the jam (jelly), cream and basil. Carefully place on the final layer of sponge and top with the remaining cream, spreading it over the top of the cake and around the edges. Decorate with chopped pistachio nuts and edible flowers.

This cake will keep in the fridge for up to three days but it is best eaten fresh when all the flavours and colours are at their most vibrant.


Lime mousse

Serve the Avocado lime cream in small glasses or cups, topped with shavings of fresh coconut, to make a light and fresh end to a meal.

Recipe and images extracted from Clean Cakes by Henrietta Inman, photography by Lisa Linder. Published by Jacqui Small (£20).