Recipe: Lemon, courgette and poppyseed cake (low sugar + grain free)

baked, recipes

Recipe: Lemon, courgette and poppyseed cake (low sugar + grain free)

baked, recipes

Lemon courgette poppyseed cake title

One of my favourite flavours in the summer is lemon. Right now I’m going crazy for lemony things (replacing my former obsession with all things minty!) especially sweet lemony things it has to be said, hence this cake. My Mam and Aunts lemon polenta cake has long been a favourite of mine, but I fancied something a bit different, and healthified after some recent indulgences. It wasn’t until I saw a recipe for a courgette, lemon and poppyseed cake in my Riverford recipes leaflet that comes with my veg box that I knew what I had to make.

Unlike that recipe, this one contains no refined sugar and no gluten or grains. It’s sweetened with brown rice syrup, or honey if you’d prefer, and the white flour is replaced with ground almonds and coconut flour. It’s seriously sugar detox friendly if that’s your bag right now.

Lemon courgette poppyseed cake 1

To top it off, I made a sweet lemon yoghurt glaze that seeps into the cake adding to its moistness. 

Lemon courgette poppyseed cake 5

This cake would be perfect eaten on a sunny afternoon in an English garden surrounded with flowers and served with iced tea. I made some iced rooibos to go with it and it tasted amazing, especially with a slice of lemon added to it.

Lemon courgette poppyseed cake 3

I’ve given you two versions here, a less sweet and a sweeter version. Personally I found the less sweet version was ok for me, but for others with more of a sweet tooth you might want to up the ante with a little stevia. As well as the cake, this recipe could be made into muffins or a loaf if you’d prefer.

Lemon courgette poppyseed cake 2

Lemon, courgette and poppyseed cake
Serves 8
For the cake
  1. 2 cups ground almonds
  2. 1/4 cup coconut flour
  3. 1 tsp baking soda
  4. 3 large eggs
  5. 2 small pots apple sauce (I use baby food, 80g)
  6. 1/3 cup coconut oil
  7. 1/3 cup rice syrup (or honey, which will be sweeter)
  8. 1 medium courgette (to give 1 cup when grated)
  9. 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  10. Zest from 2 unwaxed lemons
  11. 1/2 tsp lemon extract (optional for added lemony flavour)
  12. 2 tbsp stevia for added sugar free sweetness (optional)
For the glaze
  1. 1/4 cup plain yoghurt
  2. 1/4 cup rice syrup (or honey)
  3. Juice from half a lemon
  4. Zest from 1 lemon
  5. 1 tbsp poppyseeds
  6. 2 tbsp stevia (optional for added sweetness)
  1. 1. Pre heat the oven to 180c
  2. 2. Line a 9 inch spring form pan with greaseproof paper and grease the sides with coconut oil
  3. 3. In one bowl, combine the ground almonds, coconut flour and baking soda.
  4. 4. In a separate bowl combine the rice syrup, stevia and lemon extract if using, eggs and apple sauce / baby food. Melt the coconut oil and pour into the egg mixture in a slow drizzle while mixing well.
  5. 5. Grate the courgette and squeeze out as much liquid as you can, using a clean tea towel, muslin cloth or your hands.
  6. 6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and fold in the courgette, lemon zest and poppy seeds.
  7. 7. Pour into the prepared pan, smooth the surface and bake for 40 - 45 minutes. The cake should be golden brown and just firm to the touch. A tooth pick inserted into the centre should come out fairly clean with just a few crumbs.
  8. 8. Leave the cake to cool completely before adding the glaze.
  9. 9. Mix the yoghurt, lemon juice, rice syrup and stevia if using into a thin glaze.
  10. 10. Prick the cake all over with a tooth pick, then spoon the glaze over so it covers the top of the cake and runs down the sides a bit.
  11. 11. Sprinkle with lemon zest and poppy seeds. Eat!
  1. You could also use agave nectar in place of the rice syrup which will give a sweeter result. If using honey, do be aware that the glaze in particular will have a more 'honey' taste unlike the rice syrup which has a more neutral sweetness.
  2. This cake will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. It should also freeze well, without the glaze on top.
Wholeheartedly Laura
Lemon courgette poppyseed cake 6

Do you like lemon flavoured things? What flavours are you enjoying right now? What’s your favourite summer cake?

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  1. Rachel

    Oooh yum! I am about to have a courgette glut from the garden so this recipe comes at a very good time! I LOVE your banana and coconut flour loaf (the only thing I’ve successfully used coconut flour in), and I also regularly make your sweet potato/pumpkin choc chip cookies, so I know that your recipes work!

    • Laura Agar Wilson

      Thanks Rachel, do let me know if you make it and what you think!

  2. Lauren

    Wow – this looks absolutely delicious! I think this would be so perfect with a cuppa or taking to a picnic! I never used to enjoy lemon flavoured things that much but now I really like them – especially in cake :)

  3. kezia

    I love courgette in cake! This looks super yum – there perfect healthier lemon drizzle type cake and great idea for yogurt with glaze, much more affordable than coconut oil:) Its making me hungry…

  4. Karina

    Mmm,yum! My kind of cake(almonds make the best cakes:).

  5. Tamzin

    Well you just made my day, lemon cake is my absolute favourite and this looks amazing!!!! Yummy x

  6. Claire @ Flake and Cake

    This looks seriously delicious Laura! The texture looks fab too, I’m a sucker for the slight crunch of polenta

  7. Anna @AnnaTheApple

    Looks so tasty and quintessentially British, you know? Would look perfect with afternoon tea. Lemon is just divine in cakes.

    • Laura Agar Wilson

      I know just what you mean, definitely a perfect afternoon tea cake!

  8. Erin @ Snapbacks And Racing Flats

    Why do I have no zucchini or poppy seeds on hand?? I need this cake in my life ASAP! Also, do you think that I could replace the almond flour with cashew flour? I am allergic to almonds unfortunately, but I do have some cashew flour in my pantry!

    • Laura Agar Wilson

      Absolutely try with the cashews, what a great idea and that should make it even more naturally sweet :-)

  9. Nicola Dellard-Lyle

    This looks magnificent!

    I have an abundance of courgette at the moment (and a continuous need for healthier cake snacks) so this will be a great treat for the week :D



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