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Courgette and Lime Cake

A super moist courgette and lime cake – topped with the most heavenly vegan cream cheese frosting. This recipe is also vegan friendly, and just about the most perfect summer bake! With this vegan courgette cake, you’ll have an amazingly easy and delicious recipe that’s great for using up a neverending abundance of courgettes you may have in the garden that needs to be used up…

Vegan courgette and lime cake

A couple of years ago, before my family and I got our own allotment, a family friend would drop round a couple of spare courgettes and marrows he had grown. When I tell you those marrows were ENORMOUS, I’m not even exaggerating.

One of my favourite ways to use up an abundance of marrows or courgettes ever since has been courgette and lime cake. I’ve been making this vegan courgette and lime cake topped with a vanilla cream cheese frosting ever summer since – and now that we have our own allotment, let me tell you that’s a lot of cakes being made. Luckily, it’s a hit with friends and family, so you’re in good hands!

Another sweet courgette recipe you might like are these courgette brownies – so fudgy and delicious!

vegan courgette and lime cake

Does Courgette Cake Taste Like Courgette?

No, courgette and lime cake doesn’t have an overwhelming taste of courgette. Instead, the courgette adds a wonderful moistness to the sponge of the bake, while the lime adds a zing that pairs perfectly with the mild, fluffy cake.

How to Make Courgette and Lime Cake

For the most delicious, vegan-friendly courgette cake recipe – read on! Scroll down to the recipe card for the full list of quantities needed and instructions.


Here are all the ingredients you’ll need to make this cake. The full quantities are in the recipe card at the bottom of this page.

  • Courgette: Although this is a courgette cake, marrow also works as a suitable replacement in this cake.
  • Plain flour: To make this gluten-free recipe, you could substitute gluten-free all-purpose flour, although I haven’t tried this myself.
  • Oats: Steel-cut oats or jumbo porridge oats add a lovely texture to this recipe
  • Apple sauce: A store-bought jar of apple sauce works perfectly for this recipe. You could also try substituting it for a banana in a pinch. This element adds moisture and flavour to the cake.
  • Coconut oil: I haven’t tried other substitutions myself, but you could use olive oil for the same results.
  • Brown sugar: Light brown sugar works best for this recipe, giving it a lovely taste and texture.
  • Caster sugar: You could use just one type of sugar, but I’ve found the combination to give this cake the best texture.
  • Flax eggs: Flax eggs are literally just a name for ground flax seed combined with a little water and left to thicken. This flax egg guide covers all.
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Vanilla essence
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • Lime: Both juice and zest

To make the cream cheese icing, you’ll also need vegan cream cheese, vegan butter, and icing sugar.


This is a very straightforward recipe, so you don’t need a lot to string it together. A few tools to have to hand are:

  • A large mixing bowl
  • A baking tin
  • Parchment paper
  • A box grater to grate your courgette

Method to Make a Courgette and Lime cake

To make this courgette and lime cake, you’ll first need to grate a medium courgette on the coarse side of a box grater. If you grate it too finely, the courgette will just turn to mush, which you really want to avoid! You’ll also want to mix together your ground flax seeds and water to make the flax egg.

Next, you’ll combine the dry ingredients of flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, and cinnamon in your large mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients: sugar, coconut oil (this should be melted but cool), vanilla essence, apple sauce, flax eggs, lime zest, and lime juice.

Then, all you have to do is add in your grated courgette and the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently combine. Take care not to overmix your batter! When combined, pour the batter into your baking tin lined with baking paper, and bake in your preheated oven for 35 – 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted.

Allow your cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.

vegan courgette and lime cake

Other Courgette Recipes To Try include these Vegan Courgette Fritters, and this Quick & Easy Courgette Pesto Pasta!

Icing Your Courgette and Lime Cake

It’s crucial that you allow your cake to cool completely before icing it. Ideally, you’ll let the cake cool to room temperature and then pop it in the fridge while you make your icing. This way, the icing won’t melt and ooze all over your cake!

The cream cheese frosting for this courgette and lime cake is made from vegan cream cheese, vegan butter, lime zest, and icing sugar. Of course, if you don’t want your icing to be vegan, you could use standard cream cheese and butter.

As you might notice from the photos, my frosting, unfortunately, started to split slightly when I was baking this recipe to photograph! It would help if you were really gently beating the cream cheese and butter together to avoid this. I’ve since bought a better electric mixer than prevents this issue for me!

If your frosting does split a little, it still tastes great – it will just be a little more liquidy than usual.

Vegan courgette and lime cake

To make the icing, beat together the butter and cream cheese on a low setting. Add two-thirds of the lime zest. Then, slowly add your icing sugar, about a third at a time, until it comes together into a beautiful fluffy frosting.

Slather it over your cake and then scatter over the remaining lime zest!

Swaps and Substitutions

This cake is quite versatile, so there are a few changes you could easily make if you don’t have all the ingredients you need for it. Here are a few popular swaps to consider:

  • Substitute marrow instead of courgette – this produces the same mild, moist sponge
  • Add in some grated carrot for a courgette, carrot and lime cake! Just use half the quantity of courgette to avoid the cake being too moist
  • Add sultanas and chopped nuts to the sponge
  • Swap out the apple sauce for banana
  • You could try using gluten-free all-purpose flour and omitting the oats for a gluten-free version of this courgette and lime cake, although this isn’t something I’ve tried yet.
  • Omit the cream cheese from the frosting and make a standard buttercream (butter and icing sugar) instead

Recipe FAQs

Can I make the cake without the icing?

Yes, you could certainly enjoy the cake without any icing at all. However, it’s got to be said – the icing adds a really delicious touch to this cake overall and is well worth the effort.

Is this courgette cake suitable for freezing?

Yes, this cake is suitable for freezing. However, I would freeze the cake without the icing. Allow the cake to fully defrost and then add your frosting just before eating.

What size tin do I need?

I use a 7 x 7-inch baking tin for this recipe. You could also use a loaf tin instead.

Courgette and Lime Cake

Courgette and Lime Cake

Yield: 9 - 12 portions
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

A deliciously moist vegan courgette and lime cake topped with the most amazing cream cheese frosting. The perfect easy summer bake!


  • 330g courgette
  • 250g plain flour
  • 20g oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 0.5 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 flax egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 50g apple sauce
  • 50g coconut oil (melted but cooled)
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 lime zest
  • 1 lime - zest and lime

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 100g vegan butter
  • 200g vegan cream cheese
  • 350g icing sugar
  • 0.5 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 lime, zest grated


    1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C and line a 7x7inch/20x20cm baking tin or loaf tin with parchment paper.
    2. Grate the courgette on the coarse setting of a box grater (too small and the courgette will just turn to mush!) and set aside.
    3. Make your flax egg in a small bowl by combining 2 tbsp flax seed with 5 tbsp of water, and set aside for the flax seeds to soak up the water.
    4. In a large mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
    5. In a separate bowl, combine the vanilla essence, apple sauce, coconut oil, brown sugar, caster sugar, lime zest, and lime juice.
    6. Add the wet ingredients and the courgette to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined - the batter will be fairly thick!
    7. Pour into your lined baking tin and smooth out the top of the batter.
    8. Bake the cake for 35 - 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted.
    9. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before removing the cake from the tin and allowing it to cool fully on a baking rack before icing. If you can, refrigerate your cake for an hour before icing.

To make the icing:

  1. Beat the cream cheese and butter together on a low setting
  2. Add the lime zest and about one-third of the icing sugar, and beat
  3. Finally, mix in the remaining icing sugar for a fluffy cream cheese frosting!

Once you've made the icing, slather it over the top of your cake and scatter over the remaining lime zest.


Best served immediately - if you are making the cake ahead of time, I recommend storing the cake without the icing, and icing just before serving.

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Storing Your Courgette and Lime Cake

This cake needs to be refrigerated due to the cream cheese frosting. It will keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container, although may taste best if you allow your slice to come to room temperature before eating.

Other Vegan Cakes To Try:

A square courgette and lime cake is topped with vegan cream cheese frosting and scattered with lime zest.

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