Zucchini & Pistachio Spice Cake with Lime Frosting

Can’t get the kids to eat Zucchini? I bet they won’t be turning their noses up at this cake!

This cake is really moist. The use of Zucchini is great for something different, you will have all your guests intrigued and trying to guess the ‘special’ ingredient. Plus, you don’t have to feel too guilty about eating it, with every bite you get closer to your recommended daily vegetable intake.

With food intolerance in the family, this recipe was only two ingredients away from being completely lactose free. The cake was already perfect, all that was needed was a couple of little adjustments to the frosting. I used a tofu cream cheese instead of real cream cheese and a lactose free margarine to replace the butter. It worked surprising well – I still couldn’t keep my husband from ‘cleaning’ up the frosting bowl!

Zucchini & pistachio spice cake with lime frosting

Serves 10

Recipe Adapted from Delicious. magazine


For the Cake:

  • 3/4 cup sunflower oil
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsalted pistachios, chopped
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup hazelnut meal (could substitute for almond meal)
  • 2 cups grated zucchini (about 3-4)
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup plain flour

For the Lime Frosting:

  • 180g unsalted butter, softened (I used a lactose free margarine)
  • Approx. 3 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 250g cream cheese, softened, chopped (I used tofu cream cheese for a completely lactose free cake)
  • Finely grated zest  of 3 limes
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Nuts to decorate
  1. Preheat oven to 170°C (340f). Grease a 22cm springform pan and line base and sides with baking paper.
  2. Using an electric mixer with whisk attachment, beat the oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla until thick. Stir in chopped nuts, meal, zucchini and spices. Sift over soda and flours, and stir to combine. Pour into pan and bake for 70 minutes or until a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool in pan for 20 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  3. For frosting, use electric beaters to beat the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. With motor running, gradually add sugar. Add zest and juice and beat until smooth.
  4. Using a bread knife, slice the cake into two rounds and set aside top. Spread a third of the frosting over the bottom half, then replace top and spread cake with remaining frosting. Decorate with nuts of your choice, I used Walnuts.

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