Lilac & Courgette Chocolate Cake

Flowers, Vegetables & Chocolate, surely this cake is verging on being a salad? Better have another slice just in case.

The ultimate taste of verdant new spring life, all wrapped up in chocolate cake. Shh no one will guess this is virtuous….



120g Unsalted Butter, room temperature, plus extra to grease

250g Caster Sugar

100g Dark Brown Sugar

3 Large Eggs, room temperature

320g Plain Flour

60g Cocoa Powder (Dutch Processed), plus extra to dust

1 tsp Bicarbonate Soda

½ tsp Flaky Salt

220ml Whole Milk mixed with 20ml Lemon Juice

1 tsp Lilac Oil (or 2 tsp Lilac Syrup)

300g Courgette, coarsely grated


100g Dark Chocolate, melted

200g Unsalted Butter, room temperature

400g Icing Sugar

5 tbsp Cocoa Powder

2 tbsp Whole Milk

½ tsp Sea Salt Flakes

Fresh lilac flowers to garnish.


1. Preheat oven 175C. Grease, line and gently dust 3 x 8” sandwich tins with butter and cocoa. Set aside in the fridge.

2. Cream the butter with both sugars for 5-6 minutes or until pale & fluffy and the sugar has dissolved.

3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt until homogenous> Mix the Lilac Oil into the milk mixture.

4. Alternate adding the milk mixture and the flour mixture in 3 additions, taking care not to overmix. Finally fold in the courgette.

5. Divide the batter equally between the 3 tins and bake for 20-25 minutes or until risen and springy to the the touch.

6. Cool in the tins for 5 minutes then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

7. Once cold make the buttercream. Cream the butter and icing sugar until blended then add the cocoa. Beat for 4-5 minutes or until lightened and fluffy. Add the chocolate, and salt and mix in. finally add the milk to smooth out the mixture.

8. Use to fill and frost the cake before garnishing with fresh lilac flowers.