Zucchini Lime and Pecan Cake Recipe

May 6, 2014

Would you like to try a yummy Zucchini Lime and Pecan Cake Recipe? Hi everyone, it’s Jillian here with another Delicious Bites recipe for you this month. This time last year, I asked Holly’s readers for some recipe suggestions. A reader, Gillian, suggested a recipe for a courgette and lime sponge cake and I went to work in my kitchen.

Zucchini Lime and Pecan Cake Recipe

I love cakes made with vegetables and nuts, so I made a zucchini, lime and pecan cake, photographed it and took it into work to be evaluated by my test audience. They loved the cake but when the time came to post the recipe, I’d mislaid it. I made my way back into the kitchen to create the recipe which I adapted from the carrot and almond cake recipe from ‘Marcella’s Kitchen’ by Marcella Hazan. I scribbled the recipe onto the back of an envelope and stuck it to my fridge for safekeeping.

The addition of the zucchini makes this a lovely moist and nutty cake. Please don’t skip drying out the grated zucchini on kitchen paper or a tea towel before adding it to the batter. I did that the first time I made the cake and the batter was very runny. There’s no fat in the actual cake recipe but I couldn’t help myself when it came to the icing.

I just love cream cheese icing/frosting and adding zingy lime to the mix only makes it better, in my opinion. In the first version of the cake I topped it with some lime glace icing, so if you’d like a lower fat version of the cake that also works really well. For decoration I added some toffee pecans which I found on this lovely Australian food blog, The Food Department. Here’s the recipe for you – Zucchini Lime and Pecan Cake – makes one 8 inch cake…

Zucchini Lime and Pecan Cake Recipe

275 g (9 oz) zucchini/courgette, grated and dried on kitchen paper
5 eggs, separated
250 g (8 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
2 limes, rind grated
250 g (8 oz) ground toasted pecans
100 g (3 1/2 oz) sponge finger crumbs or dried breadcrumbs
1 tsp baking powder
1 20 ml tbs lime juice

Zucchini Lime and Pecan Cake Recipe

45 g (1 1/2 oz) unsalted butter
90 g (3 oz) cream cheese
1 tsp grated lime rind
1 1/2 cups sifted icing (confectioners) sugar
1- 2 tsp lime juice

Zucchini Lime and Pecan Cake Recipe

Toffee Pecans
1/2 cup sugar
30 mls (2 tbs) water
12-18 toasted pecans

Zucchini Lime and Pecan Cake Recipe

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F (conventional oven). Line the base and sides of an 8 inch round tin with baking paper. In a large bowl whisk the egg yolks, sugar and rind until light and fluffy and trebled in volume. Mix the ground pecans, the sponge finger crumbs and baking powder together in a bowl. Gently fold into the egg yolk mixture along with the lime juice and the grated zucchini. In a clean dry bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whites through the zucchini mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 50 – 60 minutes in the centre of the oven or until the cake is well risen and tests cooked when tested with a skewer. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool completely before icing. The cake will sink a little as it cools.

Cream together the unsalted butter, cream cheese and grated rind until light and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and sufficient lime juice to form a soft icing. Beat for about 3 minutes.
This makes sufficient icing to ice the top of an 8 inch cake.

Toffee Pecans
In a small saucepan combine the sugar and water and bring the mixture to the boil. Boil steadily until the toffee turns a golden brown. Take the toffee off the heat and using a skewer coat each pecan with the toffee. Allow to cool on baking paper. Coarsely chop the pecans and use to decorate the cake with a little extra grated lime rind.

Zucchini Lime and Pecan Cake Recipe

Zucchini Lime and Pecan Cake Recipe

I hope you like the recipe. I’ll be back again next month with another Delicious Bites post. Bye for now, Jillian

(text/images: jillian leiboff)


  • Reply Aga @ Passion shake May 6, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    Wow! I have to say it’s quite original combination but I like all the ingredients separately so I’m very curious how it would taste all together! And your photos are beyond beautiful Jillian :)

  • Reply Claudia May 6, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    That looks delicious! I’m definitely going to try this out. Beautiful photography and styling as well.

  • Reply Sarah May 7, 2014 at 12:39 am

    Holy smokes – that looks incredible. Thank you for sharing – I will be trying this for certain!

  • Reply helen May 7, 2014 at 4:55 am

    i want to eat this cake,and it is must delicious

  • Reply Ria May 7, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Hey Jillian,
    so I´ll tell my zuccinis in the garden to hurry! Grow, my little green girls, grow!
    This recipe sounds (and looks!) very delicious.
    Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply TCH May 7, 2014 at 9:31 am

    That’s a winner of a cake.

  • Reply Marieken May 7, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    It looks delicious, definitely a recipe I would love to give a try!

  • Reply Andrea May 7, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    This looks wonderful. And I am always looking for ways to use up my zucchini!

  • Reply Margaret May 7, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    It looks very yummy … I definitely have to try this receipt.
    Thank you for sharing.


  • Reply Angeli May 7, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    That looks amaaaazing! That gorgeous last photo – I can almost taste the cake right out of my laptop.

  • Reply In a Trendy Town May 7, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    We LOVE nuts in cakes!!!

  • Reply Shell May 8, 2014 at 12:14 am

    Hi Jillian

    Thanks for sharing, what a beautiful cake and beautifully presented and captured.

    Bon Appetit, I will definitely be making this one soon too.
    Shell – A Darlings Nest

  • Reply merilyn May 8, 2014 at 1:00 am

    it looks delicious and even a little bit healthy holly!
    photos are gorgeous too!
    lol m:)X

  • Reply Ada May 8, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    It looks delicious. Thanks for the detailed recipe.

  • Reply Liane May 9, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    I was one of the ‘test audience’ for this cake and it was really delicious! The flavours worked so well together and I especially loved the cream cheese icing with the lime – perfect for morning tea!

  • Reply Karolina Barnes May 9, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    I love baking with my kids every Sunday. Great recipe to try and make together. Can’t wait for the finished product. Thank you.

  • Reply Jillian Leiboff May 9, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    Thanks for the lovely comments every-one

  • Reply Stefanos May 10, 2014 at 10:35 am

    This is actually one of my favourite cakes. It is delicious!

  • Reply Marie Solveg May 10, 2014 at 3:56 pm


    Love your cake, beautiful made:-)
    Must try some day.

    But today we have musical show in Denmark and I wil cook fish and fore dessert this healthy one:

    Enjoy your evening.

  • Reply Janet Kemp May 15, 2014 at 8:11 am

    Hi Jillian,

    Thanks for the inspiration.
    I did make this cake for Mother’s Day. It was absolutely delicious.
    We had it for dessert at our lunch. None left.
    I love the zucchini walnut combination and the lime icing.


  • Reply Jillian Leiboff May 17, 2014 at 7:07 am

    Janet Kemp,

    So glad you tried the recipe and liked it,


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