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Zucchini Lime and Pecan Cake Recipe

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

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

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


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

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


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

Zucchini lime and pecan cake

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)

Posted by decor8 in Sweet on May 06, 2014

Your comments...

  1. Aga @ Passion shake commented
    May 6th, 2014 at 9:37pm

    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 :)
    Aga @ Passion shake´s last blog post ..DIY Geometric picture holders

  2. Claudia commented
    May 6th, 2014 at 10:52pm

    That looks delicious! I’m definitely going to try this out. Beautiful photography and styling as well.
    Claudia´s last blog post ..Dutch Design by Zuiver

  3. Sarah commented
    May 7th, 2014 at 12:39am

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

  4. helen commented
    May 7th, 2014 at 4:55am

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

  5. Ria commented
    May 7th, 2014 at 8:55am

    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!
    Ria´s last blog post ..Die blaue Reihe

  6. TCH commented
    May 7th, 2014 at 9:31am

    That’s a winner of a cake.

  7. Marieken commented
    May 7th, 2014 at 12:09pm

    It looks delicious, definitely a recipe I would love to give a try!
    Marieken´s last blog post ..The one with a sunday in Zwolle

  8. Andrea commented
    May 7th, 2014 at 3:41pm

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

  9. Margaret commented
    May 7th, 2014 at 8:09pm

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


    Margaret´s last blog post ..Giveaway – win a Madam Stoltz decorations

  10. Angeli commented
    May 7th, 2014 at 8:14pm

    That looks amaaaazing! That gorgeous last photo – I can almost taste the cake right out of my laptop.
    Angeli´s last blog post ..DIY projects for Mother’s Day

  11. In a Trendy Town commented
    May 7th, 2014 at 8:15pm

    We LOVE nuts in cakes!!!

    In a Trendy Town´s last blog post ..Outfit: Vestido lencero

  12. Shell commented
    May 8th, 2014 at 12:14am

    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
    Shell´s last blog post ..Birthday Blessings xox

  13. merilyn commented
    May 8th, 2014 at 1:00am

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

  14. Ada commented
    May 8th, 2014 at 3:16pm

    It looks delicious. Thanks for the detailed recipe.

  15. Liane commented
    May 9th, 2014 at 1:12pm

    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!

  16. Karolina Barnes commented
    May 9th, 2014 at 3:58pm

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

  17. Jillian Leiboff commented
    May 9th, 2014 at 9:45pm

    Thanks for the lovely comments every-one
    Jillian Leiboff´s last blog post ..chocolate pear and hazelnut tarts

  18. Stefanos commented
    May 10th, 2014 at 10:35am

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

  19. Marie Solveg commented
    May 10th, 2014 at 3:56pm


    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.
    Marie Solveg´s last blog post ..Rabarbercrumble med skyr :)

  20. Janet Kemp commented
    May 15th, 2014 at 8:11am

    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.


  21. Jillian Leiboff commented
    May 17th, 2014 at 7:07am

    Janet Kemp,

    So glad you tried the recipe and liked it,

    Jillian Leiboff´s last blog post – part III

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