Mini chocolate-courgette cakes

Nine times out of ten – no, maybe make that nine point five times out of ten – whenever I bake something, out pops the perfectionist in me trying to fish out the flaws in whatever I’ve made. Was it, perhaps, a touch too dry, too sweet, a bit dense, not flavoursome enough or the spice too overpowering? What does it need to step it up from really good, to amazing?

But when I took my first bite of one of these little chocolate and courgette cakes, the perfectionist was well and truly silenced. All I could think was amazing… perfect, even.

Following swiftly on from that thought came… ‘I need to blog about these, right now!’

Let me tell you what makes these so brilliant. Not only are they little morsels of tender, moist, fudgey-textured, chocolatey, nutty perfection, but such perfection also comes completely wheat-free, FODMAP friendly and, although I did add some chocolate chips, relatively good for you. Full of oats, courgette, pecans and a little olive oil, there’s plenty of good for you things going on. Ok, so there is some sugar and maple syrup, and optional chocolate chips, but it’s all in good moderation!

Trust me. While they may look rather unassuming, when I say these are the 100%-delicious-but-still-relatively-good-for-you snack you’ve been looking for, I really do mean that. There is courgette, only you cannot taste courgette, you can taste chocolate, intensely, and in a way that will absolutely knock any cravings into touch.

But I’ll be honest with you though, there is one downside to these little cakey mouthfuls – you may find it hard not to consume half a batch in one sitting.

You have been warned.

Mini chocolate-courgette cakes – adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen

– makes about 18

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 125ml maple syrup
  • 175g oat flour (or you could grind up oats to as fine a powder as you can manage in a food-processor, which is what I did, and it worked, it worked just great!)
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 30g soft brown sugar
  • 150g finely grated courgette
  • 60g pecans, chopped
  • 60g dark chocolate, chopped quite small (optional, leave them out if you want to feel extra virtuous)
  • 2 tbsp demerara sugar
  1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla, olive oil and maple syrup.
  2. Place the oat flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl then sieve in the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cocoa powder and cinnamon. Stir to combine.
  3. Wrap the grated courgette in some kitchen paper and squeeze out as much water as possible, then stir the courgette into the wet ingredients.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and stir to combine, then stir in the chopped pecans and chocolate. The mixture will be quite damp. Allow to chill in the fridge for at least 30mins.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line two baking sheets with baking paper.
  6. Using a tablespoon, scoop small mounds of the mixture onto the baking sheets.
  7. Sprinkle the demerara sugar over the tops of the cakes then bake in the pre-heated oven for about 12-15 minutes until the edges are starting to firm up and the cakes feel squidgy but with a slight resistance when pressed with a finger.
  8. Allow to cool for five minutes on the trays before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. The cakes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for several days.
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