Pistachio, Orange and Courgette Cake


Hello everyone, today I am sharing a recipe for Pistachio, Orange and Courgette Cake, a wonderful cake to have for breakfast or with your afternoon tea.

Pistachio, Orange and Courgette Cake from Jo Pratt's cookbook, In The Mood for Healthy Food

What I love about this Pistachio, Orange and Courgette Cake is that it uses extra virgin olive oil instead of butter, making the cake dairy-free and adding a punch of flavour to it.

Pistachio, Orange and Courgette Cake from Jo Pratt's cookbook, In The Mood for Healthy Food

The original recipe is featured in Jo Pratt’s cookbook In the Mood for Healthy Food: Recipes for The Whole Family. I don’t have a copy of the book, but I was given this recipe by Pomora, an online subscription service for Italian olive oil. I originally received some samples of their olive oil last year. The oil is produced from olives grown in the regions of Campania and Sicily. I use it on a daily basis when I cook at home, but I had never used it in sweet bakes before.

Pistachio, Orange and Courgette Cake from Jo Pratt's cookbook, In The Mood for Healthy Food

The cake is slightly more healthy than traditional cakes because it’s made with wholemeal flour, brown sugar and no butter. Naturally this cake is also packed with vegetables: around three courgettes go into the cake batter. That means a slice of cake will contribute to your 5-a-day, amazing isn’t it?

The pistachio kernels also contribute to making this cake healthier (although remember that nuts raise the calorie count). Pistachios are enriched with many health-benefiting nutrients and offer a good source of protein, fats, and minerals. I have been addicted with these nuts recently, after making the Chocolate and Pistachio Biscotti last month.

Pistachio, Orange and Courgette Cake from Jo Pratt's cookbook, In The Mood for Healthy Food

The result of this amazing combination of healthy ingredients is a flavourful and delicious cake. Try it for yourself!


Use a 1kg (2lb) bread loaf tin or a 10 inch round springform cake.

  • 25ml (1/2 cup) olive oil (plus some for greasing)
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g (1/2 cup) soft brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 350g (4 cups) grated courgette (zucchini)
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 300g (2 1/4 cups) wholegrain spelt flour
  • 75g (1/2 cup) pistachios – shelled, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon


Pre-heat your oven to 180°C. Grease a cake tin with olive oil and line the bottom with baking paper.

In a large bowl, beat together eggs, extra virgin olive oil, brown sugar and vanilla extract Stir in the grated courgettes and orange zest.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, pistachios, baking powder and cinnamon. Pour in the egg mixture and mix together.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean). Leave to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Simply sprinkle icing sugar on top or go the extra mile and drizzle a sugar and orange glaze.

You can make this Pistachio, Orange and Courgette Cake extra yummy by adding a layer of cream cheese frosting (use this recipe)!

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Rachel Phipps
10/03/2017 07:04

Pomora is fantastic right – I use them everyday, too.

Giulia Mulè
10/03/2017 14:50
Reply to  Rachel Phipps

I love their initiative of adopting an olive tree, too! :)

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