Healthy Courgette and Bramley Apple Cake with a Maple Cream Cheese Icing

If there were ever a recipe that just had to be shared with you this week it’s this one. In fact, if there was a “what’s hot & what’s not” chart for food then my cake would be right the top and I would probably put ice lollies at the bottom, considering I dusted off my coat this week and am currently wearing winter boots!

Now let me explain why this apple and courgette cake is pretty much perfect right now……

  1. It’s National Cake week
  2. It’s also Bramley Apple week
  3. It therefore takes advantage of beautiful season ingredients (and I know from having a mother with a Bramley tree in her garden that these are indeed plentiful at the moment – in fact she will be trying to palm them off on me for the next 6 months, including the wasp filled wind-falls that she believes are still “delicious”!).
  4. We are in full “Great British Bake Off” swing and it’s that time of year when the nation loves to bake.
  5. This cake is actually relatively healthy, and with a national focus to reduce our sugar intake this could be the perfect recipe for every kitchen.

You may have gathered from the picture that this isn’t a Homemade with Mess original recipe, but that I was inspired by Amber Rose’s book, “Love Bake Nourish”. If you haven’t heard of it I can now say from experience that it is definitely worth a brose, as it showcases many delicious treats that are sugar free and use healthier wholegrains, fats, fruits and vegetables.

Now I’m not going to lie, this book has been gathering dust on my shelf for about a year. I just thought there was something seriously wrong about the association of “sugar-free” and “fat-free” in cakes. I had never really got the point, if you’re going to eat cake then naughty cake right??!!!


Last weekend I was visiting a friend who had recently started up with a personal trainer and not wanting to be a bad influence, or arrive empty handed, I decided to give one of Amber Rose’s recipes a go. I will just warn you that there are a number of essential ingredients that you may not find at your local supermarket, but if you have access to a health food shop then you’re likely to get lucky. I also quite naively picked up a bottle of hemp oil that was positioned on the wrong place on the shelf (with a price label of £1.99), and almost smashed it on the floor in shock when the cashier told me that 250ml oil and 1kg of flour was going to cost £11.30!!!! – It’s safe to say that the oil was put swiftly back on the shelf and I decided that olive oil would do just fine (plus I also worked out that I could buy a bottle of proscecco with the difference and arrive at my friends with 2 gifts! – yes kids, we are up there for thinking and down there for drunk dancing!)!

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with this recipe; after all, I would never share something with you I don’t think is delicious! The actual cake did taste healthier that your usual cakes, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. However the icing on the cake was in fact the icing on the cake! – It was so delicious I could eat it with a spoon (possibly because it was the most unhealthy element)!

All in all a fantastic bake for this time of year, that leaves you with a happy and slightly healthier belly!


For the cake

  • 200g courgette – grated
  • 50g Bramley apples – grated
  • 2 large eggs – separated
  • 125ml olive oil
  • 225g wholgrain spelt flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 5 tsp bicarb of soda
  • 150g maple syrup
  • 1 pinch salt

For the Icing

  • 200g cream cheese
  • 100g maple syrup
  • Finely grated zest of a lemon
  • 1 handful crushed pistachios

Preheat the oven to 160’C and grease and line a 24cm round cake tin.

Put your grated fruit and veg in fine sieve and push and squeeze out as much juice as you can.

Beat the egg yolk and the oil together for 3-4 minutes until smooth and creamy and then sieve in the dry ingredients.

Gently fold together and then add the courgette, apple and maple syrup.

Whisk the egg whites with the salt until it has formed stiff peaks and then gently fold this together with the remaining mixture.

Tip into the the prepared tin and level out.

Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until the top is springy to touch and the edges are coming away from the tin.

Once the cake is cooked, allow to cool in the tin and then tip out to cool completely on a wire rack.

While the cake it cooling, whisk together the cream cheese, syrup and lemon zest until well combined and looking lightly whipped.

Once cool, spread the icing over the top and sprinkle over the pistachios.

Slice up and enjoy!


Nutritional Info:

  • Calories – 360
  • Fat – 20g
  • Carbs – 36g
  • Sugars – 20g
  • Protein – 6g


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