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Gluten-free Courgette Chocolate Cake Recipe (low FODMAP/dairy-free/vegan option)

Gluten-free courgette chocolate cake recipe - the perfect way to use up all those courgettes (zucchinis) that you might have growing in the garden! See the FAQ section above for advice on making this recipe low FODMAP, dairy-free or vegan.
Keyword courgettes, gluten free chocolate cake, gluten-free chocolate cake recipe, gluten-free recipes, zucchini
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12 slices
Calories 585kcal
Author Becky Excell


For the cake

  • 240 g gluten free plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 60 g cocoa powder ensure dairy-free if needed
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 240 ml oil vegetable or sunflower
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 150 g light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 80 g yoghurt dairy-free if necessary
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract optional
  • 350 g-400g grated courgette I used 2 medium courgettes (weight is the grated weight not the courgettes weight before you start!)
  • 150 g dark chocolate chips optional

For the icing

  • 250 g butter softened (dairy free alternative if necessary)
  • 185 g icing sugar
  • 55 g cocoa powder ensure dairy-free if needed
  • 110 g dark chocolate dairy-free if needed


For the cake

  • Preheat the oven to 160C Fan / 180C and prepare two circular cake tins (mine are fairly deep 20cm ones).
  • In a large bowl mix together both your sugars, eggs, yoghurt, vanilla and oil until combined.
  • Add in your grated courgette and mix once more until combined.
  • In a separate bowl add your gluten free flour, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. Mix these together so combined.
  • Add your dry mixture to your wet mixture and mix together until combined and no flour pockets remain. Try not to overmix, but do make sure it's all combined.
  • If you want to, add your dark chocolate chips and fold them in. Your batter should be a fairly thick mixture.
  • Evenly place your mixture between both of your tins. Place in the centre of your oven for around 38-40 minutes until cooked through. The cakes are quite big which is why it takes a little longer.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool in their tins before transferring to a cooling rack. These sponges are moist and fudgy so more delicate than a victoria sponge, so be careful!

For the icing

  • Melt your dark chocolate (I do this is the microwave in 20 seconds bursts), put to one side to cool whilst making the rest of the buttercream.
  • To make your icing, place your butter in a stand mixer (or electric hand whisk if you don't have a stand mixer), mix on its own on a high speed for about 5 minutes. The butter should change from a more yellow colour to being a lot more pale.
  • Add your icing sugar gradually to the butter (I do this in two stages). I mix each addition of icing sugar for around 3 minutes before adding the second half.
  • Sieve in your cocoa powder and then mix again until fully combined.
  • Add in your cooled melted chocolate and mix until dispersed evenly, the colour is a lovely rich chocolate colour and it's a nice thickness to spread.

To assemble

  • Carefully place one of your sponges onto your serving plate, I use a cake slice to slide this one as it's more delicate!
  • Spread a thick layer of icing over the centre. I don't ever go right up to the edges or else if all comes out when you put the top layer on.
  • Carefully place the top layer on and spread with more of the icing.
  • Finish with some chocolate decorations optionally. Slice and enjoy!


This is quite a lot of mixture so if you feel there is a little too much (I find its just perfect 9 times out of 10!) then you can always make little cupcakes with excess mixture (place in oven for 15-20 minutes if you do).


Serving: 1g | Calories: 585kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 150mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 41g