Zucchini Pistachio Spice Cake With Lime Frosting


85ml sunflower oil, or any flavourless oil
220g caster sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
75g unsalted pistachios, finely and roughly chopped
60g ground almonds
3 zucchinis/courgettes grated & excess water squeezed out
1 tsp all spice
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
225g self raising flour
75g plain flour

Frosting & Decoration
180g unsalted butter, softened
300g icing sugar
250g cream cheese, chilled
Zest and juice of 1 lime
100g unsalted, unshelled pistachios, sliced into slivers

Note: To de-skin pistachios, immerse them in boiling hot water and leave to stand for half an hour. The skins will slide off, it will feel like a hot knife in butter. You will enjoy the next hour removing the skins with your fingers.

The Method

Make the cakes. Line two 6 inch tins with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 170 C.

Whisk oil, sugar, egg and vanilla with electric whisk until thick and pale in colour. Stir in both nuts, zucchini, salt and all spice. Sift over the flours and baking soda and whisk until just combined. Pour the mixture evenly into both tins. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. The cakes will still be a little moist – they’re baked through if they spring back when you touch them. Leave to cool in the tins for 20 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the frosting and then try to make the cake look like it came out of a semi pro’s kitchen. Beat butter and icing sugar for 5 minutes until very pale and fluffy. Gradually add cream cheese whilst beating, followed by lime juice and zest. Continue to beat until you have an off white cloud of frosting. If its not thick enough, add a teaspoon of cornflour. If its still not thick enough, add more icing sugar. And then read this post if its still not thick enough.

Place a 6 inch piece of cardboard underneath one of the cakes and place that on top of a turntable, if you have one. Scoop 3 tablespoons of icing on top of the cake and evenly spread across the whole top. Place 2nd cake on top of icing. Scoop 4 tablespoons of icing on top and evenly spread across the top, this time, let the icing fall to the sides of the cake. Coat all of the sides. Place cake in the freezer for 20 minutes. Ice the cake again with the remaining icing. Scatter pistachios over the top. The cake will keep for 3 days.