Cucumber and Lemon Cake with Elderflower Icing

Cucumber and Lemon Cake with Elderflower Icing Recipe | Veggie Desserts

Cucumbers. Such a refreshing and summery vegetable. My mum used to grow great big ones as long as my arm in the garden when I was little so we had an endless supply of pickled gherkins and cucumber sandwiches. I still absolutely love a cucumber sandwich – a little mayo, some salt and American mustard – ideally on toasted bread. Controversial, I know.

I wanted to make something refreshing with this light veggie, so I thought I’d come up with a recipe to pair it with lemon and elderflower – like a summery cold drink in cake form. This is a lemon sponge with a refreshing hint of cucumber. Don’t fear the added vegetable!

I didn’t get myself organised enough this year to make my own batch of elderflower cordial, but I was very lucky to be given a bottle from a friend. You can buy it in the shops, or during elderflower season here is a lovely recipe from Muddling Along Mummy

Cucumber and Lemon Cake with Elderflower Icing Recipe
Serves: 8
  • 200g cucumber (about half a cucumber)
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon
  • 115g (1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 150g (3/4) granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g (1⅛ cups) self raising flour
For the Elderflower Icing:
  • 75g (1/3 cup) butter, softened
  • 150g (1⅛ cups) powdered icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon elderflower cordial (or lemon juice if elderflower isn't available)
  1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F. Lightly grease 2 x 7in sandwich tins or a 9inch round cake tin.
  2. Leave the skin on the cucumber and de-seed it by cutting it in half lengthways and scraping the seeds out with a teaspoon. Cut into chunks and puree until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice.
  3. Cream the butter, lemon zest, sugar and vanilla together for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating each one in well.
  5. Stir in ⅓ of the flour, then add ⅓ of the cucumber and continue until it is all combined.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes. Allow to cool slightly in the tin and turn out on a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
For the Elderflower Icing:
  1. Beat the butter, icing sugar and cordial together until smooth and fluffy. Keep in the fridge until ready to ice the cake.

Cucumber and Lemon Cake with Elderflower Icing

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  1. says

    Oh my, that is so clever! What a fabulous idea and what a stunning green cake! I just LOVE this . Really original. I am super impressed. Thanks so much for entering this into Four Seasons Food :) x

  2. Kate Veggie Desserts says

    Thanks Anneli. I love your blog and it’s nice to be a part of the challenge. I hope you get a chance to try out this recipe some time!

  3. says

    I love the sound of this cake and I’m so intrigued by the use of cucumber! And the elderflower in the frosting sounds delicious… Thank you so much for sharing with Made with Love Mondays and welcome to the series!

  4. Kate Veggie Desserts says

    Thanks Javelin, I hope to enter more of your blog challenges in the future!

    Hi Sam, the more I experiment, the more I seem to find things to do with cucumber. Today I’m testing out a cucumber puree-based G&T jelly.

  5. Kate Veggie Desserts says

    It is lovely, mjskit. The cucumber is subtle but refreshing. A different spin on a traditional lemon cake. I hope you get the chance to try it!

  6. jenny paulin says

    wow what a great coloured sponge the cucumber makes. i will def have to give this a go at some point! thank you for linking up x

  7. Kate Veggie Desserts says

    Thanks Aimee. It was a gamble, but I thought that since it works in drinks it may work in cake – and it did! It is just a subtle taste that matches the lemon. :)

  8. Maretta says

    I made this today – yum! But because elderflower isn’t easy to come by in Australia, I added lemon juice and ground lemon myrtle leaves (Australian native and in our garden) to the icing – turned out really well! Loving reading your website – a wonderful resource. :)

    • Kate Veggie Desserts says

      Thanks for letting me know about it, Maretta! It’s so nice to hear how my recipes turn out for others. Your substitution sounds great and it is so nice that you could use something from your garden. :) :)

  9. says

    Your food/recipes look divine! However, I am trying to cut sugar out all together, is there anything else I could use instead, say rice syrup? How much would I need to use in place of the sugar do you think?
    Many thanks!

  10. says

    I should say, I don’t mind too much the odd spoonful, it’s just the 150g of sugar, I am trying to avoid. Also not so good with wheat, might try it with another type of flour, any suggestions? Buckwheat, Hemp, maybe?

  11. says

    Hi Karin, I don’t use rice syrup or hemp flours so I’m not sure how you would best substitute them. Perhaps it would be easier if you already have a rice syrup/hemp flour cake recipe to add in the cucumber and lemon flavors to that?
    Hope that works!

  12. Maureen says

    This cake is lovely! I made it recently, in my desperation to use up an unexpectedly large farm share take one week…4 lbs of cucumbers were more than my boyfriend and I could eat in salad. I don’t know what possessed me to search for cucumber cake online, but I found you recipe and gave it a try! Because I don’t have a kitchen scale, I had to wing it a bit on how much cucumber I needed (a google search finally led me to a calculation of ~1.3c of chopped cuke = 200g, which worked perfectly.) I didn’t have any elderflower liqueur in the house (I thought I had some St. Germaine, alas, no), so I just used lemon juice. I served it to my colleagues at work, and they loved it! in fact a number of them went back for another slice.

  13. Erika C says

    Hi! I tried this last night, split the batter between two 8″ -ish pans, but neither of them actually rose. I think I know what I did wrong, so I’m trying it again tonight in just the one pan. The very thin sponge stuck to the pans, so I scooped it all out into one to throw it away, and was talking to my mom on the phone, telling her about it all, and the whole time I was talking I was eating the pieces of sponge. Didn’t even get to the icing. The flavor of the cake was really, really good, though. I’ve never used self-rising flour before, and I wonder if there just wasn’t enough by my measurement. My garden is prodicing a lot of cukes right now, so I have some to spare to try again. Thank you for the delicious recipe – I’ll get it eventually. :)

    • Erika C says

      So the night before last I used the cup measurements, and last night I used the weight measurements. Completely different cake. Lots more flour in the weight measurements, for one, though it still didn’t rise very much. It is really, REALLY good!

      • says

        How odd, Erika. Thanks for letting me know and I’ll double check my measurement conversions. I’m glad you liked it anyway and sorry you had to make it twice. I’ve had lots of people let me know that they’ve made this but I’ll check the conversions. :)


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