This cucumber lemon cake takes refreshing summery flavours and turns them into cake! The cucumber flavour is very subtle and is complimented well by the elderflower icing.
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 for elderflower cordial from The Hedgecombers.
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- 200 g cucumber about half a cucumber
- Zest and juice of half a lemon
- 115 g butter softened
- 150 g granulated sugar
- 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 150 g plain flour (all purpose flour)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 75 g butter softened
- 150 g icing sugar (confectioner's)
- 1 tablespoon elderflower cordial or lemon juice if elderflower isn't available
Preheat the oven to 170C/325F. Lightly grease 2 x 7in sandwich tins or a 9inch round cake tin.
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.
Cream the butter, lemon zest, sugar and vanilla together for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating each one in well.
Stir in 1/3 of the flour, then add 1/3 of the cucumber and continue until it is all combined.
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.
Beat the butter, icing sugar and cordial (or lemon juice) together until smooth and fluffy. Keep in the fridge until ready to ice the cake.
If you can't find Elderflower cordial, lemon juice works nicely too!