Welcome to my blog, through which I hope to be able to share my experiences of gluten free cooking, baking, experimenting and eating.
When my daughter was diagnosed (age 6) with Coeliac Disease, our world of eating changed overnight. From breads, pastry and pasta to cakes, biscuits and puddings.......... suddenly most of what we knew was 'off the menu'. I think I must have tested every available gluten free product on the market, seeking out replacements to try and keep things as normal as possible. I was disappointed to find that what was available was often dry, crumbly and flavourless.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to turn my kitchen into a laboratory, turn all I knew about cooking on its head and start creating!

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Cacao-Courgette (Zucchini) Breakfast Cake (gluten free & wholegrain)

The courgette glut continues and we seem to be getting more inventive every day with ways to consume them over at Gluten Free Alchemist. This Cacao-Courgette (Zucchini) Breakfast Cake is my latest effort in the fight to tame the deluge...... It is quite possibly my favourite yet.

I love courgettes, but they seem to be rampant little beasts and no matter how many times I tell myself to plant less of them, I always end up with too many to keep up with. I think the fact that they are so easy to grow is a big draw. There is nothing worse than trying to grow food that either fails or takes loads of effort and space for little reward. Courgettes just keep on coming no matter how little attention they are given.

This breakfast cake is a twist on my Chocolate Chunk-Courgette Oatie Cookie Mounds, which have always been well received. When I made them a couple of weeks back, I thought that if I gave them a few tweaks of ingredients and made them as a tray bake, they might make wholesome, healthy and very sustaining breakfast bars. And indeed they do. If you leave out the chocolate chunks (which are optional anyway) or replace them with some cacao nibs, they would be wonderfully healthy.... but I am a sucker for chocolate and throwing a few chocolate chips into the mix was also a good way to persuade Miss GF to ignore the fact that they contained courgette and give them a go....

Made with a rice-free flour blend that is 40% wholegrain flours, to which I have added an additional portion of whole-grain oat flour and plenty of gluten free rolled oats, the base of this cake is full of good stuff. The courgette adds extra fibre and moisture, alongside peanut butter and hazelnuts for crunch and nuttiness, cacao powder (which not only packs a flavour punch, but is full of antioxidants, minerals and B and E vitamins), all of which is sweetened with a balanced (but not over-sweet) combination of unrefined coconut palm sugar and light brown sugar.

They are so easy to make too.... I think the most fiddly part is grating the courgette! Once made they will last well for several days in an airtight container in the fridge...... Perfect for grabbing on your way out the door for breakfast on the go or a mid-morning snack in the office.

Not only are they (relatively) guilt free..... (okay.... next time I promise I will sub the chocolate for cacao nibs), but they are amazingly filling.... and unless you are a ridiculously hungry person, will sustain you for hours.

Oh..... and I needn't have worried about Miss GF..... She enjoyed them just as much as the rest of us over at Gluten Free Alchemist and didn't seem phased at all that they contained green stuff!

I am sharing my Cacao-Courgette (Zucchini) Breakfast Cake with :

Recipe Of The Week with A Mummy Too

Fiesta Friday #184

Bake of the Week with Mummy Mishaps and Casa Costello

Brilliant Blog Posts with Honest Mum

Cook Blog Share with Recipes Made Easy

Simple & In Season with Feeding Boys

Treat Petite with The Baking Explorer

Baking Crumbs with Only Crumbs Remain

We Should Cocoa with Tin & Thyme

Eat Your Greens with Allotment to Kitchen and The Veg Hog

Cook Once Eat Twice with Searching for Spice

Other Courgette (Zucchini) Recipes on Gluten Free Alchemist
Courgette & Cherry Cupcakes
Giant Round Courgette (or Marrow) Stuffed with Rich Dark Puy Lentil Stuffing
Spiralized Oriental Courgette-Noodle Soup
Chocolate Chunk-Courgette Oatie Cookie Mounds
Savoury Summer Upside Down Cake
Turkey Meatballs with Hidden Veg
Manchego, Saucisson & Oregano Muffins
Marinated BBQ Veg

Cacao-Courgette (Zucchini) Breakfast Cake (makes 10 to 15 bars, depending on how big you cut them)


125g plain gluten free flour blend (I used my GFA rice-free blend that you can find here)
25g cacao powder
90g GF oats
50g GF oat flour (made as in this post)
60g tapioca flour
1 teaspoon GF baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
180g soft butter
75g coconut palm sugar
85g light soft brown sugar
1 large egg
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
280g courgette/zucchini - grated
40g crunchy peanut butter
35g chopped roasted hazelnuts
150g dark chocolate chips/chunks (optional)


  1. Base-line a 9 inch/23 cm square baking tin and pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
  2. Weigh and mix together the flours, cacao, oats, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt, until completely blended (I weigh mine into an airtight container and shake vigorously).
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugars until pale and light.
  4. Add the egg and vanilla and beat again to blend thoroughly.
  5. Add the dry ingredients, grated courgette/zucchini, peanut butter, hazelnuts and chocolate chips (if using) and fold together until you have an even mixture. 
  6. Spoon the batter into the baking tin and smooth the top.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the top is firm to the touch.
  8. Leave the cake in the tin for 20 to 30 minutes, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Cut into slices and store in an airtight container
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-17 unless otherwise indicated


  1. Ah yes like you the curgette glut in my home also continues.
    This breakfast cake is not just lovely to look at, sound delicious too - I would love to try some, oh yes I can - you have shared the recipe. Will be a change from the flapjacks i make, off to see if i have all the ingredients, Thank you for sharing with EatYourGreens.

  2. Mmm these look delicious, and healthy too since they are made with courgette, bonus! I made the courgette and poppy seed loaf from Veggie Desserts + Cakes recently and know how tricky it is to grate a courgette from experience!

  3. Such an interesting combination. I haven't baked anything with zucchini - this sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing at this week;s Fiesta Friday party!

  4. What a lovely idea, it's healthier as it has the zucchini and cacao & peanut butter to make it delicious.

  5. These sound amazing Kate! I have to admit that I've never baked anything with courgette before, but my Mum and Dad were treated to a courgette cake a little while ago and they were completely blown over by it. I definitely need to rectify the situation and include them in a bake :-) Thankyou too for joining in with #BakingCrumbs again, it's lovely to have you on board :-)
    Angela x

  6. chocolate and zucchini/courgette are a great mix - especially for fussy eaters as it is harder to see the green if that is not your thing - and I would put in chocolate chunks too even though I know cocoa nibs are more healthy but these look healthy enough that a little bit of c hocolate can't hurt :-)

  7. They certainly look good what a nice crumbly texture they appear to have. Sadly Ive not had much success growing courgettes which is odd as everyone else says they are easy to grow, so i have never had a courgette glut. Maybe one day, however these look like they are worth buying courgettes to make. Thank you for sharing on #CookBlogShare

  8. Stunning photos as always Kate, and what a fab recipe to use up your home grown courgettes with! Thanks for linking up to #TreatPetite

  9. I think these would make a fabulous breakfast treat. I love how chunky they are and that they are good for you, as they contain 1 of our 5 a day inside each slice!
    thank you for linking to #Bakeoftheweek x

  10. Ooooh Kate, I could eat these at breakfast and lunch and dinner! These look so good and I love that they contain hidden veg. I have included your bake in this weeks CookBlogShare round up and I hope to see you there this week x

  11. This looks delicious and I would love to eat it all day! First for breakfast then I'd be snacking on it for the rest of the day. Such a great way of using up courgettes too. Thanks for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice

  12. And talking about courgettes.. wow! I have never used them in cakes yet and I am entrigued by your recipe. So wonderful with chocolate. Brava!

  13. Great! I'm in need of more creative ways to hide zucchini in the kids' food, and this answers my need! 👍

  14. This looks wonderful, I've pinned it for baking in the future. Great that it is GF and loaded with fiber as well as deliciousness.


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