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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Cucumber and Lemon Cake with Elderflower Icing Recipe
- 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
For the Elderflower Icing:
- 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.
For the Elderflower 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.