rich emollient used in the management of eczema, psoriasis and other dry skin conditions.


It’s Bank holiday weekend and as usual the weather is dismal, at least it’s not snowing like last week – time for some baking to lift the mood. How about a cake with some vegetables? Not something you fancy? It is worth trying this cake, the courgette adds some moisture to the gluten free cake and you really can’t taste it – so why not give it a try? Now as usual this cake is for a treat only, despite it containing a vegetable? – I am not suggesting you have cake every day – neither am I suggesting you be a total nutrition evangelist and avoid it for the rest of your life. It is not too sweet and very rich in flavour, so a small piece is all you will need to get a chocolate hit. It does contain a large amount of fat too, it would still be classed as high fat, if you have IBS, again a small piece is advisable. This gluten free option is certainly not going to lead to weight loss! It is a great option for a celebration, so you can share it with others and not be tempted to have more than one piece!


  • 250g of plain gluten free flour
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 65g of good quality cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 350 ml of vegetable oil
  • 100g pecan nuts
  • 2 grated courgettes


  • Warm the oven to gas mark 4, line a cake tin with parchment.
  • Grate the courgette.
  • Chop 50g of the pecan nuts and add to a bowl.
  • The other 50g of pecans, save for decorating, choose the best looking ones.
  • Weigh out the dry ingredients into the bowl containing the pecan nuts.
  • Crack the eggs into a bowl and add the oil, mix well.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix using a hand blender.
  • Add the courgettes.
  • Mix well.
  • Add to a 7inch cake tin lined with parchment.
  • Cook in the oven for 90 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean.
  • Trim the top of the cake flat and turn it over for decorating.
  • Add some sugar to a pan and cook till it caramelizes, dip in the pecans and cool.
  • Add the rest of the caramel to the top of the cake and cool.
  • Serves 10-12

If you are a coeliac check your cocoa powder, baking powder and and bicarbonate of soda is gluten free. The cake is low fodmap but occasionally people with IBS can have a problem with chocolate despite this fact. It is very difficult to provide an ‘IBS’ friendly recipe that will suit absolutely everyone. If anyone tells you different be suspicious, IBS can result in numerous food intolerances, remember only 70-80% are successful with the low fodmap diet, suggesting that other food might be problematic for some – or food isn’t actually the problem.

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I am a state registered dietitian and advisor to The IBS Network, the UK charity for people with irritable bowel syndrome. My specialty is dietary treatment of gut disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, crohns disease, ulcerative colitis, coeliac disease, lactose & fructose malabsorption and complex food intolerances. I also have experience in dietetic treatment of people who have bariatric surgery and weight management.

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