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Scarpaccia viareggina - Italian courgette cake

by Manuela Zangara
Scarpaccia viareggina - Italian courgette cake

Scarpaccia viareggina - Italian courgette cake

PT1H

Why not try?

Scarpaccia viareggina is a traditional cake from the little seaside town of Viareggio, in Tuscany. The term scarpaccia literally means 'old, ugly shoe' and its name is very likely due to the fact that this cake has the same thickness of an old shoe sole! Don’t worry though… it doesn’t taste like one!

This courgette cake is not too sweet and it is moist and soft thanks to the thinly sliced courgettes that enrich a simple batter made of flour, eggs, milk, sugar and extra virgin olive oil. The addition of a few leaves of fresh basil makes this cake even more aromatic and perfect for summer.

Scarpaccia was traditionally baked during courgette season by old sailors using the vegetables of their garden, but nowadays you can eat it all year round in Viareggio. It is a very unusual dessert in Italy, where courgettes are not usually used for baking cakes, and it tastes delicious!

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

1
Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 5
2
Put the thinly sliced courgettes on a kitchen towel and season with a pinch of salt. Leave them aside for about one hour to lose a bit of their liquid that could make the cake too wet
3
Whisk the eggs with the sugar, extra virgin olive oil, milk, flour and vanilla seeds. Gently add the courgettes and basil leaves
4
Grease a 25x40cm baking tin with extra virgin olive oil and scoop the batter inside
5
Bake in a preheated oven for about 45–50 minutes or until golden. Let the scarpaccia cool down, then cut it into scares and serve dusted with icing sugar
 

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