Zucchinis (known in certain parts of the world as courgettes) are a very popular member of the squash family. Contrary to what we believe, zucchini as we prepare and consume it is actually a fruit which has not yet reached maturity. Zucchini plants have both male and female blossoms. These pretty yellow blossoms can also be eaten and are usually breaded and fried. Zucchini fruit only grows from the female flower on the plant.
Zucchini is full of good stuff such as folate, vitamin A, potassium, and manganese. So, it’s no wonder that we try to incorporate this healthy fruit into baking. Zucchini bread or cake is among the likes of carrot cake or apple bread in that the zucchini is shredded and used for moisture, texture, and flavor in the cake.
Here, I have used zucchini from my own garden to make this simple zucchini cake. The addition of chocolate chips enhances the flavor and brings a nice textural complexity to the cake. In shredding the zucchini, I like to keep the skin on so I can see the beautiful speckles of dark green when I slice into this cake. Keeping the skin on also retains the subtle, very complementary flavors of zucchini a bit more. Skin on or skin off.. it’s optional, of course. In preparation of this cake, it is imperative to ring out the shredded zucchini using a tea towel before introducing it to the batter. Zucchini tends to be a fruit quite high in water and failing to eliminate this excess water could lead to a soggy cake.
My version of this quick bread comes together quite easily (without the use of a mixer!) with orange zest and a little spice, along with a slathering of my Velvety Smooth Cream Cheese Frosting.
My children love to have zucchini cake and it makes me very happy when they do! If you have finicky kids who don’t eat their veggies or a garden full of ready-to-eat zucchini, do try this recipe! Zucchini has many applications, but this may very well be my absolute favorite!
Zucchini CakeRecipe by: Leelabean (Yield: 2 standard 8″ or 9″ loaves OR three 8″ round cakes OR 24-26 cupcakes) 2 c all-purpose flour 2 t baking soda 1 t ground cinnamon 1/2 t ground nutmeg 1/2 t ground cardamom (optional) 1/4 t ground ginger 1 t salt 1 1/4 c granulated sugar 1/2 c light brown sugar, packed 3/4 c Canola or vegetable oil 3 large eggs, room temperature 1/4 c buttermilk, sour cream (used here), or yogurt, room temperature 2 t vanilla extract zest of 1 orange 3 c grated and well drained zucchini 1 c add-ins such as mini chocolate chips – used here, chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
Turn your oven on to 350°F. Line and spray with non-stick cooking spray your cake or loaf pans or insert liners into your cupcake tins.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices and set this aside.
In another bowl, mix the sugar and oil until well combined.
Then add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract and orange zest. Mix in the buttermilk (or sour cream or yogurt).
Fold in the zucchini.
Mix in the flour mixture, ensuring that you don’t over-mix the batter. Lastly, fold in any add-ins you would like to add.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
Bake in your preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the thickest part of the cake comes out crumb-free:loaf pans: 45 – 55 minutes 8″ round cake: 28 – 32 minutes cupcakes: 18 – 22 minutes
Let the cakes cool on your counter and then frost as desired.
Here, I have used my Velvety Smooth Cream Cheese Frosting. Keep the cake refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.
This cake also freezes (unfrosted) very well. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and seal in an airtight ziploc storage bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Sweetly ♥ Yours,