Jessie Oleson (aka Cakespy) drops by every Monday to share a delicious dessert recipe. —The Mgmt.
It's not easy being green.
It is, however, exceedingly easy to eat green, especially when we're talking about zucchini cake. Now, you probably already knew that the abundant late summer fruit (yes, it's a fruit) yields a moist, dense, and delicious quick bread. But please, don't let the story end there—because when you take it into cake territory by adding a thick slathering of chocolate cream cheese frosting, you'll have a far sweeter finish.
The frosting prettily contrasts the color of the cake, and the triple-threat of complementary flavors—tangy cream cheese, rich chocolate, earthy zucchini—makes for a final product that leaves zucchini bread absolutely green with envy.
- Yield:12 (as a cake) 16 to 20 (as cupcakes)
- Active time: 15 minutes
- Total time:90 minutes
- 3 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 2 cups (about 2 medium-large) shredded zucchini, skin on
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature (for frosting)
- 2 tablespoons milk or cream (for frosting)
- 2 to 3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted (for frosting)
- 2 squares unsweetened Baker's chocolate (1 ounce each), melted (for frosting)
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease either two 9-inch cake pans, or line two muffin tins with cupcake cups.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
In a small bowl, combine the eggs, oil, vanilla, cinnamon, zucchini, and lemon peel.
Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, just until moistened. Gently stir in the nuts, if you've chosen to add them, at this point.
Transfer your batter to your prepared pans or cupcake liners. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes for cakes, 30 to 45 minutes for cupcakes (until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out mostly clean).
Once you've removed from the oven, let the cakes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cakes cool, make the frosting. In a stand mixer, whip the cream cheese until it is soft and fluffy; add the milk or cream, and then the confectioners' sugar, bit by bit, until it has reached your desired consistency. Add in the melted chocolate last, and mix until it is fully incorporated.
Frost cakes, either using the two 9-inch cakes to make a layer cake, or top each cupcake with a healthy dollop. The frosting yield is fairly generous, so don't be afraid to heap it high.