Spiced Zucchini Layer Cake

[Photograph: Alexandra Penfold]

This wonderfully moist zucchini cake pairs well with all sorts of frostings (chocolate included!). For a lighter, fluffier cream cheese frosting, try Bravetart's cream cheese flavored German Buttercream.

About the author: Alexandra Penfold is mild-mannered literary agent by day, food ninja by night. Never one to skip dessert she's the Brownie half of Blondie & Brownie, a Midtown Lunch contributor, and co-author of New York à la Cart: Recipes and Stories from the Big Apple's Best Food Trucks. You can follow her on Twitter at @BlondieBrownie.

Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!

Spiced Zucchini Layer Cake

About This Recipe

Yield:Serves 12
Active time:45 minutes
Total time:2 hours
Special equipment:two (8 inch) round cake pans, electric mixer
This recipe appears in: American Classics: Spiced Zucchini Layer Cake


  • For the Cake
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 pound of zucchini, ends trimmed
  • For the Frosting:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, slightly softened
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. 1

    Move oven rack to the center position and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8-inch round pans and set aside.

  2. 2

    Fit food processor with a fine grater disk and grate zucchini. Set aside.

  3. 3

    In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, salt, sugar, and brown sugar. Stir in the oil until flour is moistened then add eggs and vanilla, stirring until thick batter forms. Stir in zucchini until just combined.

  4. 4

    Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

  5. 5

    For the frosting: Combine cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat until thoroughly combined. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth. Spread over cake and serve. Store cake covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


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