Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Best Zucchini Cake

My neighbor grows a lot of food, and one day, he dropped off this giant zucchini:

We didn't know what to do with it, so instead of wasting it...

We turned it into cake! (And it was delicious!)

Zucchini Cake:
(Adapted from here)

For the cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. each baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon
  • 1* cup oil (I used canola)
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 cups grated zucchini (a giant one is more than enough)
  • 1 cup roasted, chopped walnuts (optional), plus more for decorating (I like to add some between the layers, underneath frosting!)
For the frosting:
  • 1 8-ounce brick of cream cheese, softened/room temperature
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened/room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  1. Preheat your oven to 325˚F and grease and flour 3 9-inch cake pans.
  2. In  a large mixing bowl, sift the flour. Then stir in the granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon to combine.
  3. Add the oil and eggs, and combine by mixing with a mixer on low speed until all of the flour is moistened. Turn it up to medium speed and mix for just under a minute.
  4. Fold in the walnuts and zucchini with a rubber spatula. Make sure everything (even what's on the bottom of the bowl) is well blended.
  5. Fill the cake pans evenly with the batter. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a skewer poked into the middle of one of the cakes comes out cleans. Let cool before frosting.
  6. Make the frosting: Using a mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter in a small bowl. Add the vanilla, and combine completely. Add the sugar and mix until completely combined and smooth.
 This cake ended up really, really good! (By far, one of my new favorites to bake.) However, I would still make a few changes.

Next time I make this, I will:
  • Probably use half the oil: This recipe was originally for carrot cake, and I added the zucchini, cup-for-cup. Zucchini helps keep a lot of things moist, so this cake was super moist. Almost too moist.
  • Maybe add more zucchini: The cake wasn't extremely zucchini-y, probably because once grated, it is fluffier and less dense than carrots. I probably should have just used the entire giant zucchini since I left an awkward amount. My mom hates that.
  • Add in 1 cup of raisins: The cake was great, but the original recipe includes raisins. I don't want to ruin a good thing, but it might make it even better!
I highly recommend this recipe to anyone who loves carrot cake. What have you been baking lately?