When life gives you zucchini…..

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Every few days, I find gifts of zucchini on our front porch. My neighbor has a prolific garden that is producing more squash than they can handle so she generously shares some with us. For the ones that are especially big and hard, I bake them into a chocolate cake.

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The food processor makes it really easy to grate the zucchini quickly. For this recipe, you want 4 packed cups, or about two medium or one large zucchini.

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The cake batter is a snap to put together, then the shredded zucchini gets folded in at the end. As the batter bakes, the shredded squash melts into the cake, adding an appealing moistness.

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The recipe makes 2 1/2 dozen cupcakes or 2-8″ cakes for layering and the flavor is deep, dark, choclatey and delicious!

And…it makes having too much zucchini a real bonus!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Semi-Sweet Icing

Cake

2 medium zucchini, peeled if hard and tough, grated to equal approximately 4 cups

1/2 cup butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup canola oil

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 3/4 cups flour

1/4 cup best quality unsweetened cocoa (I like Guittard brand)

1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup buttermilk

Icing

12 oz bag semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup sour cream

For cake: Preheat oven to 325. Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment. Add the oil and mix until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition then mix in the vanilla. Combine all the dry ingredients on a sheet of waxed paper then add alternately with the buttermilk. Divide batter among 2 1/2 dozen paper lined muffin tins or 2 greased 8″ cake tins. Bake for 30-40 minutes for cupcakes of 1 hour and 20 minutes for layers, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

For icing: Melt chocolate chips in microwave on high in 30 second bursts until nearly melted. Remove and stir with a rubber spatula until fully melted then mix in sour cream unit spreading consistency is achieved. Use immediately as the frosting will begin to harden as it gets cooler.

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