Sun 18 Aug 2013
I have been in charge of harvesting the garden the past few days, and I thought I was doing pretty well. Until today, that is. When, seemingly out of nowhere, three gigantic, one very large and one normal-sized zucchini appeared.
I can grill zucchini slices, sauté zucchini ribbons, make zucchini fritters – but I was still going to have lots of zucchini. So I decided to bake a cake. I found this easy recipe for zucchini cake on simplyrecipes.com. I had all the ingredients in my pantry and recipe comes together quickly. You can frost this cake or leave it plain, as I did, and serve it with ice cream or whipped cream.
Avoiding Additives and Preservatives
Be sure to use pure vanilla extract, not artificial, and check to make sure the nuts and raisins are preservative-free. Butter the pan with a brand of butter than contains only cream. If you make the frosting, look for an organic brand of cream cheese without artificial ingredients added.
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon (can substitute 1 teaspoon with other spices such as allspice and nutmeg)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2 cups white, granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (optional, my addition)
2 cups (from about 3-4 regular sized zucchini) grated un-peeled zucchini (place grated zucchini in a sieve and press out some of the excess moisture before measuring)
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup golden raisins (optional)
3 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
¼ cup butter, room temperature
1 ½ to 2 cups of powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9×12 or 9×13 baking pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
In a mixer, beat the 3 eggs on high speed until frothy. Lower the speed and beat in the sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla, and lemon zest (if using). Stir in the flour mixture, a third at a time. Stir in the zucchini and chopped nuts and/or raisins.
Pour mixture into a 9×12 or 9×13 baking pan. Bake at 350°F for 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting, beat together the cream cheese and butter. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
Frost the cake and serve. Store covered with aluminum foil. Makes 20 pieces.