Vegetables are delicious… when they are blended into a cake. I actually do love plain sauteed zucchini but I like really really love zucchini when it’s blended into a sweet, perfectly spiced cake and covered in a rich cream cheese frosting! I originally shared this recipe three years ago but I really needed an excuse to make a cake and I really wasn’t a fan of my old pictures for this recipe so problem solved. I needed updated pictures therefor I needed to remake this cake. Really I just make cake all the time for no reason but sometimes it’s nice having an excuse :).
I am head over heels crazy about this perfect summer cake! This Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting tastes so much like carrot cake which is why I think it’s so good (carrot cake is my favorite)! Plus it’s got to be one of the moistest cakes I’ve ever made! It was so funny, when I was mixing up the batter for this cake I told my daughter it had zucchini in it and she went on saying she’s not even going to eat a bite when it’s done and that’s so disgusting it has zucchini in it. Well, of course she couldn’t resist a taste because it is cake after all, then she proceeded to polish off the rest of the half slice I gave her. No one will be able to resist this cake! Besides the zucchini is finely shredded so you don’t really notice it much anyway. It just adds in some natural little green sprinkles.
It was really fun making the sunflower icing decorations for these. I will be honest though it wasn’t a walk in the park for me. It’s not that piping the sunflowers was hard (this was the first time I’ve done it and they turned out ok), getting the right colors was more the hard part. Getting that dark rich brown tinted the right color took some time, again though I’m new to flowers. If you wanted I’ve seen people use one layer of a mini Oreo as the dark center instead of icing. If you have some time though I’d recommend trying out the flowers, I just skimmed through a youtube video on how to do it (not sure exactly which one can’t find it but there are a few out there if you just google it). I did pipe them directly on the cake and I just cheated and used a store bought decorative icing because I didn’t want to make two kinds (the cream cheese frosting obviously wont work with it’s consistency). With or without the decoration this is still one incredible cake and I highly highly recommend you make it at least once this summer! Zucchini cake is a summer must!
Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 cups (283g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup (150g) packed light-brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable or canola oil
- 1/2 cup (120g) applesauce
- 1/3 cup (83g) plain Greek yogurt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups (344g) finely grated unpeeled zucchini (grate on small holes of box grater. About 2 - 2 1/2 medium zucchini)
- 1/2 cup chopped , toasted pecans or walnuts (optional)
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz cream cheese , softened slightly
- 1/2 cup butter , softened (preferably 1/4 cup salted and 1/4 cup unsalted)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups (228g) powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger for 30 seconds, set aside. In a separate large mixing bowl stir together granulated sugar and light-brown sugar (break up any clumps with your fingertips). Whisk in vegetable oil, applesauce and Greek yogurt until well blended. Add in eggs and vanilla mix until well blended. Stir in grated zucchini. Add flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon just until combined. Pour mixture into a buttered 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Bake in preheated oven 32 - 35 minutes until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs (no batter). Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before frosting (cover with plastic wrap leaving a small opening on one corner after about 30 minute of cooling to seal in moisture). Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting sprinkle with nuts if desired (or decorate as desired) and cut into squares.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whip together cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until smooth, occasionally scraping down sides and bottom of bowl. Blend in vanilla. Add powdered sugar and mix until light and fluffy.
Recipe Source: Cooking Classy