I Am Baker

White Zucchini Cake

It is full-on zucchini season here, and I have no less than (and not even kidding) 50 zucchini’s to use up.  That is a tease and a warning, all wrapped up into one.

I decided to try and re-do my white zucchini cake with yellow zucchini, then cover it in gobs of chocolate frosting of course.  The moisture and delicate flavor in zucchini always make cake amazingly moist!!

White Zucchini Cake

Will you indulge me for a moment?  I would like to share a little story with you.

As I was standing in front of my KitchenAid® mixer it occurred to me that I should add blueberries to my cake.  But then I thought about all the other blueberry desserts I do (seeing as it is my favorite fruit and all) and how they are probably the least popular theme on my blog.  It seems I am the only one who love blueberry brownies and blueberry pizza and rustic blueberry tart and blueberry pie muffins.

So I abandoned the idea.  Then it turned into “that” time of day where everyone says, “Mom, I am hungry.”  “Mom, I lost my ipad.”  “Mom, the snakes are missing.”  “Mom, Olivia is eating something brown.”  “Mom.”  “Mom.” “MOM.”

And I was on my last nerve.

White Zucchini Cake

But, as I mentioned, I was standing in front of my mixer and it was on low and it was in the process of combining the butter, cocoa, milk and sugar I had added.  Chocolate frosting was in my immediate future, and that seemed to make things bearable.

Then it was all five kids in front of me at once.  And then my husband came home.  And then it was not bearable anymore.

Intuitive to the child-induced twitch that had me unable to see out of my left eye, my husband gathered up the kids and said, “When you are done with that cake, come and get us and we will have dinner.”

And they left.  And I had a moment to breath.  And so I took my time in frosting that white zucchini cake.  And I decided that the blueberry idea I had earlier was not such a bad idea after all.  And then I took my sweet time in adding blueberries, one at a time, all lined up just-so, all around the cake.  Then I did another row for good measure.

And we ate dinner and all was right with the world.

White Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Frosting and Blueberries

 

White Zucchini Cake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter (1 stick)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp good quality vanilla
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup drained (mostly dry) finely shredded zucchini
  • Frosting
  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter (1 stick)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • pinch of table salt

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 8in baking pans.
  2. In mixer with paddle attachment, combine butter, sugar, vanilla and egg whites. Beat on medium speed for 30 seconds, then on high for 2-4 minutes. You are looking for a light and fluffy sugar mixture.
  3. In separate bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Alternating as you go, add the flour mixture and milk to sugar mixture. Mix on low until just combined. Remove bowl from mixer and zucchini, folding in by hand.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake 25-30 minutes.
  5. Frosting
  6. Add room temperature butter to mixer with paddle attachment and cream for 1 minute.
  7. Add in cocoa, sugar, vanilla and salt and mix on medium speed. You will be mixing that for a total of 3-5 minutes.
  8. After about 30 seconds, turn mixer to low and add in heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time. You can use more or less cream to reach your desired consistency. When I am using the icing to do a rough frost (like in the images with the recipe) I will use all the heavy cream so my frosting is very creamy and easy to spread.
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I love (and I do mean love) the little bittersweet burst of flavor from the blueberry in contrast with the rich buttercream, but if you want to save time, feel free to throw them onto the center of the cake and call it a day.

White Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Frosting and Blueberries

 

So let me tell you a few things about this cake.  It is moist.  As in, probably the most moist cake I have ever made.  The cake melts in your mouth, and the frosting and blueberries put it right over the top.  I am talking amazing.

Like one of my Top 10 Desserts EVER amazing.

White Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Frosting and Blueberries

If you do not have yellow zucchini you can swap out green zucchini.  If you do not want green flecks, you can simply peel the zucchini first.

The moral of the story with this cake is this: Make one and all the noise in your life will be dulled for a moment.  And your taste buds will be happy.  And your belly satisfied. And your heart full.

#socheesy #icanthelpmyself

I Am Baker

Zucchini Desserts: Three Ways!

My husband is a fabulous gardener.  Every year we get get to enjoy the fruits of his labor, and this year is no exception.  We have an abundance of zucchini, and have been eating every day since the picking began!

I would love to share with you three sweet zucchini recipes that we enjoy.

First up, White Zucchini Cake!

Recipe adapted from An Oregon Cottage.

White Zucchini Cake

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup room temperature butter
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp good quality vanilla
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup milk (I used skim)
  • 1 cup drained (mostly dry) finely shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 8in baking pans.
  2. In mixer with whisk attachment, combine butter, oil, sugar, vanilla and egg whites. Beat on med for 30 seconds, then on high for 2-4 minutes. You are looking for a light and fluffy sugar mixture.
  3. In separate bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Alternating as you go, add the flour mixture and milk to sugar mixture. Mix on low to med. until just combined. Remove bowl from mixer and add zest and zucchini. Fold in by hand.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake 25-30 minutes.
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Tips for success:

If you want an even more light and airy cake, you can beat your egg whites to a stiff and frothy consistency, then add them in at the end with the zucchini.

My thoughts on this cake were mixed.  The first bite… or that first moment when the cake meets your tastebuds… was not overwhelming.  But as soon as I finished chewing, I wanted another bite.  And then another.  This cake tastes not only sweet, but almost fresh.  Its addicting!

Its definitely a great way to change things up if you often pair zucchini with all things chocolate.  As I did in adding the chocolate frosting!  I thought it might overpower the delicate cake, but that didnt end up being the case at all.

*****

Next up to the part is Zucchini Snickers Cookies. Recipe adapted from Tasty Kitchen.

Zucchini Snickers Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup room temp butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup drained zucchini finely shredded
  • 2-4 chilled Snickers bars
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In mixer add egg, butter, brown sugar, honey, and vanilla and mix on med. until well combined. In separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. Roughly chop Snickers bars until in small pieces.
  4. Your zucchini should be one cup after it is drained. (mostly dry) I find that finely shredding up two cups typically yields one cup of drained zucchini.
  5. With mixer on low, add flour mixture to sugar mixture and mix until just combined. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in Snickers and zucchini by hand.
  6. I used a 1/4 cup measuring spoon for the cookies and placed them on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for about 12 minutes.
  8. If you want to drizzle the cookies with chocolate, simply melt chips in a plastic pastry bag in thirty second intervals. After chocolate is melted, cut off tip to the bag and drizzle over cookies.
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Tips for success:

This is a big cake like cookie. Its thick and light and subtle. (unless you add four Snickers bars and drizzle with chocoalte, then its just crazy sweet)

In my original recipe I only added two Snickers bars, but I thought they needed more.  So I then decided to add up to four.  However, its very difficult to identify these cookies as zucchini based at that point, as they just taste awesomely sweet.  If you are a purist and want a clean flavor, stick with two chopped up bars.

Working with very chilled Snickers bars is best.

*****

And finally, we have Zucchini Brownies.

I think.

I adapted the recipe from allrecipes.com and they definitely call these brownies.

Zucchini Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups finely shredded and drained zucchini

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and prepare a 9x13 pan.
  2. In mixer, combine oil, sugar, and vanilla until fully incorporated. (usually about 2 min on med speed)
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. With mixer on low, add flour mixture to sugar mixture and mix until just combined.
  4. Remove bowl from stand and fold in zucchini by hand.
  5. Spread brownie mixture into pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.
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Tips for success:

This batter is THICK.  You will not pour it into the pan!  It reminds me of a loose cookie dough.

Dont overcook!  I pulled mine out of the over right at 25 minutes and they were perfect.

Dont get freaked out that there is no egg and no butter.  You would never know the difference.  They brownies do not lack for flavor on any level.

While I know these are called brownies, they did have a cake like quality to them.  The crumb is defiantly cake like.  However, they stick to your teeth like an ooey gooey brownie should.  So for me its a toss up… call it brownie or cake… whatever you call it they are fantastic.

Truly.  This recipe is on par with all brownie recipes I have tried.  (Well, maybe not the Oatmeal Milky Way Brownies, but those are pretty much the exception to every brownie rule, ever.)