I love the word zucchini– it sounds so much more enticing than courgette. Romantic even. It’s so satisfying the way it hums off the tip of your tongue. Zzzzzzuuuuuu….. Anyway, this is more about the cake than the name. Not only is this a fabulous way to use up summers bounty but it looks so much more appealing than most sponge cakes. I dallied with the idea of jazzing it up with a simple icing sugar and lemon mixture- but personally I like it as it is. No jazz required. Don disagreed, but then he didn’t really taste it properly. His tasting was more apt to a pelican swallowing a fish than a process that required any thought. It may even like a traditional carrot cake frosting. Still, you can decide for yourself.
The cake itself is not airy and light- it’s full of zucchini how could it be? But there are ways to maximise or minimise the amount of density to your liking. White sugar gives you a lighter cake- but it’s still spongy whereas brown sugar gives much more of a brownie-esque texture- it’s denser and richer. With brown sugar it could easily pass as pudding straight from the oven and dolloped with crème fraîche. I also altered the flavourings for the respective sugars- for the white cake I used lemon zest to match its more delicate nature. For the brown sugar one, which would have completely dominated the lemon zest I used something with a bit more oomph to stand up to it- cinnamon.
One piece of advice I can give you is not to mix the zucchini with the flour before adding to the eggs and sugar mixture. The water from the zucchini leaches out and you’re left with what can only be described a goopey mixture- and all you will taste in the final cake is flour. I tried this, thinking that by coating the zucchini it would evenly distribute itself in the cake. It did not. Do not make the same mistake. There’s really no need to dry off the zucchini just make sure that you work quickly- measure all your ingredients out before you start mixing. No need for stress after all this is zzzzzzuchini cake and love is in the air.
Keep reading to watch me making the cake and for the recipe
Perfect for a weekend brunch or tea party. Store in an airtight container, preferably in the fridge.
Makes one 20 x 30 cm cake 12-16 slices
Diet Facts About as good for you as carrot cake……
300g/ 2 cups lightly packed grated zucchini (about 2 small-medium) I like to use half yellow and half green for colour
285g/ 2 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon (or 1 tsp lemon zest if using white sugar)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
150g/ 1 cup sugar (white for a lighter cake, light brown soft for a denser fudgier and darker coloured cake)
3 fl oz/ 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g/ 1 cup walnuts, chopped fairly finely (optional, you could try chocolate chips)
1/ Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line a 20 x 30 cm baking tin with parchment paper or greaseproof paper so that it comes up above the edge on 2 sides.
2/ Whisk or sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a medium-sized bowl.
3/ In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla until just blended. Fold through the flour mixture and the zucchini followed by the chopped nuts.
4/ Spread evenly in your prepared pan and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until springy to touch and beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let cool and then slice.
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