Thursday, April 21, 2011

Moist Zucchini Cake

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I love spices. My favorite spice has to be nutmeg. Hands down. No argument. I just love everything about nutmeg. I add it to recipes even when the recipe does not call for it. That's how much I love nutmeg.

This was my first attempt at a Zucchini cake. I used a recipe from the very popular David It was a recipe he got from Italian chef Gina DePalma's Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo kitchen. I must admit, I really, really love the way it tastes. It has the right amount of spice for me, is not too sweet and is very, very moist.

I must complain, however, about the way it looked. Do all zucchini cakes/breads look gray and unappetizing? There were other, less-savory descriptions by my friends and family, which I will not repeat. Hmpf!

I was invited for dinner to a friend's, and offered to bring cupcakes for dessert. Little did I know I would end apologizing all night for the way they looked! Earlier that day, I used the recipe and made both a small bundt cake and a dozen cupcakes. After pondering over it, I decided the cupcakes looked better and took them to the party. I am so glad I did! The bundt cake looked worse. My poor husband, after he got over how it looked, he ate a piece and actually liked it a lot! Good thing I took these pictures when the cake was fresh!

Another disappointment for me was that the cake kind of flattened a little after a few hours. Not too much, and it didn't affect the taste at all, but it didn't help the already sad appearance!

I made a few very minor changes to the recipe on David Lebovtiz's blog. The original recipe can be found here.

Zucchini Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups finely grated zucchini
1 cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped

Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ground spices, and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar, oils and vanilla until light and fluffy - about 3 minutes on medium with your electric mixer.
Sift in the flour mixture and continue beating on medium for another minute.
Stir in the zucchini and finely chopped walnuts.
Bake at 350. It should take 20-25 minutes for cupcakes and about 40-45 minutes for a large cake.

I glazed it with a lime cream cheese glaze and added some colored sugar for the crunch that David Lebovitz raves about.

For the glaze, I combined about 1/4 cup of fresh lime juice, 2 oz of cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups of icing sugar and creamed until it was smooth. I glazed the cake while it was still warm.

I am not giving up on this recipe though. It is a delicious, moist cake, and I will try it again and again, until it looks as good as it tastes!

Even my dog (can you spot him?) loved it, and you should know he has a very discerning palate. No kidding!

I submitted this to the link party at Sweet as Sugar Cookies.

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Beetlebuggy said...

Hmmmm I think I'll pass on the cake but I love how your dog and little daughter find a way to get into your pictures! :D

Amanda . said...

The cupcakes were YUMMY despite the looks! I felt the frosting was a great addition. This is how I will get myself to eat my vegetables! :)

theharriedcook said...

LOL :) They're sneaky, those two :D And hey - don't pass on this cake yet. It is a very, very tasty cake! Don't judge a book by it's cover and all that jazz... :)

theharriedcook said...

They were pretty tasty, right? If only I could get them to look as good as they tasted! :) And eat your vegetables, young lady! And not just in cake! :p

Beetlebuggy said...

I have a vegetable cake recipe that'll get Amanda to eat more vegetables. Planning to post that on my blog sometime. Oh and they look really cute served in cupcake moulds (I baked them as cupcakes first because I didn't have a proper baking dish at that time)! And they stay cute, unlike the Zucchini cake that tends to turn greyish after a while. Keep you guys posted.

theharriedcook said...

Yeah... I'm sure there are others... I have an excellent carrot cake recipe that I'm going to be posting soon too.. they make awesome cupcakes! Really looking forward to your 'vegetable cake recipe' too! :)

Lizzy Do said...

What a cute pup! Your cake looks darn good to me...especially with that lovely glaze. But I know that I always want a dessert for company to taste AND look spectacular. I still would eat it...even sunken :)

theharriedcook said...

Thank you, Lizzy! You are my inspiration when it comes to beautiful food! I love how everything you make is so perfectly gorgeous! Thank you for your kind words :) I agree... I wouldn't mind eating it myself even if it was sunken...

Umm Mymoonah said...

Absolutely moist and delicious cake, love the glaze on top. Can't wait to try this yummy cake. Following your yummy blog :)

In Katrina's Kitchen said...

I often find myself apologizing about the looks of something but I think people don't care as long as the taste it good. lol ♥- Katrina

Firefly said...

I can never ever get a zucchini or carrot cupcakes to look good, BUT they always are so yummy! So I hear you on the look and believe you that the taste is great :) and BTW they look pretty yummy to me, love the glaze :)

theharriedcook said...

Thank you! :) This is a delicious recipe and I would make it again despite the fact that it didn't look great :)

theharriedcook said...

I agree :) Everyone who ate it agreed that it was very tasty and that made it a lot better :) Thanks for stopping by my blog! :)

theharriedcook said...

Thank you :) This is my first time making zucchini cake and as you said, it was so yummy! :) Wish I could get it to look prettier though.. Chocolate zucchini perhaps? That would take care of the gray :)

Lisa @ Sweet as Sugar Cookies said...

Mmm, I'd gladly get my five a day of veggies this way. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link your cake up.

Angie Walker said...

Yes, I think anything (bread, cake) made with zucchini is unappealing, but they always taste out-of-this-world delicious. Nice touch with the green sugar sprinkles.

theharriedcook said...

Thank you, Lisa :) I will stop by & link up :)

theharriedcook said...

Thank you, Angie... I agree that they are absolutely delicious :) Thanks for stopping by!

Briarrose said...

Yummy....oh so yummy zucchini cake. I love zucchini in cakes and's an unnatural love I think. :) I've never noticed a gray appearance....usually the thing that strikes me most is the host of green flecks from the skin.

theharriedcook said...

you are so right! I too was admiring those green flecks peeking out from inside the cake... :) Thanks for stopping by! Happy Easter... :)

Ginawhatsfordinner said...

I think the zucchini does tend to make it a bit dark, but I don't think mine usually comes out grey. I like to use a classic cream cheese frosting on my cupcakes. On my recipe, just make sure you bake it all the way through or it will sink a bit in the middle. I think in general these cakes are a little on the denser side. I can't wait to see your next attempt.

theharriedcook said...

I will try your recipe & let you know how it turns out. And I think, as you said, a frosting would have brightened up this cake. The glaze kind of dulled it down a little more... Thank you for your tips & encouragement! :)

Firefly said...

I'm sure chocolate would take care of the gray LOL Chocolate makes everything better in my world :)

Jo said...

Dear Marsha,

It came out really well... guess what Mike hates Zucchini but got him to love this cake and when he said he really like it, I told I had put Zucchini in it Ha ha ! Nice way to make your family eat their vegetables ;) I didn't put the glaze though... no time, I shouldn't be baking it's exam time. And I tried out the electric mixer Deeps gave me... Thanks alot love your stuff.

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