Nothing beats the freshness of a zucchini cake whether it’s chocolate or regular zucchini. In fact, I think zucchini makes its’ best presentation in baked goods. I enjoy sautéing the vegetable and stuffing the squash, but it’s always been one of my favorite things to use in baked goods.
When I’m freezing zucchini I always grate and freeze more than I’m going to need because of how it gets so mushy in the freezer. Using vacuum sealers helps this process greatly. Lately I’ve jumped into using the new spaghetti style graters and turning zucchini into more of a pasta. One of my favorite breakfasts would be two over medium eggs served on top of grated zucchini with onions. Of course, the zucchini is sautéed under those lovely eggs. Geeze a little cheese wouldn’t be bad either. This will give the feeling of eating potatoes without the potatoes.
Saves on starch/sugar, big time.
In this chocolate zucchini cake there is room for all kinds of swap outs. Some of you will ‘choke’ when you see the amount of vinegar to cream that I use for substitute buttermilk. I know, but let me tell you it’s yummy! The cinnamon jumps in and enhances the chocolate flavor and is a nice energizer bunny for the cake. If you think it’s too much, pull back to 1/2 teaspoon. I usually strive for a good brand of chocolate. If you think 1/4 cup of cocoa is not enough, just wait until it’s totally stirred together. I felt the same way when I ran it the first time.
Some cooks use only a couple of eggs in a cake of this nature. I like the extra richness that eggs bring to a cake and it’s also a nice volumizer. On the sugar you will find 1 1/2 cups to 2 is pretty common. I actually used less sugar than most chocolate zucchini cakes.
You will note the cake was prepared in a Bundt pan. There’s no reason not to use a 9 x 13, muffin tins, or bread pans. Just remember these pans will take a great deal less time to bake than the Bundt pan.
It’s been a great week on the home front. Realizing my down time is about to come to an end is difficult. However it’s also good to return to a routine in our lives. I’ve bumped into many guests over the break and I’m looking forward to a new season at Silver Dollar City. We’ll have lots of new recipes to help shake up your family menus.
Do something outrageous this week. So what if someone suspects you’re a bit ‘off’. Take a risk, step out and squeeze everything out of this precious life we’ve been given. Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
1/2 cup canola oil or oil of your choice
1/2 cup very soft butter, almost melted
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, whisked
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup buttermilk or (1/2 cup half/half with 1/4 cup vinegar)
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa, (use good brand)
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups grated zucchini, (skin left on)
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup Pecans or English Walnuts, optional
This recipe is a culmination of several of my favorite cake ingredients. So easy to prepare. Set oven at 325 or even 300 degrees if desired. For baking I used a Bundt pan. The recipe will also fit in a 9 x 13 nicely. Spray Bundt pans with vegetable spray that includes flour, or dust by adding flour. Make sure to do a good job covering the bottom of the pan.
Start at the top of the recipe and cream the oil, butter and sugar together. Bring in whisked eggs, vanilla and buttermilk, combining all ingredients. Make a ‘well’ in center, as best as you can and add all dry ingredients. Stir mixture by hand to blend. Lastly; stir in the grated zucchini, chocolate chips and nuts, if you’re using them.
Once ingredients are well blended pour into prepared bakeware. Set timer for about 40 minutes in a 325 degree oven and begin monitoring for doneness. Sometimes a Bundt pan can be a ‘fooler’ making you think it’s done, when it is not. Use a toothpick to test besides the pulling from the sides of the pan.
Allow to cool about 20-25 minutes before inverting the cake. My family does not care for icing so I usually create a simple glaze and pour over the entire cake just to help hold the moisture. A white glaze or a chocolate glaze works on this baked good. Enjoy!
Debbie Dance Uhrig