Monday, May 28, 2012

Irresistible chocolate zucchini cake

So it appears that the mild winter we had this year in DC means that zucchini is in season earlier than usual. Let me guess: you're worried about the inevitable onslaught of these prolific cucurbits, these sneaky but delicious vegetables that seem to spontaneously multiply in the crisper each time you close the refrigerator door from the moment they come into season. Well never fear, I have a recipe that will have you eating more zucchini than you ever thought you would, and looking for more. (Quite the claim, yes.)

I have had plenty of opportunities to test out this theory in recent days. I couldn't resist the gorgeous, slender green veggies at the Pleitez Produce stand at the Columbia Heights farmers' market last weekend and got a little carried away. (Their tomatoes were pretty stellar, too: I had to make an emergency tureen of garlicky caper pasta sauce the other night, as I began to fear I'd overbought and the luscious nightshades would be lost to the growing population of fruit flies hanging around my apartment. But back to the focus of this post: zucchini!) The other day, I began to tinker with my recently perfected chocolate zucchini cake recipe and brought some chocolatey goodness to a little gathering with the Bittersweet ladies. A significant amount of zucchini remained, so I made a second cake this weekend for a Sunday afternoon barbecue in Takoma Park with my friends Kevin and Dina.

Who can resist chocolate zucchini cake? And that frosting?? Nobody so far.... I certainly can't. You'll want to tuck this one into your recipe card file (or whatever the digital equivalent of that is these days). Inspired by the original sheet cake recipe on my friend Beth's cooking blog, I give you:

Ibti's Best Chocolate Zucchini Cake

A surprisingly healthy, moist, decadent treat. (Well, the frosting isn’t particularly “healthy” in the traditional sense, but it’s good for the soul.)


2 cups flour (1 cup all-purpose + 1 cup whole wheat flour), sifted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp instant espresso powder (optional)
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBSP maple syrup
4 eggs
3/4 cup olive oil
1 ½ cups applesauce
6-7 oz. dark chocolate, melted and cooled
3 cups grated zucchini (you can use a mix of yellow squash and zucchini, if needed)


Butter and flour 2 round (8”-9") cake pans. Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients: flour, brown sugar, cocoa, coffee, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the maple syrup, eggs, oil, applesauce, and melted chocolate. Mix well. Fold zucchini into the batter until evenly incorporated.

Pour half of the batter into each of the baking pans. Lick the spoon. Bake cakes for about 50 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean). Cool cakes completely before frosting and devouring.

Chocolate frosting

Combine equal parts softened butter, powdered sugar, and cocoa. You may want to splash in a bit of cream (whipping, but not whipped) to make it creamy. Slather it on each of the cakes and/or make a 2-layer cake. So good.

1 comment:

  1. Yay, the zucchini cake! love this, thanks for tweaking the recipe (for the better!) and reposting. :) ps - we were in baltimore and then scooted down to dumfries this weekend to visit family (I95 South on a Friday afternoon - ick). kent and i talked about skipping out on family plans (and the traffic) and giving you a call instead, but alas! Big hugs from back in NoDak. - Beth


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