Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Cutest Little Zucchini Cake You've Ever Seen

What's that, you need more things to do with your ever multiplying summer squashes? Well here I come to the rescue, again. This time with dessert.

Actually, Rose Levy Beranbaum comes to our collective rescue with a wonderfully light, moist, and not-too-sweet cake from one of her many miracles of culinary literature, the Cake Bible. It's a a recipe for zucchini cupcakes that translates easily into cake form, and I particularly like the use of brown sugar instead of white.

The cake itself needs nothing more than a dash of powdered sugar, but if you're feeling extravagant, the thinnest layer of cream cheese icing (spiked with cinnamon) will take it over the top.

Zucchini Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing
makes 5-in round (or equivalent) cake; ready in a little over an hour

For Cake:
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup chopped, toasted walnuts or pecans
1 egg
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup grated zucchini (about 1 medium, with skin)
  1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Grease and flour a 5-inch (or equivalent) cake pan. Stir together flour, soda, spices, and nuts. Set aside.
  2. Beat egg with sugar and oil until sugar is dissolved and mixture is smooth. This can be done with a whisk and some perseverance, but beaters or a mixer are preferable. Mix in zucchini, then dry ingredients. Pour into prepared pan and bake 30-40 minutes (depending on your baking dish), until a tester inserted in center comes out clean.
  3. Cool 10 minutes in pan, then loosen edges and invert onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely.
For Icing:
2 Tbsp butter, room temperature
2 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
  1. Beat butter and cream cheese with electric mixer for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and beat well. Add sugar 1/4 cup at a time, adding cinnamon in one batch and beating well after each addition. When it's all in, beat 1 extra minute for a nice, smooth texture. Spread a verrrrrrry thin layer over top and sides.

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