Happy Zucchini Summer!
If you garden, know someone who gardens, have ever seen a garden, chances are you are up to your eyeballs in zucchinis right about now.
Internet food sites are certainly all a buzz with zucchini recipes so I thought I’d add a new favorite — Chocolate Zucchini Cake!
I was going to call this chocolate zucchini bread because I baked this batch in a loaf pan, but if we’re being honest here, anything with this much chocolate should probably go in the cake department.
Here’s what you need:
Zucchini, Flour, Granulated Sugar, Brown Sugar, Cocoa, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Salt, Vegetable Oil, Vanilla, Eggs, Cinnamon, Chocolate Chips, and Walnuts.
This recipe comes from my lifelong friend Karen Lindholm Lehman. She and her two lovely sisters, Kristin and Julianne, grew up two three houses down the street from me. We spent many an hour on our patios putting on elaborate musical productions, went to girl scout camp together, played in the band, and have now all happily stayed in touch. Karen has a HUGE garden that makes me swoon. Her kids all take part in the gardening, even planning their own crops (including an experimental new vegetable each year) to show, with prize winning results, at the county fair. Anyone with a garden big enough to need a tractor, surely has an arsenal of good zucchini recipes!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
I have made this both in a mixer and also old school, mixing by hand with a whisk, spoon and big mixing bowl. Works well both ways and takes no time to put together.
Start with 3 eggs, 1 cup of granulated sugar, and 1 cup of lightly packed brown sugar.
Mix them together and then add 1 cup of vegetable oil – I’m using canola oil.
Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla and give it a good stir to combine.
Grate 2 medium zucchini and use your hands to squeeze out as much of the moisture as possible. The recipe calls for 2 cups of zucchini but I have made this with between 2 and 3 cups because I didn’t want to waste the zucchini that I’d already shredded.
Add the zucchini to the bowl and stir to combine.
In a separate bowl, combine 2 1/3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/3 cup cocoa, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
I happened to have dark chocolate cocoa which only amplifies the chocolate goodness in the recipe. Whisk the dry ingredients together to combine and to break up any small clumps.
With the mixer on the lowest speed, slowly add the dry ingredients stirring only until combined. If you are using an electric mixer, be sure not to over mix.
Karen’s recipe said that you had the option of chocolate chips or nuts so I thought I’d add both! I have 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips (no surprise if you’ve been hanging around here very long) and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.
Gently stir the nuts and chocolate chips into the batter being sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Prepare a loaf pan or cake pan by THOROUGHLY greasing and flouring the pan. Use a paper towel to liberally coat the bottom and sides of the pan with butter or crisco and then shake flour over all of the surfaces. Give the floured pan a good tap on the sink to remove any excess flour.
Add the batter and bake at 350 degrees for 50 – 60 minutes.
The cake is done when a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
You will need to adjust the cooking time to the size and style of your pan. I’m using a huge loaf pan (10 x 5) and I had to cook mine for an additional 10 minutes.
This cake cooks really well in a bundt pan because the heat coming up through the hole helps the middle of the cake to cook more evenly.
Sadly, you will see no photos of this beautiful cake because I forgot to flour the pan. Yes, even I have kitchen idiot disasters and cakes that completely stick. Fortunately, you don’t have to learn the grease and flour lesson very often.
Cool the cake completely in the pan and then run a sharp knife around the edges and invert to release the cake.
This cake is moist and fugdy — almost like a brownie. And there’s a green vegetable in there so it’s healthy!
At least that’s the way the chocolate-rationalizing part of my brain works.
When summer gives you zucchini, break out the chocolate!
Here’s the recipe – Adapted from Karen Lehman