[Susan Hanna]

zucchini cakeI was in charge of harvesting the garden last week, and I thought I was doing pretty well. Until, seemingly out of nowhere, three gigantic, one very large and one normal-sized zucchini appeared. I can grill zucchini slices, sauté zucchini ribbons, make zucchini fritters – but I was still going to have lots of zucchini. So I decided to bake a cake. I found this easy recipe for zucchini cake on simplyrecipes.com. I had all the ingredients in my pantry and the recipe comes together quickly. You can frost this cake or leave it plain, as I did, and serve it with ice cream or whipped cream.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Be sure to use pure vanilla extract, not artificial, and check to make sure the nuts and raisins are preservative-free. Butter the pan with a brand of butter than contains only cream. If you make the frosting, look for an organic brand of cream cheese without artificial ingredients added. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit www.eyeforarecipe.ca.

Ingredients:

Cake

  •  2 cups (500 ml) flour
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) cinnamon (can substitute 1 teaspoon [15 ml] with other spices such as allspice and nutmeg)
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups (500 ml) white, granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (250 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) grated lemon zest (optional)
  • 2 cups (500 ml) – from about 3-4 regular sized zucchini – grated unpeeled zucchini (place grated zucchini in a sieve and press out some of the excess moisture before measuring)
  • 1 cup (250 ml) chopped walnuts or pecans
  • ½ cup (125 ml) golden raisins (optional)

Frosting

  •  3 ounces (85 g) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) butter, room temperature
  • 1½  to 2 cups (375 to 500 ml) powdered sugar

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Butter a 9×12-inch (23×30 cm) or 9×13-inch (23×33 cm) baking pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a mixer, beat the 3 eggs on high speed until frothy. Lower the speed and beat in the sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla, and lemon zest (if using). Stir in the flour mixture, a third at a time. Stir in the zucchini and chopped nuts and/or raisins.

Pour mixture into baking pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, beat together the cream cheese and butter. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.

Frost the cake and serve. Store covered with aluminum foil. Makes 20 pieces.

 From simplyrecipes.com