It’s Zucchini Time!
To paraphrase Shakespeare, now is the summer of our zucchini. It might be the heat or the rain or the magic soil we seem to have in our garden but all the plants seem to be growing like…well, zucchini in the summer. We haven’t quite reached the point of throwing them into the windows of passing cars or sneaking into neighbor’s houses in the middle of the night like some vegan Santa. But we’ve got enough that I’ve been putting them in everything. Tonight’s recipe – cake. It’s easy and tasty and, with the addition of peaches, tastes just like summer. Enjoy.
Zucchini Peach Cake with Cream Cheese Butter Cream Frosting
for the cake:
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup neutral-tasting oil (safflower, sunflower)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 packed cups zucchini
- 1 large or 2 small peaches, peeled and cut into small dice
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
- 1 tsp nutmeg (or to taste)
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves (or to taste)
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom (or to taste)
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp granulated salt
- 3 cups flour (either use all white flour or up to 3/4 cup whole wheat)
for the frosting/layering:
- 1 stick (1/4 lb) butter, softened but not melted
- 1 block (8 oz) regular cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 -1/2 cup powdered sugar, to taste
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 large or 2 small peaches
Preheat oven to 325° F. Grease and flour two 9″ round cake pans and set aside. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until they are frothy. Beat in the oil and sugar. The mixture will get very thick. Using a spoon, stir in the zucchini, vanilla, and peach pieces. Then stir in the spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix thoroughly. Stir in the flour. Pour into the two pans, making sure each has an even amount. Bake for 45 minutes then check with a knife inserted into the middle. If they aren’t done, continue to bake them but check every 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool thoroughly in the pans before you try to get them out.
While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting. Beat together the butter and cream cheese using either a handheld mixer or an upright mixer. Add in 1/4 cup sugar, the vanilla, and the nutmeg. Whip well. Taste then adjust with more sugar if the frosting doesn’t seem sweet enough to you. Scrape the sides of the bowl and the mixer blades and mix again, making sure the frosting is smooth and evenly mixed. Then peel the remaining peach(es) and cut them into very thin slices.
Once the cake is cool and ready to be assembled, run a knife around the pan and carefully tip the cakes out. Place one cake on a flat plate or board, bottom side up. Evenly spread with a small amount of the frosting, getting it all the way to the edges. Spread the bottom of the other cake the same way. Put the thin peach slices on the cake, arranging them so all the cake is covered but there aren’t any lumps. Turn the second cake over on top of the first so the frosted sides are facing in, sandwiching the peaches. Spread the remaining frosting over the top of the cake, making sure it is even. Refrigerate cake for at least an hour (if you can cover the cake – either with a cake plate cover or a large bowl or pot so the frosting doesn’t get smashed – that’ll be best) or until you want to serve it. Remove from fridge, cut and serve. You can make this a day ahead, just keep covered in the refrigerator. Keep leftovers (if there are any) covered in the fridge.