I discovered Cream Puffs in Venice a long long time ago and have always loved the blog. Ivonne at Cream puff hosts Magazine Mondays, where she posts recipes from magazines tackled by bloggers. I love the idea.
That being said, tomorrow is my dad’s birthday, so while I was flipping through the August edition of Bon Appetit I came across this recipe. The article said that this cake is inspired by the classic carrot cake, but of course, with a different vegetable. And I thought, if you can have zucchini bread, why not cake?
Then I thought, this would be a great cake to make for dad since I’ve always considered spice cakes to be more “grown-up,” which I guess is true, since most kids I’ve met don’t go “whooooop, spice cake!” So I made it last night and brought it to today’s barbeque with some family friends.
The cake is not big or elaborate. It’s very humble but boasts a myriad of spices as well as toasted pecans. The tiny strips of zucchini are seen, but not tasted. It’s funny, the cake is light in texture but somehow gives off the feel of a lot of weight. Maybe it’s the ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon. It’s an intoxicating combination.
I found that I needed a bit more icing sugar to make the frosting a stiff enough consistency to spread. This is very similar to a carrot cake and will definitely attract carrot cake lovers. Maybe this works for number 10 on my wish list?
I was just saying how kids aren’t wild for spice cakes, curiously though, the few youngsters at the gathering today seemed to like this cake. It’s sturdy enough for them to hold by hand so no fussy fork and plate needed. Spread the frosting thin and this makes a wonderful snack cake.
Zucchini-Pecan Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
makes one 9-in. cake
1 ½ c. all purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. coarse kosher salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¾ c. olive oil, not extra virgin
1 c. brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
8 oz. zucchini, grated
3/4 c. toasted pecans, chopped
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
¾ c. powdered sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. cinnamon
To make the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease/flour a 9 inch cake pan.
- Mix well the oil, eggs, vanilla, and brown sugar in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the spices, flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the oil mixture, stir to combine. Blend in the zucchini and pecans, do not over mix. (Note: I didn’t squeeze the moisture out of the zucchini because I figured the cake would benefit from the moisture.)
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes. (Mine was done at 30, so check early!)
- Cool in pan for 10 minutes before unmolding. Let cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting:
- Cream together the butter and cream cheese.
- Sift in the powdered sugar and blend. (I used about 1/2 c. more)
- Add the cinnamon and vanilla, mix well.
- Spread over the top of the cooled cake.
Er, you might recognize that candle as the same one that perched on top of my brother’s soccer birthday cake. That’s because it is. We forgot to get candles, so candle Eight got reused. But we didn’t end up lighting it anyway because it was so windy today. Hey, my dad can always dream of becoming younger right?