A well-made zucchini cake should be ‘pleasantly sweet,’ decadently moist, and solid without losing its cakey delicateness. It should also leave you feeling satisfied, while sating your sweet tooth, but without overwhelming you with sugar. And that, in my opinion, is exactly what today’s zucchini cake achieves.
Prepared with fresh orange zest and dark chocolate chips, and topped with a homemade glaze, today’s zucchini cake is a dessert that the entire family can appreciate. Now, without further delay, let’s dive right in.
Why You’ll Love This Zucchini Cake
1) It keeps beautifully. If you make this on the weekend, you can enjoy it throughout the week. It keeps beautifully, remaining moist and delicious for days.
2) A Satisfying Dessert. My brother is fond of saying “A dessert should taste like a dessert,” and today’s zucchini cake is no exception to that sentiment. Today’s zucchini cake is ‘pleasantly sweet,’ moist, and satisfying – the way a ‘real’ dessert should be.
3) Zucchini cake Without the ‘Veggie Taste.’ To the above point, I’m no fan of ‘healthier for you’ desserts where the ‘veggie flavor’ of the ‘healthy’ ingredients are front and center. In today’s zucchini cake, the zucchini is a ‘pleasant base’ rather than the dominating flavor.
4) Only Basic Ingredients. Today we’re using no exotic or hard to find ingredients to bring today’s zucchini cake together. Everything going into today’s cake is ‘pantry friendly’ and available at your local grocery store.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
1) Zucchini and Cucumbers. Given their similar appearance, new home-cooks might be tempted to believe that zucchinis and cucumbers are similar or even interchangeable. However, the difference between these two items could hardly be more pronounced. On the exterior, zucchinis are dry to the touch with a rough skin, whereas cucumbers tend to be ‘cold’ and smooth, or sometimes waxy. On tasting, raw zucchini tends to be rather unpalatable due to its dryness and mildly bitter-yet-vaguely-sweet taste, with a texture that’s often described as ‘dry and spongey.’ These qualities make the zucchini ideal for cooked recipes, particularly frying and baking – think zucchini frites, fried zucchini sticks, and stir-fried zucchini strips. By contrast, the moist and crisp interior of a cucumber, coupled with its ‘cooling’ flavor, makes them the perfect ‘stick’ veggie for eating raw, or being paired with dips, or slicing into salads.
2) The ‘Plain’ Yogurt. I’m using ‘regular’ yogurt today as opposed to Greek yogurt. This is for two reasons. First and foremost, I don’t want the ‘bitter’ taste of Greek yogurt in today’s cake. Second, I want the added moisture of thinner ‘regular’ yogurt.
3) The Walnuts. The reason we’re using walnuts is because they don’t overwhelm the cake’s moist texture with ‘crunch’ or ‘bite.’ However, this is purely a matter of a preference.
Substitutes: Almonds or pecans will pair nicely in today’s cake if you don’t have walnuts. However, the almonds will be noticeably crunchier, while the pecans will change the flavor profile ever so slightly – but not unpleasantly so.
More Zucchini Goodness from Living the Gourmet
1) Zucchini Fettucine. One of my favorite uses for zucchini is pan frying it and then setting it over pasta.
2) Fried Zucchini Blossoms. This are one of my absolute favorite recipes – full stop. Light, airy, and crisp on the outside, if you can find zucchini blossoms (I grow my own during the summer months), these are a true treat. Paired with fresh basil and tomatoes over pasta, this one of my favorite recipes.
3) Zucchini Lasagna. Lasagna made from zucchini strips is one of my preferred ‘twists’ on the beloved classic. Perfect for making ahead, this is a veggie-based meal the entire family will love.
If You Enjoyed Today’s Recipe…
Be sure to follow us on Instagram to stay up to date with all things Living the Gourmet, and for more great recipes, tips and tricks.
Did you make this recipe?