Whole Wheat Zucchini Spice Cake with Lemon Glaze

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It may not yet be summer, but the souk is overflowing with zucchini right now, so I felt compelled to take advantage of the bounty and purchase a couple pounds this past weekend. Now faced with the age-old dilemma of zucchini overload in my crisper drawer, I find myself slicing them into omelettes, shaving them into salads, and now, grating them into cake. Zucchini cake is an ingenious strategy to consume your veggies and dessert simultaneously, so you can feel both virtuous and indulgent, which incidentally, is my preferred state of eating.

I wanted this particular loaf cake to be a bit more interesting than a simple vehicle for the ubiquitous squash, however. It shouldn’t just be cake with bits of green- it should have spice, texture, and depth of flavor. So I added whole wheat flour, ground flaxseed and walnuts, and ginger, cinnamon, and coriander, and finished it with a crunchy lemon glaze. It was delicious on day one, even better on days two and three, when the flavors had time to meld. Lemony, slightly spicy, not-too-sweet, and a little hearty, this cake is ideal for afternoon tea or coffee, when you might crave donuts but feel like you should be eating carrot sticks.

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Makes one 9×5 loaf.

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 1 medium zucchini, grated
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • zest of 1 small lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • juice of one medium lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees f. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan and dust lightly with flour.
  2. Whisk together egg, sugars, vanilla, oil, and lemon zest in large bowl. Stir in grated zucchini.
  3. Whisk flours, spices, and salt in a separate bowl.
  4. Sprinkle baking soda over wet mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet mixture gradually, whisking as you go. Mix until just combined.
  6. Stir in walnuts and flaxseed. Batter will be very thick.
  7. Spoon into loaf pan, smooth the top with a spatula or large spoon, and bake in preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, or until tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes on wire rack and invert.
  8. Since this cake is better on day two, I would wait until the second day to glaze, but if you can’t wait, at least wait until the cake is completely cool. Stir together the powdered sugar and lemon juice with a fork and drizzle over the cake in horizontal lines. The glaze should be pretty thick and just barely pourable.

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