I've made this terrific summer dessert for the past 3 years, and it's a winner every time. What began as a plain, old sheet cake has been reincarnated as a two-layer naked cake, two dozen cupcakes, and a elegantly rustic loaf. Looking back through these years of cake, I've noticed a marked improvement in my food presentation skills. Let's hope this trend continues!
This recipe was modified from The View from Great Island in order to get 2 dozen cupcakes and 1 small loaf. Making this cake in a few different forms gets you more bang for your bake (sorry, I couldn't resist!) I put away 1 dozen of the cupcakes in the freezer to be enjoyed later.
3 large eggs
1/2 C. (1 stick) unsalted butter + 1/2 C. coconut oil, melted and cooled
- Note: if using salted butter, just cut back on the salt a bit.
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 1/4 C. sugar
2 C. pureed zucchini
3 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 pint (2 C.) blueberries, tossed in a spoonful of flour. This helps prevent the berry juices from bleeding into the sponge.
Lemon Buttercream Frosting (Enough for 1 dozen cupcakes and a small loaf)
1/2 C. unsalted butter
- Note: Cold butter is fine. A lot of frosting recipes will tell you room temperature, but I find it works to just beat the heck out of cold butter. If butter is too warm, it can start to separate, which does not make for an appealing frosting.
2 C. powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice, or to taste
Preheat oven to 350 ⁰F.
Beat the eggs, butter, oil, vanilla and sugar until well blended. Mix in the zucchini puree.
Combine dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Slowly add it to the wet mixture, mixing just until incorporated.
Gently fold in the floured blueberries, and pour the batter into the the cupcake liners (2/3 to 3/4 full). The rest of the batter is poured into a greased small loaf tin. Bake for about 40 minutes, rotating all the pans halfway through to ensure even browning. Pull from the oven when an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly before turning out of the pans.
For the frosting, whip the butter in a stand mixer on high until light and creamy. Slowly add the sifted powdered sugar. Finally, beat in the lemon juice. Give it a taste and add more lemon juice if needed. If the frosting needs to be stiffer in texture, you can increase the sugar as well.
Frost 1 dozen of the cooled cupcakes and the loaf, using a small, offset icing spatula. To achieve the subtle herringbone pattern on the loaf, use the tip of the spatula to make alternating, sweeping motions toward the center. (left, right, left, right) And don't worry if it's not perfect; it's supposed to look homey and rustic :)
The remaining, unfrosted cupcakes can be wrapped up and frozen, as you would freeze any quick bread. These would make a really convenient gift, as they just need to be thawed and thrown in a basket. What could be simpler?
I hope this cake recipe becomes your summer favorite as well!
'Til next time,