The end of summer brings an age old problem for many home gardeners: What can be done with the hoards of zucchini that the garden seemed to produce at an exponential rate?
Zucchini plants are notorious for leaving gardeners knee-deep in an overabundance of deep green squash. Aftter a summer spent stir-frying, stuffing, and roasting away, many are left searching for new ways to use up the remaining harvest. (This is the opening I used for my article in the school newspaper.)
Solution? Make this cake. Like, right now.
Oh, Joy the Baker, you’ve done it again.
This pound cake is darn good! And, to tell you the truth, I have no idea why.
It’s a basic recipe… nothing too flashy in the ingredients list. The cream cheese might be the extra little “oomph”, or maybe it’s the dash of cinnamon. The result? A dense, supremely moist (why do people hate this word?) cake with a velvety crumb. Perfection.
It’s absolutely delicious, in its own understated, simple way.
On a side note, I have a new camera! Last weekend, my uncle let me borrow one of his old ones (thanks Uncle P!). I’m still trying to figure out how to use it, but my pictures are already sooo much nicer… at least in my opinion ;)
See ya, point-and-shoot!
Zucchini Cream Cheese Pound Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (I was testing this recipe for an article in my school newspaper, so I was a bit more conservative with my use of WW flour. I’m sure half, or even 2/3 WW flour would work!)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 sticks unsalted butter, browned
2 cups shredded zucchini (about 1 1/2 medium zucchinis)
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 10 or 12 cup bundt pan.
2) Melt the butter in a shallow saucepan over medium -low heat. Then, allow it to continue cooking until it browns. It should develop a nutty aroma, and brown particles will be visible at the bottom of the pan.
3) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set Aside.
4) In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating for one minute between each addition. Pour in the vanilla extract.
5) Turn the mixer down to low speed, and pour in the cooled browned butter. Turn the mixer up to high speed, and beat for three minutes.
6) Reduce the mixer speed to low and add in all the flour. Beat until barely combined. Then, turn off the mixer, and incorporate remaining streaks of flour by hand. Fold in the zucchini.
7) Spread the batter into the pan, and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for 20 minutes before inverting it onto a cooling rack.
8) Frost the completely cooled cake. Enjoy!
*I think the cake tasted even better the next day.
Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cream cheese (regular or lowfat), softened
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1) In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth.
2) Add the brown sugar to the bowl, and beat for 30 seconds.
3)Turn the mixer down to low speed, and add in the powdered sugar and salt, followed by the vanilla. Beat until the frosting is smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
4) Use immediately, or store in an air-tight container in the refigerator. Frosting will last for about a week in the fridge.
Adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook by Joy Wilson