We have an overabundance of zuchinni in our garden right now and I have been looking for creative ways to use it all. I cubed some of it to make zuchinni pickles (to be posted shortly) and wanted to make zuchinni bread with the rest of it. I wanted to try something different than what I have made in the past and I remembered the Tuesday's With Dorie group had posted a banana bundt cake recipe a few weeks ago. I figured zuchinni could easily sub-in for the banana so I decided to give it a go.
My youngest daughter was up at quarter after six on Saturday morning, and realizing any opportunity to sleep in was lost, I decided to bake! What else would I want to do on an early Saturday morning! I creamed the butter and sugar, walked over to the refrigerator to grab the eggs, opened the door, AND... no eggs! Of course! Why would I ever have flour, sugar, and eggs in my house all at one time. So I packed up my daughter in her car seat and decided to go grocery shopping while the rest of the house was sleeping. Our grocery store is open twenty-four hours a day and I actually find shopping at seven in the morning is one of the best times to go. The only drawback is they don't have all the lights on in the regierated and frozen food isles. I picked up the eggs and everything else I needed for the week and made my way home.
When I got back, my husband and three year old were awake and my daughter was elated to learn we were going to be making a cake at eight in the morning. I think mostly because she knew she would be able to lick the beater before breakfast. After getting everything together, I came to the step to add the yogurt. I was actually prepared for this because I had picked the yogurt up earlier in the week knowing I was going to be making this cake. I pulled the safety foil back from the container to a smell I was not quite expecting and was quite alarmed when I saw purple instead of creamy white yogurt. I looked at the front of the container- Stonyfield Organic Low Fat BLUEBERRY yogurt. I almost cried when I read it. Since when did they start selling blueberry yogurt in big containers! I entertained the thought of making blueberry zuchinni bread but the idea just didn't float with me. I was not about to go back to the store so after a quick scan of my refrigerator, I decided on buttermilk. It is my wonder ingredient and I find it can be used as a substitute for almost any dairy product. So I poured it in and crossed my fingers.
Let me tell you, this cake was really, really good! A far cry from the banana bundt cake recipe I started with, but a new favorite for me. The cake was so incredibly moist and the lemon icing really complemented the cake well. You can barely even see the zuchinni let alone taste it, so you do not have to worry about the cake having any hint of a veggie flavor. I will definitely be making this recipe again! Here is the recipe, adapted from Dorie's original:
Zuchinni Bundt Cake
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
2 Cups Shredded Zuchinni
1 Cup Buttermilk
2 t Lemon Zest
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts (Optional)
Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 9- to 10-inch (12 cup) Bundt pan.
Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and beat at medium speed until pale and fluffy.
Beat in the vanilla, then add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each egg goes in. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the zuchinni. Finally, mix in half the dry ingredients, all the buttermilk and then the rest of the flour mixture.
Scrape the batter into the pan, rap the pan on the counter to debubble the batter and smooth the top. Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted deep into the center of the cake comes out clean. Check the cake after about 30 minutes - if it is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with a foil tent.
Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before unmolding onto the rack to cool to room temperature.
Optional Lemony White Icing: Sift 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar into a bowl and squeeze in enough fresh lemon juice (start with 2 teaspoons and add more by drops) to make an icing thin enough to drizzle down the Bundt's curves.
- It was suggested to let the cake sit, wrapped in plastic, overnight to achieve a better flavor. I definitely found this to be true.
- I had to tent the cake after about 30 minutes.
- I'm certain plain yogurt or sour cream can be used in place of buttermilk.
- As a variation, sub in 1 teaspoon cinnamon for lemon zest and top with cinnamon icing instead of lemon icing.