August 13, 2009

Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake {Naptime Entertaining}

Last Saturday I pulled my daughter to the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market in her wagon. She loves wagon rides with me at the helm since I often increase our speed over bumps and let her zoom, slightly too fast, down hills. (The look of glee on her face when we race down the street makes me think I have a budding daredevil on my hands.)

When we arrived at the market she happily hopped out of the wagon and began vegetable shopping with me. Since August is the peak of farm season in Central NY, there is no limit to the amount of fresh vegetables available to us. I practically swoon over the amazing variety, loving the fact that my beloved zucchini are put in my bag still dirty from the garden bed, not from a transatlantic plane ride.


With the glut of zucchini this summer I thought nothing of picking up 4lbs of the stuff. The only thing that my daughter didn’t like about this is that she was displaced by the zucchini in the wagon, and forced to walk home. Despite this impressive haul I didn’t worry about any of it going bad, I love cooking with this vegetable and there is no end to the zucchini-themed dishes I’ve been enjoying. During July I made my Baked Zucchini & Tomatoes several times, along with a few loaves of my Zucchini-Applesauce bread. Then, last week I thought it was time to change it up a bit, and decided to make a decadent summer dessert, my Chocolate & Zucchini Bundt Cake.

When I am in the mood for a rich chocolate cake in the middle of August, this is always the recipe I turn to. It contains all the elements of perfect chocolate cake, the sour cream keeps it deliciously moist with a tender crumb, and the Dutch cocoa powder gives it a true deep chocolate flavor. To some the addition of zucchini seems strange, but it actually makes perfect sense. The shredded vegetable gives the cake additional moisture and tempers the sweetness of the sugar. (I also like to think the zucchini adds an element of health to this cake, though I can’t really claim this is any sort of health food.)

When I made this last week I was able bake the entire thing, from start to finish, during my daughter’s afternoon naptime. It was even able to cool completely so I could dust it with powdered sugar before she woke up. I didn’t bother telling everyone to wait until after dinner to take a bite, that never would work in our house. Instead we had a slice in late afternoon and it was a huge hit. In fact, the whole thing went from delicious to disappeared within 24 hours. It also means that I’ve used up well over half of my zucchini stash and am in need of more for my next round of meals. My daughter is thrilled to hear this since it means another wagon ride to the farmers’ market, which, to her, is the best part about Saturdays in the first place.

Recipe

Naptime’s Chocolate & Zucchini Bundt Cake

adapted from Edible Vineyard

Ingredients

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ½ c. granulated sugar
2 ½ c. all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1 T. instant espresso, dissolved in 1 T. hot water
2 t. vanilla
2 c. grated zucchini (make sure zucchini is peeled and ends are trimmed prior to shredding)
½ c. sour cream
¾ c. cocoa powder
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.
2. In a bowl mix flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. In stand mixer, or a mixing bowl with a handheld mixer, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix to combine. Add espresso, vanilla, sour cream and zucchini and mix on low until completely combined.
4. Working carefully with mixer on low, add dry ingredients until everything is completely combined.
5. Toss chocolate chips with a teaspoon of sugar and stir into the batter with a wooden spoon.
6. Pour batter in prepared pan and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
7. Allow cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then invert it onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Once cake is room temperature dust it with confectioner sugar and serve.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

This recipe is a fantastic take on a traditional chocolate cake. The slightly vegetal flavor juxtaposes the rich cocoa perfectly, making it wonderful for serving to friends and family.

Naptime Stopwatch

Preparing this took about 1hr 15min, including baking time. It is well worth it to spend the time making it, it is a large cake that will last for days.

Naptime Reviews

My daughter, ever the chocolate feign, loved this cake, as did all the adults. We like it served with vanilla ice-cream or whipped cream.

  • Shani

    Yum! This looks fantastic. I've always been a little shy about baking cakes, but will have to give this one a try… and it will let me believe that Jr. will actually eat a vegetable! :)

  • Shani

    Yum! This looks fantastic. I've always been a little shy about baking cakes, but will have to give this one a try… and it will let me believe that Jr. will actually eat a vegetable! :)

  • debbie koenig

    This looks delicious! But I'm curious about the peeling of the zucchini. Is that because you don't want the cake to have green speckles in it? I hesitate to remove it, since that's where most of the fiber is. Hmm, maybe I'll just try it unpeeled and see what happens!

  • debbie koenig

    This looks delicious! But I'm curious about the peeling of the zucchini. Is that because you don't want the cake to have green speckles in it? I hesitate to remove it, since that's where most of the fiber is. Hmm, maybe I'll just try it unpeeled and see what happens!

  • Kelsey B.

    Hi Debbie! Thanks for the comment. I peel it mostly out of habit, since that what I've always done with this recipe. But as long as the Zucchini is washed thoroughly it shouldn't be a problem to leave it peeled like I do with regular zucchini bread. Either way it will taste delicious, I am sure.

  • Kelsey B.

    Hi Debbie! Thanks for the comment. I peel it mostly out of habit, since that what I've always done with this recipe. But as long as the Zucchini is washed thoroughly it shouldn't be a problem to leave it peeled like I do with regular zucchini bread. Either way it will taste delicious, I am sure.

  • Eila (Chef/Owner of "Full

    cannot wait to try this + the zucc applesauce bread. thanks for sharing! i really enjoy reading your blog. keep up the wonderful work.

  • Eila (Chef/Owner of "Full Plate")

    cannot wait to try this + the zucc applesauce bread. thanks for sharing! i really enjoy reading your blog. keep up the wonderful work.

  • Jennifer

    A friend recently gifted us with homemade zucchini bread. This was a first taste for us both. I'm excited to try my hand at it now and have a Bundt pan at-the-ready for such an occasion. I like the addition of espresso and chocolate in this recipe too.

  • Jennifer

    A friend recently gifted us with homemade zucchini bread. This was a first taste for us both. I'm excited to try my hand at it now and have a Bundt pan at-the-ready for such an occasion. I like the addition of espresso and chocolate in this recipe too.

  • Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction

    Your cake looks amazing! I love chocolate and zucchini… There's just something about knowing a cake has zucchini in it. That counts as a serving of vegetables, right? That's what I thought!

  • Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction

    Your cake looks amazing! I love chocolate and zucchini… There's just something about knowing a cake has zucchini in it. That counts as a serving of vegetables, right? That's what I thought!

  • Tracy

    Yours looks great! I love the look of the cake out of the bundt pan. Gorgeous!

  • Tracy

    Yours looks great! I love the look of the cake out of the bundt pan. Gorgeous!

  • Jackie at PhamFatale.com

    Yum! I just discovered the combo chocolate and zucchini and I'm addicted now! Have you read Clotilde Dusoulier book "Chocolate and Zucchini"?

  • Jackie at PhamFatale.com

    Yum! I just discovered the combo chocolate and zucchini and I'm addicted now! Have you read Clotilde Dusoulier book "Chocolate and Zucchini"?

  • Anonymous

    I just found your blog as I have a glut of summer squashes. I'm wondering if you adjusted any of the other liquid in the cake. I'm thinking I want to add some to a Jewish Honey cake recipe as it is a cake that is often dry and I would love to moisten it without ruining the structural integrity.–Fran

  • Anonymous

    I just found your blog as I have a glut of summer squashes. I'm wondering if you adjusted any of the other liquid in the cake. I'm thinking I want to add some to a Jewish Honey cake recipe as it is a cake that is often dry and I would love to moisten it without ruining the structural integrity.
    –Fran

  • Kelsey B.

    Fran – Zucchini definitely adds moisture so I could reduce a little bit of oil or milk if that is in your original recipe, but not too much. I think if you already have a dry-ish cake then zucchini might be just the ticket to moisten up and add another layer of flavor!

  • Kelsey B.

    Fran – Zucchini definitely adds moisture so I could reduce a little bit of oil or milk if that is in your original recipe, but not too much. I think if you already have a dry-ish cake then zucchini might be just the ticket to moisten up and add another layer of flavor!

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