So I think it’s safe to say summer is long gone. With Halloween behind us, Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and Christmas will be here in the blink of an eye. It’s already cold, cloudy, and depressing out. Though I have managed to keep my winter coat in the closet so far, but we’ll see how long that lasts. I’m surprised to say I haven’t even had much time to mourn summer. It’s been crazy busy with writing, blogging, and trying to live life and have fun. Plus, my farmers’ market has been pretty well stocked still. Green beans and heirloom tomatoes in the first week of November? Yes, please!
And there are some foods I buy year round. We, for better or worse, live in a world where a lot of foods are in the grocery store every day of the year. So my endless search for December peaches that actually taste like peaches might go unfulfilled, but there are typically a few cherries, strawberries are quite delightful, and so is zucchini.
Okay, so zucchini might be an odd vegetable for me to crave year round, but I do. I love it roasted, raw, and I adore baking with it. I’ve made Zucchini Muffins, Carrot Zucchini Bread, and now Zucchini Cake with Cinnamon Buttercream. I bookmarked this recipe as soon as I saw it on Joanne’s site (if you missed her guest post here, go check it out!).
I used up some of the last of my farmers’ market zucchini making this cake and there was no better way to use it. The cake is easy to make, dense, and moist with great zucchini flavor and crunchy walnuts. Then it’s topped with a creamy buttercream enhanced with cinnamon and honey. I don’t always care for American buttercream, but I found I kept tasting this, you know, just to make sure it was good 🙂 The honey and cinnamon really took it to the next level! The cake is good by itself, but the frosting is a necessary addition, taking the cake over the top. Maybe summer doesn’t have to end after all . . .
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ heaping cups coarsely grated zucchini
¾ cup walnuts
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ½ - 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Make the cake. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 inch cake pan, line the bottom with parchment and butter the parchment.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cloves.
In a large bowl, stir together oil, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing between each addition until fully incorporated. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in the zucchini and walnuts until evenly distributed.
Pour batter into prepared pan, spread into an even layer and bake 40-45 minutes, rotating halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely before frosting.
Make the frosting. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, cream butter, sugar, honey, and cinnamon until smooth and creamy. This may also be done in a stand mixer. Taste the frosting to see if it is sweet enough. I ended up using almost two cups of sugar to get the taste I wanted. Spread the frosting over the top of the cake. Cake may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen in quarters, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to three months. Thaw at room temperature for about an hour.
Recipe adapted from Joanne Eats Well With Others