07 Sep 2010 Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Hannah says it’s the best chocolate cake she’s tasted. I think that’s stretching it a bit (Chocolate Mint Layer Cake RULES!), but this cake is quite moist, very tasty and somewhat good for you–as cake goes–with the 2 cups of zucchini, some applesauce in place of oil, and no frosting. Plus, the orange undertones are an unexpected delight. Be sure to tell people there is zucchini in the cake, imagine the horror if they mistake those little pieces of grated green zucchini for mold!

Make this quick, summer is almost over!

This recipe was first published in Bon Appetit in November 1995, which is where I found it. I have changed it a bit, of course, but I’ve forgotten exactly WHAT it was I changed…?!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

2 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar (can use all white sugar, or half brown and half white)
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
1 tablespoon orange extract (OR 1 teaspoon vanilla extract with grated rind of one large orange)
1/2 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt (freeze any leftover buttermilk to use in the next cake!)
2 cups grated unpeeled zucchini (S-qu-e-e-z-e the zucchini to release excess water before measuring)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/4 cup chocolate chips (divided use)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare at 13x9x2 inch baking pan (grease and dust with cocoa powder) and set aside. With an electric mixer beat butter and sugar together until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in orange extract (or the vanilla). In another bowl stir flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together and aerate slightly. Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture and beat to blend. Then add 1/2 buttermilk and beat to blend and repeat–add 1/3 more of flour mixture, then last half of buttermilk, then last third of flour–beating well after each addition. Stir in drained zucchini, applesauce, orange peel (if using) and 1 cup of chocolate chips to blend. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Bake at 325 degrees for about 50 minutes or until cake springs back on touch. ENJOY!

Thanks for dropping off your extra zucchini today!  YUM!!

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