Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Zucchini Upside Down Cake

A new spin on a Traditional American Cake

This cake was a special treat at the farm brought by Amber, one of our volunteers for the Friday CSA pick. We're totally spoiled- not only do we have regular volunteers who bake, but sometimes we eat cake before noon. A little zucchini in anything clears the guilt, and we never say no to a new recipe with zucchini. I've had my share of the traditional pineapple upside down cakes, this one beats all. Happy baking!

(recipe adapted from Dolce Italiano by Gina DePalma)


1 cup (75 g) walnut pieces, toasted
2 cups (240 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 large eggs
1-3/4 cup (306 g) granulated sugar
1 cup (237 mil) extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups (438 g) grated zucchini (about 2 small zucchini)
confectioners sugar, for dusting (optional)
1/4 cup (59 mil) fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup (58 g) granulated sugar
1 cup (130 g) confectioners sugar


1. CAKE: Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350º F/175º C.
2. In the medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of the stand mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, and olive oil together on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and beat in the vanilla extract.
4. Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined, then increase speed to medium and mix for 30 seconds.
5. Stir in the zucchini and walnut pieces until completely incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
7. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Rotate the cake halfway through baking to ensure even browning. Tester should come out clean and the cake edges should start to pull away from the sides of the pan.
8. GLAZE: Make the glaze while the cake is baking. In a medium bowl, whisk the lemon juice and granulated sugar, then whisk in the confectioners sugar until the glaze is smooth. Strain any lumps as necessary. (For a more traditional feel- substitute 1/2 the lemon juice with a small can or its equivalent of macerated fresh pineapple.)
9. Remove the baked cake from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Place the wire rack over a piece of wax paper and invert the cake onto the rack. Use a pastry brush to brush the glaze all over the hot cake. It will stick to the cake and set as the cake cools, leaving a nice crunchy surface. Allow the cake to cool completely and the glaze to dry completely. OPTIONAL: You may dust the cake with confections sugar before serving.
10. Wrap cake in plastic to store and use within 2 days.

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There is plenty of gozo at Rio Gozo Farm. That is JOY in Spanish and joy is one of the most dependable products we have. Gozo is commonly found in gardens and farms. Once you get a little gozo up and going it is very tolerant of most pests, withstands dry periods, and grows with a modicum of fertilizer. After gozo becomes a staple of one's diet, it goes with about anything. Actually folks crave it so much it is a wonder everyone does not have a patch of it growing close at hand. Grab up some gozo and get with the flow.