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Author Notes: Like banana bread, with about 40 interchangeable main ingredients...fruits, vegetables, jam or sour cream/yogurt. I've lost track but I've made about 2/3 or 3/4 of the variations. Present as an iced cake for dessert, or pack in plain, un-iced portions for lunches & snacks. Tasty, utterly reliable, easy to put together from staples or with a special main ingredient...can be baked as loaves or layer cakes, cupcakes or one large. Adapted from Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Book, 3rd edition, 1990. Glaze from the Bertolli olive oil company. —Nancy
For the cakes
- 2 cups A-to-Z ingredient (see list below). But use only 1/2 cup if using citrus juice or dried fruit
- 1 cup brown sugar. But use only 1/2 cup if using dried fruit or tomato. And omit totally if using marmalade, mincement or honey.
- 1/2 cup egg whites or whole eggs. Or silken tofu, pureed in a food processor
- 1/2 cup raw nuts (your choice), chopped
- 1/2 cup cold pressed vegetable oil, like grapeseed
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- flour and oil, to prepare pans
- 1 teaspoon Baking powder
Lemon glaze icing (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups confectioner's or icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest, chopped
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Prepare the A-to-Z ingredient. Peel or pit, if needed. Chop or puree produce. If using frozen fruit, let it thaw & drain. For citrus, squeeze the juice.
- Heat oven to 350F. Lightly oil & dust pan(s) with flour. Use one large, like 9x13", Bundt or tube pan, 10" spring form OR two of 8-9" round cake pan, loaf pan, 12-muffin tin.
- In one bowl, mix dries. In another, mix wets. Combine & pour batter into prepared pan(s). Bake single large cake 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. If making loaves or layers, start checking for doneness at 20-25 minutes or, for cupcakes, at 15-18 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Let cool. Serve as you like - plain, with lemon glaze (recipe here), fruit or any standard cream cheese icing.
- For the optional glaze, mix together confectioner's sugar, lemon flavorings, olive oil. Add more lemon juice or water if you want thinner texture. Drizzle or spread on top of cakes/cupcakes, or between layers.
- A-to-Z FRUIT options: apple apricot banana berries (one or mixed) cherry coconut cranberry fig grape peach pear pineapple plum rhubarb. VEGETABLE: carrot, eggplant, pumpkin or winter squash, sweet-potato or yam, tomato, zucchini or summer squash. DAIRY sour cream or yogurt. CITRUS JUICE or DRIED FRUIT your choice, SWEET THINGS marmalade, honey or mincement.
- Keeps: 1-2 days at room temp. Up to a week in refrigerator. Two-three months in freezer.