Make Ahead

Zucchini Snacking Cake With Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

June 17, 2019
4.5 Stars
Photo by Ty Mecham
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Makes one 9x9-inch cake
Ingredients
  • Zucchini snacking cake
  • 1 cup walnuts, plus more for topping
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup grated zucchini, approximately one medium-sized zucchini
  • Chocolate cream cheese frosting
  • 5 ounces milk chocolate
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x9-inch baking pan with a piece of parchment paper so that there are 2 inches of overhang on opposite sides. (This will help with removing the cake once cooled.)
  2. In a food processor, pulse the sugar and walnuts together until the nuts are finely chopped and mixture looks like coarse sand, about five or six pulses. Set aside.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
  4. Fit a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Add the butter and turn on the mixer to medium speed. With the mixer running, add in the sugar and walnut mixture and let mix until pale and fluffy, about one minute. Add the eggs one at a time until well incorporated. Add half of the dry mixture, followed by half of the milk. Repeat once more so that all of the ingredients are incorporated into the batter. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl and mix for a few more seconds. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and, using a rubber spatula, fold in the zucchini.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick, when inserted into the middle of the cake, comes out clean. Remove and let cool.
  6. Fill a small pot with about an inch of water and place over medium heat. Once water begins to simmer, fit a small bowl over the pot to make a double boiler. Turn the heat to low and add the chocolate to the bowl. Stir occasionally until melted, about 3 minutes. Remove the bowl from the double boiler and let cool while you prepare the rest of the frosting.
  7. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Once smooth, slowly add in confectioner's sugar. Turn the mixer off and add the cooled, melted chocolate. Turn the mixer on low and mix until the chocolate is well incorporated. Add the salt. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and run the mixer once more until smooth.
  8. Using the parchment overhang, lift the cake from the baking pan. Invert the cooled cake onto a serving platter and peel off the parchment paper. Top with the frosting and spread evenly over the top. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Let the cake sit for at least 30 minutes before serving so that frosting sets. Cake can be made and frosted a day before serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Debbie Travis Blakley
    Debbie Travis Blakley
  • Hansi Kess
    Hansi Kess
Grant Melton is an Emmy Award-Winning producer, recipe developer and food writer. His favorite food is chocolate chip cookies (with salt.)

2 Reviews

Debbie T. August 19, 2020
Sounds delicious! Can't wait to try this. I planted the garden late this year so, unfortunately, I didn't get any fresh zucchini. Am going to the store tomorrow! :)
Thanks for sharing this....
 
Hansi K. August 9, 2019
I didn't have walnuts so I substituted some hazelnuts I had to use up. The result was delicious, and I'm sure the walnuts would be good as well. The nice thing about this cake is that the extra moisture and fat added by the nuts and zucchini help it last over a few days better than a standard sponge. Also, the reasonable amount of cinnamon keeps the spices from overwhelm the flavor, so it doesn't taste like every other zucchini bread on the planet. I added a little cinnamon and allspice to the frosting, and I thought it complemented the flavors of the cake well, without overwhelming it. I would definitely make this recipe again with either walnuts or hazelnuts.