I had two lonely zucchini from my garden this year.  We have squirrels and bunnies that feasted on my garden all summer long and stripped my zucchini as soon as they grew a few inches long.   So I was surprised when I went to clear out the garden and found one that the squirrels and I had missed.  It grew a bit larger than I would have liked, had I only known it was there. . .   So what to do with this lonely zucchini.  I searched the internet for ideas and came across this moist, decadent cake from Simply Recipes that I couldn’t resist trying.   Who knew that chocolate and zucchini would pair up so well.  I didn’t, but this cake has certainly changed my mind.  The recipe was so good I wouldn’t change a thing.

The dry ingredients are flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.


Combine the dry ingredients together.


We’re also going to need some butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and orange peel.  The original recipe used fresh orange zest, however in a pinch I use Penzey’s Orange Peel which is a great substitute.


How did I overlook that huge zucchini?


As it turned out I only needed half to make 2 cups.  I scooped out the inner seeds and using a hand grater with large holes to grate the 2 cups needed.


Soften 3/4 cup butter and place in a mixing bowl.


Add 2 cups sugar.


Beat together the butter and sugar until they are well combined.


Add the eggs, one at a time.  Beat well after each egg.


Starting to get creamy.


Once the eggs have all been blended into the butter sugar mixture, add the orange peel and vanilla.


Fold in the zucchini.


Time to add the dry ingredients, a little at a time.  Gently stir until all the dry ingredients have combined completely with the zucchini mixture.


I forgot the 1/2 cup milk.  It was supposed to be added alternately with the dry ingredients.  Oh well, it turned out okay in the end.


Spray a tube pan with cooking spray.


Pour the batter into the tube pan.


Spread the batter evenly throughout the pan.  Bake about 50 minutes in a 350 degree oven.


While the cake is in the oven, there’s plenty of time to make a glaze.  Start with 2 cups of powdered sugar.  I always sift it to get out any lumps.


Pour 3 tablespoon milk into the powdered sugar and whisk.


Whisk until it becomes a smooth glaze.


I tested it with a toothpick and it came out clean.  It’s ready to come out of the oven and cool for 15 – 20 minutes.


Once it’s had time to cool, turn it over on a plate and it should come out easily.


Start drizzling the glaze over the cake.  Be generous!


Keep going until you’ve covered that cake with glaze.  Make it pretty.


I only used half the glaze and saved the rest.  I found that everyone wanted to put a little glaze drizzle over their individual slices.





Chocolate Zucchini Cake  (adapted from Simply Recipes “Chocolate Zucchini Cake”)

2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Cocoa
2 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 1/2 sticks Butter, softened
2 cups Sugar
3 Eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla
2 teaspoons Orange Zest, or 3/4 teaspoon Penzey’s Orange Peel
2 cups grated Zucchini
1/2 cup Milk

Glaze

2 cups sifted Powdered Sugar
3 tablespoons Milk

Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Set aside.

Using a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until they are thoroughly blended.  Add the eggs to the mixture one at a time, beating well after each egg.  Using a wooden spoon, fold in the vanilla, orange peel, and zucchini to the mixture.

Add the dry ingredients alternately with the 1/2 cup milk to the zucchini mixture.  Blend well.

Pour the batter into a tube pan that has been greased with cooking spray.  Place into a 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes.  (Test with a wooden toothpick to see if it comes out clean.)  Cool in pan for 15 – 20 minutes.

Turn it over onto a plate and drizzle glaze over the cake.  Use as much glaze as needed.  Any leftover glaze can be used to drizzle the individual slices of cake.

Glaze

Combine 3 tablespoons of milk into 2 cups of powdered sugar.  Whisk until smooth.

Note:  Original recipe included 1 cup Walnuts or Pecans which I did not include in my recipe.