Sunday, July 8, 2012

Zucchini Cake with Lemon Curd and Ginger-Coconut Buttercream Frosting

In Ithaca, there's a running joke about the over-abundance of zucchini that comes around each summer. It goes:

Why should you always close your car windows in Ithaca in the summer?
Because if you leave them open people will fill your car with zucchini!

Har har har. Okay, so that's probably not actually what would happen, but it would be pretty funny. Either way, summer 'round here means more squash than a person knows what to do with!

So naturally, what else to do but bake a cake? :)

This cake is delicious, packs in a whoppin' 4 cups of grated zucchini (that was only about three of ours, sadly. MUST USE MORE ZUCCHINI!). It's also accented with the wonderfully summery, rich and refreshing flavors of lemon and coconut, and (of course) some zingy ginger to spice things up!

Okay, so ours was a little messy. BUT SO DELICIOUS.
It may seem a little involved, but I promise you that it is entirely worth it. :)

Zucchini Cake with Lemon Curd and Ginger-Coconut Buttercream Frosting
adapted from Fragrant Vanilla Cake blog

4 cups grated zucchini
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

3 cups whole wheat pastry or all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp nutmeg

1. Preheat your oven to 375 F. Grease and flour your pans - we used two large rectangular Pyrex baking pans - but four circular or square ones would be ideal.

2. Grate yer zucchini! Then add in the coconut milk, lemon juice, sugar, oil, and vanilla and mix well.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices).

4. Mix together the wet and dry ingredients. Divide the batter evenly between the baking pans and bake for about 30 - 40 minutes, or until the edges are a just a little brown and the top is firm and a toothpick comes out clean... you know the drill!

5. Let it cool!

While the cake was in the oven, I got started preparing the lemon curd. I made it using this recipe from vegansaurus. Yum!

1/2 cup COLD water
4 Tbsp cornstarch
1 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
zest of 2 lemons

1/3 cup soymilk

1. In a small saucepan, dissolve the cornstarch in the water. Add in the lemon juice, sugar, salt, and lemon zest and mix until combined.

2. Whisking often/continuously, cook the mixture over medium heat until it comes to a full boil (~10 minutes). Let it boil for a minute without whisking, and then remove from heat.

3. Stir in the soymilk, and let cool!

Once you've done that... it's frosting time! We ended up winging this one a bit because we were missing some ingredients... and were glad we did!

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup coconut oil
~2 Tbsp ginger syrup (made in this blarg post! optional, but totally delicious)
1 - 3 Tbsp soymilk

Just beat together the sugar, shortening, oil, and ginger, then add ginger syrup and soymilk until the mixture comes to a frosting like consistency. Careful not to add too much!

Once the cake has cooled, and the lemon curd as cooled (LET 'EM COOL!), remove the cake from the pans and spread a hearty amount of lemon curd between each layer.

Stack 'em up (we went four layers high!), and then cover the outside with generous helping of frosting (spread carefully!).

Decorate it with something pretty, marvel at it, get your friends to marvel at it with you, slice it up... and enjoy! Ours got completely devoured at a 4th of July potluck. :)


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