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Zucchini Cake with Lime Cream Cheese Frosting

Posted By Nicole On September 1, 2010 @ 3:57 pm In Cakes,Cakes - Frosting,Recipes | 20 Comments

Zucchini and Lime Cake

Zucchini is great for baking because it can add a whole lot of moisture to a baked good. It can show up in cakes and quickbreads, just as carrots can. It is often paired with chocolate and over time I’ve noticed why: green is not a color that blends into a cake that easily (nor is it one that you expect to see in a cake) and chocolate can easily disguise it. Zucchini doesn’t add much flavor to a cake – again, like carrots in a cake – so there really is no need to hide its color if you don’t mind it. I don’t mind it at all, and you can see plenty of zucchini in this Zucchini and Lime Cake with Lime Cream Cheese Frosting.

This sheet cake uses up a lot of zucchini. Depending on what size your squash are, you should be able to fit in about 4 or 5 of them – which is quite a feat during zucchini season! The cake is ultra-moist and tender, and while you can see all those little green flecks in the cake, the hint of lime flavor both in the cake and in the frosting makes you think of lime, not just of zucchini, when you see them. The cake uses melted butter and can be mixed up in one bowl.

I cooled my cake right in the pan and put the frosting in a nice, thick layer on top. The sweet cream cheese frosting goes amazingly well with the moist, not-too-sweet cake and everything is tied together with the lime. Be sure to use fresh lime juice in the frosting, as that is what will bring in the most dramatic source of lime flavor and you want it to be bright. This is a great cake for making at home and muching your way through on a lazy, end-of-summer weekend, but it is the kind of cake that would also be a big hit at a barbecue or potluck if you want to serve a crowd. And, just like carrot cake again, you can always tell yourself that you’re getting an extra serving of veggies when you reach for that second slice.

Zucchini Cake with Lime Cream Cheese Frosting
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lime zest
4-oz (approx. 1/3 cup) unsweetened applesauce
3-4 cups shredded zucchini (4-5 medium)

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-in baking pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, eggs, melted butter, vanilla, lime zest and applesauce until very smooth. Stir in flour mixture and mix only until just combined, with no streaks of flour remaining. Stir in shredded zucchini.
Pour batter into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
Bake for 28-31 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached.
Cool cake on wire rack (cake can be cooled in the pan).
Frost top of cake (not sides) once it is completely cooled.

Serves 20

Lower Fat Lime Cream Cheese Frosting
8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 cups marshmallow creme (7-oz)
1 tbsp lime zest
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Spread on cooled cake.

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