Last spring the Sunday Slow Bakers worked their way through some recipes in Dolce Italiano by fellow slow traveler Gina De Palma. Paul and I were in Italy at the time so we missed the zucchini olive oil cake. We finally got around to correcting that a few weeks back. Dear lord - why, oh why, did we wait?
This cake cake is made with olive oil, a very healthy fat. It is moist with lots of fresh squash and an amazing crunchy lemony glaze on top. It mixes together in a snap. I generally don't like nuts in cakes but decided to leave the walnuts in - I'm glad that I did because they provided a delicious crunch!
I've whipped it together twice now and it is amazing how quickly it vanishes! LOL
If you still have a glut of zucchini in the garden you'll want to check this out.
Zucchini Olive Oil Cake with Lemon Crunch Glaze
1 cup (75 g) walnut pieces, toasted
2 cups (240 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 large eggs
1-3/4 cup (306 g) granulated sugar
1 cup (237 mil) extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups (438 g) grated zucchini (about 2 small zucchini)
confectioners sugar, for dusting (optional -I've never tried this)
1/4 cup (59 mil) fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup (58 g) granulated sugar
1 cup (130 g) confectioners sugar
CAKE: Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350º F/175º C.
In the medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside.
In the bowl of the stand mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, and olive oil together on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and beat in the vanilla extract.
Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined, then increase speed to medium and mix for 30 seconds.
Stir in the zucchini and walnut pieces until completely incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Rotate the cake halfway through baking to ensure even browning. Tester should come out clean and the cake edges should start to pull away from the sides of the pan.
GLAZE: Make the glaze while the cake is baking. In a medium bowl, whisk the lemon juice and granulated sugar, then whisk in the confectioners sugar until the glaze is smooth. Strain any lumps as necessary.
Remove the baked cake from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Place the wire rack over a piece of wax paper and invert the cake onto the rack. Use a pastry brush to brush the glaze all over the hot cake. It will stick to the cake and set as the cake cools, leaving a nice crunchy surface. Allow the cake to cool completely and the glaze to dry completely. OPTIONAL: You may dust the cake with confections sugar before serving.
Wrap cake in plastic to store and use within 2 days.