I mentioned zucchini cake on social media last night, and several friends virtually perked up their ears. (I apparently pick my friends based on their good taste in food.) While I’ve inexplicably been on a pie kick this past year, when zucchini season rolls around, my thoughts turn to chocolate cake.
Strange, I know. But zucchini cake is one of my comfort foods, straight from my grandmother’s kitchen when I was a kid. Moist and delicious, chocolaty but not heavy, with itty-bitty threads of shredded zucchini poking out occasionally, it’s a great summer dessert. Traditionally paired at grandma’s house with mint chocolate chip ice cream in a square, bumpy, clear glass bowl and a glass of skim milk (which I hated when I was a kid, and still do), I recommend serving it warm for best ooey-gooey flavor.
Like the surface of the moon – only better.
The best part? Your kids will eat it. I promise. This cake has moved *fast* at summer block parties and moves even faster in my house. When I pulled it out of the oven last night and served small portions to my kids, they were gone in minutes. My son, who is not a big vegetable fan, proclaimed excitedly that he ‘can’t even taste the zucchini!’,* asked for seconds, and literally LICKED HIS LIPS when I handed him the second piece. I couldn’t make this up if I tried.
The other best part? Two cups of shredded zucchini go into each recipe. So if you’re under a zucchini avalanche this summer, shred to your heart’s content, throw it in two cup portions into the freezer, and make this recipe all year long.
Grandma Ferguson’s Chocolate Zucchini Cake**
1/2 cup butter
1/2 vegetable oil
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 sour milk (can add one tablespoon vinegar)
2 1/2 cups AP flour
4 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon clove (I usually just omit this and double the cinnamon)
2 cups finely diced or shredded zucchini
1/4-1/2 cup chocolate chips (I also use chocolate shavings)
Cream butter, oil, and sugar together, Add eggs. Beat; add vanilla. Alternating, add milk & dry ingredients. beat well. Stir in zucchini. Spoon into 9″x12″ greased and floured pan. Sprinkle top with chips. Bake at 325 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Test center with fork for doneness. Can be served warm or cool.
*It is a Jessica Seinfeld-esque recipe, but it predates her by at least twenty years.
**I’ve only ever seen this recipe on a handwritten card, but it’s conceivable that it came from a cookbook somewhere, so if you recognize it, please let me know so no one sues me.