Hello lovely readers – you’ve just stumbled upon my very first post (whoohoo)! And what better way to launch a blog than with something entirely food-related and downright delicious. First off I would like to make one thing clear – I am not a “baker” by any stretch of the imagination. But I’m working on it! When it comes to embarking on new recipe ideas I get a little too excited and rush the process a bit in order to seek and taste the finished product. And with this recipe (and many others that particularly involve baking cakes), I’ve learned that slow and steady definitely wins the race. So to all of you awesome bakers out there, I commend you! It’s surely a wonderful and fascinating skill that is not easy to acquire.
Initially I envisioned a much “neater” presentation, but the ooey-gooey-ness that emerged from my first giddy attempt at a blueberry/zucchini infused cake…well, I can’t really complain. The little juicy bursts of warm berry goodness as you take your first bite combined with the tartness (and oh how I love anything tart) of the lemony buttercream frosting…it was pure delight! And the cake was moist…MOIST, I tell you! I cannot stress enough how surprised I was to have actually achieved a moist cake. This is rarely the case.
You can find the recipe below. Enjoy and indulge! And if you do try this out, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
What you’ll need:
For the cake
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups white sugar
- 2 cups finely shredded and drained zucchini
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 pint fresh blueberries (reserve about 1 cup for the garnish)
For the lemon buttercream
- 1 cup softened butter, at room temperature for 2 hours is best
- 3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 lemon, juiced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
For the blueberry garnish
- 1 cup of fresh blueberries
- 1 teaspoon of white sugar
- 1 teaspoon of corn starch
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans (greased and floured).
- Grate one large zucchini (or two small ones) and place in a clean cheesecloth or dish towel. Squeeze firmly until most of the liquid drains out. Ideally, you should have 2 total cups of shredded zucchini after it has been drained. Set aside.
- In a large bowl and using a hand mixer, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar. Then, fold in the zucchini.
- Slowly add in the flour, salt and baking powder. Gently fold in the blueberries.
- Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans.
- Bake 35-40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool them about 20 minutes in pans, then remove them from pans and onto wire racks to cool completely.
* I learned through trial and error, but the key to smooth buttercream is a little patience and warm, loving care!
- Using a mixer, toss in the softened butter (For best results, I’d recommend keeping the butter in room temperature for about 2 hours).
- Beat the butter, under medium speed for 8 minutes, by itself until very light and creamy.
- While it’s beating, sift the confectioners sugar in a separate bowl (you want to create a light and airy effect to the sugar before incorporating into the butter).
- Using a tablespoon, begin adding the sugar to the mixer whilst it’s continuously beating under medium-high speed. Remember, slow and steady!
- Add a pinch of salt.
- Add lemon juice and vanilla extract and continue to beat for another 3 to 5 minutes or until creamy and well incorporated (using a spatula, you may have to push down any excess powdered sugar that collects around the sides of the bowl into the cream and continue to mix).
Now the best part of it all…prettifying your cake!
- Using a large cake dish with generous spacing along the borders, take your first cake layer (ensuring that it’s fully cooled) and begin spreading the buttercream along the top.
- Place the second cake layer on top and spread the rest of the buttercream along the top and around the sides of the cakes.
- Take your reserved cup of blueberries and pop them into the microwave for about 40 seconds. You want them warm, slightly gooey but NOT fully melted.
- Add the sugar and cornstarch into the blueberries and stir until it thickens.
- Pour them slowly onto the center of the cake. The gooey blueberries will run down along the sides of the cake, so I’d recommend a large enough cake dish or platter to give way for some blueberry pooling along the bottom edges. I didn’t do that so some escaped onto the table, nonetheless, still a lovely sight to be seen.
- Serve immediately and devour!
Alternatively, you can top the cake with simple fresh blueberries for a cleaner presentation. I’ll be trying that out on the next round! There will be a next round.