Sweetie’s Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Sweetie's Chocolate Zucchini CakeHi, sweetie pies! I hope you are all enjoying your weekend. Mine has been pretty laid back, but nice, so far. We have had a very mild summer up until now, and I think the month of August is going to be a hot one. I’ve been kicking it with the A/C as much as possible and laying low. It has been a perfect opportunity for me to spend some time in the kitchen.

My mom and I were talking on the phone the other day, and she mentioned that my dad had brought in a few “baseball bats” from the garden patch. The meaning of that statement was immediately clear– baseball bats are oversize summertime zucchinis! She was trying to figure out to do with them, and we laughed about one of our favorite ways to enjoy zucchini– in chocolate cake. ๐Ÿ™‚ There is an old zucchini cake recipe that we used to enjoy that was pretty decadent. I started to wonder if I could get the same yummy result with a few tweaks. I love revamping an old recipe to fit the way I prefer to cook now. I am especially happy when I get a result that I deem to be just as good as the original. I’m happy to report that such was the case with this recipe. Mom, here you go– If you make it, let me know what you think!

Mmmm...Sweetie’s Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup apple sauce

1/4 cup egg beaters (or 1 egg)

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup plain fat free Greek yogurt

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup grated zucchini

2 1/2 Tbsp. chopped pecans (or other nuts)

1/4 cup chocolate chips (I used mini chips, but any chips would work just fine. The minis just go further.)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9×9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract. Add the applesauce, Greek yogurt, and egg beaters and continue to beat the mixture until the ingredients are thoroughly combined (about two minutes). You can’t overwork this part of the mixture so don’t worry about just letting the mixer run for a bit.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, soda, salt and cinnamon. Add the dry mixture to the mixing bowl, and beat just until the dry ingredients are moistened and the mixture looks smooth.ย 

Using a spatula, fold in the grated zucchini. I used the small holes on my grater to make finer shreds of zucchini. Pour the batter into the baking pan.

Sprinkle the nuts and the chocolate chips on top of the mixture, and bake for 40-45 minutes. When it is done, the center should spring back when you touch it with your finger. Just be careful, and don’t try to touch your finger to the hot, melted chocolate chips. Not that I did that myself. Nope. I would never do something silly like that. ๐Ÿ™‚

This makes 9 to 12 servings, depending on how hungry you are for cake!ย 

Being the farmer’s market junkie that I am, I was so excited to see a new vendor a couple of weeks ago. They had whole wheat flour for sale. Of course, I had to support my local economy by buying a bag. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Local GoldI’m happy to have this bag of beautiful flour in the fridge. The Greek yogurt and the zucchini in this cake came from the market as well. My zucchini was on the plump side, but it was no baseball bat!

Zuke. E. KneeThe zucchini adds a lovely moistness to this cake, and it becomes virtually invisible (unless you know to look for a few flecks of green) in the finished product.

I swear, it's in there!See… it’s in there!

Sprinkles of GreenI substituted applesauce for the oil called for in my original recipe, and I will admit that the applesauce sub was the switch that concerned me the most. I feel like I’ve tried that trick before only to end up with overly dense and sort of gummy baked goods. That is no bueno in my book. I don’t know if the Greek yogurt somehow balanced it out (which wouldn’t be surprising since GY is my kitchen superstar), but I didn’t find this cake to be overly dense at all. In fact, it had nice crumbs, was lovely and moist but was rather light and fluffy as well. Just the way I like it! Check out the side view. Do you see any green (aside from the plate)? Subtle, right?

YUM!When I woke up this morning, I realized that the thing I really wanted for breakfast was… yes… you guessed it… a piece of this cake! It seemed perfect for a Sunday morning, and I savored it along with my yummy cup of coffee. Maybe I should make some in muffin form…? They would certainly be similar to the cake like muffins for sale at Starbucks.

I’m finding that one of the amazing things about intuitive eating is the fact that, if I have what I really want, it often doesn’t take a lot of it to satisfy me. If I’m satisfied, I’m not going to go rooting through the kitchen looking for something more (or trying my hardest NOT to do that). For example, I’ve realized that I prefer my morning coffee to have a little bit of half and half mixed with unsweetened almond breeze. The flavor is so rich and satisfying that I’m completely satisfied with one cup.ย I’m really learning a lot from this new approach to eating, and it gets a bit better each day. I’m not just eating cake all day long, but it’s nice to enjoy my cake without feeling guilty and like I’m cheating on my plan.ย 

Speaking of the cake, I made this cake last night, and shared it with a friend, Mr. T, who came over for dinner. The dinner I made last night was not enormous, but I was very happy at the end of the meal because the ingredients were good quality, very fresh and cooked the way I liked them.ย In addition to testing out this new version of the cake recipe, we also tried out Emeril’s Steak Rub. I received a package in the mail the other day, from the Foodbuzz tastemaker program, and it had several of Emeril’s products for me to try out. So far, I’ve used a couple of them, but I’m planning to tell you about all of them in one big Emerilicious post. Stay tuned for that! I already have plans for the other two items, so I expect to post about them very soon. By the way, Mr. T seemed to enjoy the cake. Good thing since I sent a big chunk home with him. ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

Now, I’m going to brave a Sunday afternoon trip to Trader Joe’s. I haven’t been in awhile, and I can’t wait to see what I find. Unlike Whole Foods, Safeway and Giant, I have to actually drive to Trader Joe’s. As a result, I probably only go to Trader Joe’s once every couple of months. That may seem funny, since it is probably only a ten minute drive, but I love living in a place where I can walk to do errands, and I try to stick to that as much as possible. I love getting a little bit of bonus exercise, and I know that leaving my car at home is better for the environment too. Can you walk/bike to run errands where you live? Do you?

Growing up in the country with no sidewalks and not a lot of stores, walking or biking to run errands wasn’t much of an option. We often hopped in the car to go “to town” to get groceries at Kroger, Piggly Wiggly, Save-a-lot and, later on, the Wal-mart supercenter. The post office was really about the only thing within walking distance. Walking to run errands is one of my favorite things about the place I live now. TJ’s is always super crowded on Sunday, but the fun stuff I find usually makes getting in the car a worthwhile venture. Wish me luck!

Ciao for now, sweeties and I hope you all have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

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15 Comments

Filed under Baking, Cake, Chocolate, Farmer's Market, Food, Greek Yogurt, Intuitive Eating, Recipes, Weight Loss Success Story, Zucchini

15 responses to “Sweetie’s Chocolate Zucchini Cake

  1. Looks fantastic! thanks for the recipe!

  2. I would never have guessed that zucchini was one of the flavours in this cake! Interesting twist… I didn’t even know you could use them in something sweet! Now I gotta try this!

  3. debby

    Yumm yumm!!! I love zucchini cake, and this recipe looks decadent, but worthy! Of course, I love the chocolate chips and nuts on the top of the cake.

    Ha! I can’t bike or walk anywhere that has groceries. Well, I guess I could go to the little store in Pine Grove (and I have,) but I do all my grocery shopping in town, about 20 minutes from home. And I go to Trader Joe’s after work, because it is an hour and a half from home, and no way am I driving that far on a day off.

  4. Mmm I love chocolate zucchini cake! My aunt makes a mean one!

    I suppose we have the ability to walk/bike to a limited number of errands, but it’s just not a great situation with the sidewalks and paths. It just stops in some areas, causing side of the road travel, and some parts of the sidewalk are pretty torn up with pot holes, etc. so I drive to everything.

  5. This cake looks delicious & moist! By the way, I like to walk (especially in spring & summer) to do errands like the post office, returning stuff to the library & doing a little grocery shopping — great for exercise & to enjoy nature =)

  6. That cake sounds great! Unfortunately where I live it would be next to impossible to walk/bike to do my errands like grocery shopping. I wish I could though!

  7. What?! This is SO COOL! I love the progress pictures, because otherwise I wouldn’t have believed that there is actually zucchini in that lovely chocolate cake! I am definitely saving this to make soon. I won’t tell the hubby what’s in it until after he falls in love ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. maggieapril

    That cake looks awesome!!

  9. holy crap! that cake looks amazing!!! love it!! i opened the page and started drooling lol

  10. i’ve never even thought of making zucchini cake before, but this looks really good

  11. I’ve been finding the same thing–when I eat food that really satisfies me, I don’t have the urge to gorge.

  12. That chocolate zucchini cake is to die for! I am still tweaking my recipe, but I may steal parts of yours! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Before we moved to where we live now, you could walk anywhere, plenty of public transportation – now we have to “hop in the car” to get anywhere – it took my daughter a long time to get used to it, and was glad when she got her own car so she could go where she wanted!

  13. I am unable to walk to local grocery store or much –too many up and down hills.

    However, in big stores I walk instead of riding scooters like I once did before my knee surgeries.

    Maybe I’ll try this recipe with the huge zucchini still stareing at me when I returned from vacation.

  14. Oh, is this interesting! I’ve heard time and time again that chocolate and zucchini go well together and I’m so tempted to try it! What a great way to sneak some extra nutrition in!

    As for where I live, I can walk to my local library and grocery store, though I don’t because of the hills (I live in a super hilly city!). I plan to change that, though, because it’s a nice way to get extra exercise and enjoy the neighborhood.

  15. Yes, there are bike lanes in a many parts of my city (San Jose, CA), but I’m too scared of being hit by a a speeding car to actually go on them. We have 3 lane roads where drivers are going 60mph, and cars are suppose to share the road with cyclist. I wish the city had more bike paths that aren’t shared with cars.

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