In the last two weeks I have made this cake twice. First for calçotada, which is an annual Catalan feast celebrating the harvest of calçot – a type of green onion that is usually grilled and then dipped in romesco sauce. Having so many Catalan friends in London has resulted in us organising a BBQ for this in mid February which I am sure has caused many neighbours to raise their eyebrows in surprise. Especially considering the way you eat the calçots.
I’m usually in charge of the dessert at this event and this year I decided to make a zucchini and cream cheese cake inspired by recipe from Marina Neri’s book “Cakes”. This cake turned out yummy on the first attempt as it is very easy to make, but I was not completely satisfied with how the frosting turned out then. So I made some adjustments to the recipe and made it for the second time last weekend. This time the frosting turned out perfectly light and creamy and everyone agreed that it is definitely one of the tastiest cakes I have made lately.
ZUCCHINI CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
250g butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
300g zucchini, grated
150g walnuts, chopped
360g cream cheese
150g softened butter
7-8 tablespoons sugar
Grated peel of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
Walnuts for decorating (optional)
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease three 20 cm cake pans.
- In a bowl mix flour with cinnamon, baking powder, soda and salt.
- Separately in a large bowl beat butter, sugar and vanilla into a light cream. Add eggs one at a time mixing after each addition.
- Gradually mix in the flour mix.
- Fold in zucchini and walnuts.
- Divide between the three cake pans and bake each for 20-25 minutes or until the toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- Cool in the pan for 10 min and then transfer to the cooling rack to allow to cool completely.
For the frosting:
- Beat together butter and sugar until light and creamy. Mix in cream cheese, lemon juice and the lemon peel. Beat for further 2-3 minutes.
- When the cake has cooled completely spread the frosting between each of the layers and cover the top and sides. Decorate the cake with walnuts or any other nuts if preferred.