Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Zucchini and Pecan Cake

Ruth from Makey-Cakey was our March 2013 Daring Bakers’ challenge host. She encouraged us all to get experimental in the kitchen and sneak some hidden veggies into our baking, with surprising and delicious results!

The challenge was supposed to be a wonderful opportunity for young mothers to make their children eat veggies in a form of a dessert. For me, however, it provided a great opportunity to feed my husband!

He is not a great fan of vegetables but he definitely has a sweet tooth (well, who doesn’t?) Ironically, once I’ve made a vegetable-based dessert. It was a cauliflower and white chocolate ice cream (by Matt Moran from one of Masterchef Australia master classes). My husband refused to try it when he learnt what it was made of. But when I finally convinced him into trying it, he was amazed and confessed that it was really yummy.

So, as I’ve chosen to make a zucchini cake for this month challenge, I made up my mind to keep the list of ingredients in secret. I presented the dessert as just “another cake”. And my husband was absolutely happy to have it. He enjoyed every single piece of it – and was quite shocked afterwards, when I revealed the secret ingredient of the cake.

I loved the cake myself as well. It was super moist due to zucchini and had a nice spicy note. I’ve a made a sour cream frosting – not an American-style one with lots of icing sugar (which I find to be way too sweat) but a Russian-like (more creamy and less sweat). The cake couldn’t have a better frosting and – topped with the nuts – served as a healthy and amazing dessert.
Yum, yum, yum!

Recipe from Delicious magazine, adapted


200 gm plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
2/3 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
200 gm caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
2 eggs
2/3 cup sunflower oil
200 gm grated zucchini
60 gm dried apricots
100 gm pecans, chopped
1 tbsp orange zest

200 gm sour cream
3 tbsp castor sugar
Pecan halves


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 20 cm cake pan.
2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and sugar till light and creamy, gradually add oil and vanilla/ Add the flour mixture and beat till well combined. Fold in the grated zucchini together with the apricots, walnuts and orange zest.
3. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 1–1 1/4 hours until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
4. Meanwhile, for the icing, beat sour cream with the caster sugar till creamy.
5. Remove cake from pan and decorate with icing and pecan halves.


  1. This looks really fantastic - pecan and zucchini sounds like a delicious combination, and your presentation is so elegant! Thanks so much for taking part this month :-) Rx

  2. Awesome job! Your cake looks so professional and beautiful! Zucchini is a great veggie to "hide" in baked ingredients as it blends itself into the flavors you add really well!


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