Lock Your Doors!

zucchini cake web

My neighbor Jack, who read my recent rant about zucchini bashing, shared a zucchini anecdote with me the other day.
He was asked recently where he was living. When replied that he was in our small town of Hawley, he was told:
“Hawley’s a nice town. People don’t lock their doors there–except at this time of year. They’re afraid someone will come in and leave zucchini in the house.”
Here I try once more to redeem zucchini’s sinister reputation with a recipe.
Pam Matthews of Phillips, Maine, was one of my co-thespians (and friends) when she lived in western Massachusetts.
She sent me the moist, flavorful zucchini formula below. She says the recipe was originally meant to make zucchini bread, but she found it cakelike and decided to bake it in a Bundt pan instead of bread pans.
It makes a lovely coffee cake (or yes, sweet bread) on its own. You can also dress it up (as my young friend Maija did) with a little cream-cheese frosting. (The candy corn is not obligatory, although we had a lot of fun with it.)
Maija considers her candy placement.
Maija considers her candy placement.
Pam’s Zucchini Cake
1 cup canola oil (or 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup softened butter)
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I like these so I used a little extra)
1/2 cup raisins (ditto)
1/4 cup finely chopped pineapple (optional: this wasn’t in Pam’s recipe, but I had it in the house so I threw it in, and it worked)
3/4 cup shredded coconut (again you could use a little more; I LOVE COCONUT)
2 cups grated zucchini, drained in a dishtowel
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan.
Cream together the oil and sugar; then beat in the eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in the vanilla, followed by the cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda.
Stir in all but 1 tablespoon of the flour. Add that tablespoon of flour to the walnuts and raisins and mix well. Stir them into the batter, along with the pineapple (if you are using it) and the coconut. Fold in the zucchini.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake it until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 to 65 minutes. Serves 10 to 12.

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