Spiced with Cinnamon and Nutmeg
Good old sunshine is back again after many days of rain and grey sky. Yesterday’s weather was so good (all my windows were open) and we had a nice, steady breeze throughout the day and night. Today it’s hot. No more open windows or breezy moments.
I have just been wondering why Zucchini (courgette) is such a multipurpose vegetable. Ever thought about this? It’s one of those vegetables that can be boiled or steamed, grilled or barbequed, used in stuffing, baked in cakes and muffins, used in soups and stews, fried or just eaten raw. And did you know, it’s harvested whilst still immature; otherwise it can grow up to 1m long! What would you do with a one metre long and fibrous Zucchini?
Today, I want to share a recipe for Zucchini Apple Apricot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. I added some dried apricots to it and spiced it with cinnamon and nutmeg. The cake tasted very nice. I think you have to try it to completely get what I mean. If you ever find time to try it, please give me a feedback and if not just enjoy the cake and let others know how well it tasted! Hope you enjoy eating the cake!
Zucchini Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Preparation time: 25 minutes; Baking time: 45 minutes; Serves 8-10 large slices
- 125g (1 cups, 4½oz) all-purpose flour
- 100g (¾cup, 3½oz) whole-wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt (if using unsalted butter)
- 125g (½ cup, 4½oz, 1 stick + 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter
- 150g (⅔ cup, 5½oz) sugar
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lime or lemon zest (rind)
- 1 teaspoon lemon essence (extract)
- 2 large eggs
- 130g (1 cup, 4½oz)) grated zucchini (courgette), water squeezed out
- 70g (1 cup, 2½oz) grated apple or one medium apple grated
- 30g (¼ cup), dried apricots, finely chopped
- 90ml (⅓ cup, 3floz) buttermilk
FROSTING (please note: I used only half of this recipe to frost the top of the cake)
- 60g (½ cup, 2oz) finely chopped dried apricots
- 180ml (¾ cup, 6floz) water
- 250g (9oz) cream cheese softened
- 1 cup (150g) confectioners (icing sugar)
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 360°F (180°C, Gas 4). Grease and line a 9” (23cm) square baking pan with parchment (greaseproof) paper.
- Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda (bicarbonate of soda), cinnamon, nutmeg and salt (if using) into a bowl.
- Beat butter, sugar, lemon or lime zest (rind) and essence with an electric mixer until flight and fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating until blended.
- Stir half sifted flour, alternately with the buttermilk and then the rest alternating with buttermilk. Fold in zucchini apples and apricots. Spoon the batter into pan and bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake come out clean. Leave to stand 10 minutes before transferring onto wire rack to cool.
- To prepare frosting simmer apricots and water over low heat until apricots are soft. Set aside to cool. Beat the cream cheese, apricot mixture and lemon juice in a large bowl. Stir in confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar). Spread the frosting on the cake.
- **I weigh the flour and butter, I do not use cup measures as the weight of a cup of flour tends to vary based on individual interpretation or publication, (from 125g to 130g to 155g per cup).
- Cup measures based on 1 cup = 125g flour so that would be the US cup of 240ml, not the Australian Cup.
Points to Note:
- Please note that oven temperatures are given as a guideline only. You may need to add or reduce the suggested temperature depending on your oven. I baked the cake at 360°F (180°C) for 40 minutes.
- I always weigh ingredients, especially the flour and butter. You can use cup measures, but please note if you scoop flour directly from the bag you will end up with 150-185 g of flour instead of the recommended 125g. I suggest you spoon the flour into the cup, heaping it up over the top, then slide a knife across the top to level off the extra. Be careful not to shake or tap the cup to settle down the flour or you will have more than you need. You can also sift the flour first then scoop. My best advice: please use a weighing scale