Tis the season to have more summer squash in your possession then you have friends on Facebook. If you haven’t grown your own bushel, someone has given you one. It’s inescapable. And why would you want to escape it, anyway? Zucchini, patty pan, crookneck — there’s nothing not to be happy about. Did you know that they’re called summer squash not because we eat them in summer but because of their short shelf life in comparison to their winter squash cousins? You know what else? They’re a fruit. You know what else? That’s all I got.
Well, I do have this. A recipe for chocolate zucchini cake with a pecan-chocolate chip topping. It was posted by Beau over at Something Edible a couple weeks ago and I immediately recognized it. My mom makes that cake! Except it’s a totally different cake, come to find out. Same topping, different cake. Dates vs. zucchini. But it’s not date season. No it isn’t. It’s summer squash season, so zucchini it is.
I’ve always liked zucchini in baked goods. And I’ve always especially liked chocolate chips and zucchini in baked goods. They seem like a good pair and this cake makes no exception of that statement. It’s dense, chocolaty and moist. (Isn’t that pretty much everyone’s least favorite word – moist?) (I tried to find a synonym but clammy is even worse. As is oozy.)
Like all great cakes this is a one bowl wonder. I used my Kitchen Aid because I am a lazy lazy person but any old way of creaming butter and sugar together will work out just fine. I halved the recipe and one large zucchini was plenty for 2 grated cups loosely packed. If you’re making the whole recipe, two or three zucchini should be plenty for the 4 cups needed. Which I bet you’re happy about. Happy about because you’ve temporarily lost your guest bedroom to zucchini storage. The more zucchini to meet the grater the better. I know, sweetheart, I know.
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
(Adapted from Something Edible)
The usual suspects:
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 cups grated zucchini, loosely packed
3/4 cup pecans roughly chopped
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350º.
Cream butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy (stand mixer, hand mixer, elbow grease…) Add eggs and vanilla and continue beating/whisking until creamy. Add salt, baking soda, and cocoa; continue whisking until incorporated. Slowly add in flour in thirds, stirring after each addition until fully incorporated. Fold in the grated zucchini. Pour into a greased 9×13″ dish and top with brown sugar, pecans and chocolate chips. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake. Keeps nicely covered at room temp for a few days.