Chocolate zucchini cake: It’s outrageous!

Sometime around the advent of cool fonts and colour printing, my mom brought home a recipe for something called “Outrageous Zucchini Cake,” and the recipe was fantastic (cinnamon! Chocolate! A fat-free variation!) but hand-written (by whom? I still don’t know) so I typed it up in magenta and cyan with MS Word’s “Party” font and thus the recipe was saved for a decade or more in a tattered binder that lives in my parents’ kitchen. It looked so pretty. It still sort of does. Which is why I absconded with it this past weekend.

The cake it produced was delicious, but I forgot about it because I moved out and didn’t take a copy with me, because even then I suspected that making and eating cakes all on my own would turn out to be a bad idea, fat-free variation or not.

I still remember how fat-free was appealing at 17. It is less so at 27.

I’ve revised the recipe, and it’s now somewhere in between really fattening and fat-free – that sane middle ground at which a cake can almost pass for healthy. Also I now rationalize my cake-baking by telling myself that there’s two of us now. I pretend as if Nick ever eats more than a single slice of cake, and it’s a lie I can live with.

“Outrageous” zucchini cake

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose or whole-wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate or chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F, and grease a 9″x13″ baking pan.

Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, yogurt, vanilla, and zucchini, and beat until thoroughly combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir dry mixture into wet mixture, stirring to moisten.

Pour batter into baking pan, spreading batter to the edges and corners of the pan. Sprinkle evenly with chopped chocolate or chocolate chips, and bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Serve warm, with a tall glass of cold milk.

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