When I first made the first edit of this recipe a couple of years ago, my younger son came to the kitchen (as he normally does when he gets a whiff of something baking) and asked what was in the oven. When I replied a lemon and zucchini loaf his response was a firm, "Yuk!"...but then, to his credit, he tried it, loved it and the recipe development has continued since then.
I don't know how I'm going to beat this latest adaptation though. By slightly modifying the old recipe, adding toasted pistachios and popping the lot in a bundt tin, this is pure veggie baking heaven!
Being the week of the zucchini, I wanted to show you how simple it is to include this versatile veggie in a sweet treat. It doesn't really add anything to the flavour of the cake however what it does do is work in combination with the olive oil to produce a super moist crumb that tastes even better the next day!
If you have a glutton of zucchinis, I encourage you to give this recipe a chance - it is simple to whip up, machinery-free, and you end up with something that is rather special and perfect for brunch, breakfast or for an afternoon tea.
As always, please tag @mummascountrykitchen if you make it as I simply adore seeing these recipes come to life in your kitchens!
Take care, happy baking!
Serves: 10 - 12
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 50 - 55 minutes
For the cake:
- 1 tablespoon demerara (or other coarse) sugar
- 2 1/2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cooking salt
- 1/4 cup pistachios, toasted and finely chopped
- 1 cup white caster sugar
- Zest of two lemons
- 1 cup light olive oil
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups zucchini, grated and loosely packed
For the glaze:
- 1 1/2 cups icing sugar mixture
- Zest of half a lemon
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons full cream milk
- 1/3 cup pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 160C. Generously spray a large bundt tin with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle over the demerara sugar, making sure to coat the middle spout of the tin well. Set aside.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium size bowl. Add the finely chopped pistachios, lightly whisk to combine, and set aside.
- Place the sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl. Whisk well to release the oils in the zest before slowly adding the olive oil, continuously whisking as you go. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking each one well before adding the next. Add the lemon juice, vanilla and almond extract and whisk until everything has been incorporated.
- Lightly fold in the zucchini before adding the flour mixture. As lightly as possible, fold the flour into the mixture just until the point where no floury streaks remain. Place the batter into the tin, lightly smooth the top and pop into the oven to bake for 50 - 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before inverting onto a wire rack to completely cool.
- Once the cake has cooled, make the glaze by sifting the icing sugar mixture into a medium bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until lovely and smooth.
- To assemble, place the cake on its serving tray. Pour over the glaze and sprinkle over the roughly chopped toasted pistachios. Allow the glaze to set for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.