We could all use a bright spot mid-March couldn’t we? Maybe it’s a nicer month where you are, but here in Montana, March is a rather dreary month for the most part. The snow starts to melt, yet we usually get a few more snow storms that make you think spring may never come.
Also everything is at it’s brownest/soggiest state each time the snow melts. And really at this point of winter, you’re just longing to see anything green. This year however I think I’d even be excited to see some soggy mud because it’s still a white frozen tundra around here, much less anything approaching green!
So I have some sunshine for you as well as a hint of green with this Lemon Zucchini Cake, if you’re like us and still patiently waiting for any hint of spring. Being lemon it’s predictably bright and zesty, and the zucchini makes it fantastically moist. Instead of going with the usual cinnamon that I love so much in baked goods with lemon, I branched out with cardamom and nutmeg with this cake.
This turned out to be an incredible combination. And if you don’t already have cardamom in your spice collection, I’d definitely encourage you to put it on your next shopping list.
Cardamom as well as nutmeg are always best freshly ground. For nutmeg I have a little grater that I freshly grate it with because I don’t use it very often. But with cardamom I’ve been using it so much I bought a jar of it already ground.
After you stir together the dry ingredients, you add the zucchini and stir just to coat the shreds.
Then you add the wet ingredients and stir just to combine.
Then you can pour it into a springform pan with a parchment lined bottom. Or if you don’t need to take the cake out of the pan, you can use glass baking dish.
And now let’s talk about the glaze for a minute. Coconut butter is a bit unreliable when it’s comes to making a glaze but it’s the best thing I’ve found to avoid powdered sugar glazes.
Glaze Tip: If you find your glaze is ‘seizing’ up like the above photo, don’t panic, you just need to keep adding a bit of liquid until it looks like the photo below.
You can use a spoon to drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake. But if you really like the way the lines look on this cake, I would suggest getting a squeeze bottle.
Squeeze bottles are generally cheap, (I got mine at our local restaurant supply for around $1) and they are awesome for decorating with glazes, melted chocolate. Also I love putting any kind of homemade flavored mayo in squeeze bottles, not only for the nice presentation, but it’s really convenient as well.Print
A bright tasting lightly spiced cake perfect for spring!
2 1/2 cups fine almond flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour/starch
2 Teaspoons baking powder, see notes
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1/2 Teaspoon sea salt
2 Tablespoons lemon zest, grated with a microplane
1 Teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini
1/2 cup honey, see notes
1/3 cup avocado oil
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 Teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup coconut butter, at room temperature
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tablespoons honey
Pinch of sea salt
2-4 Tablespoons water
Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line the bottom of a 9″ springform pan with parchment paper. Lightly oil the pan and the paper at the bottom, then set the pan aside.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix together the almond flour, tapioca, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, lemon zest, cardamom, and nutmeg until completely combined. Add the grated zucchini and mix just until the zucchini is coated by the flour mixture.
Add the eggs, honey, avocado oil, and vanilla and almond extracts. Mix just to combine and pour the cake batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 20 minutes, then cover the top of the cake with a small piece of foil creating a tent. Continue to cook for another 35-40 minutes, (for a total of 55-60 minutes) or until the cake is puffed in the middle and a toothpick inserted comes out with just moist crumbs.
Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Then carefully loosen the sides of the cake with a butter knife and remove the side of the springform pan.
For the frosting, melt the coconut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. When the coconut butter is melted, whisk in the lemon juice, honey, sea salt, and 2 tablespoons of the water. Don’t worry if the frosting breaks or seizes up, just whisk in a bit more water until it’s smooth again, (refer to the photo in the post). Drizzle the frosting over the cake using a spoon, or place it into a squeeze bottle if you’d like nice clean lines across the cake.
From here you can serve it off the bottom of the springform pan, or using 2 or more spatulas carefully slide them under the parchment paper of the cooled cake, and transfer it to a cake stand. It’s best not to move the cake before it’s completely cooled unless you have 2 people and several spatulas (I’ve used 4) under every single part of the cake as it’s not sturdy enough to transfer when hot or warm. This cake keeps well at room temperature for 3 days.
Baking powder can have all sorts of additives, and isn’t always gluten free or paleo. To be safe, you can make your own by mixing together 1 part baking soda to 2 parts cream of tartar, and use the mixture right away.
If your honey isn’t liquid, heat it over low heat just enough to liquify it, but don’t let it get hot.
Keywords: Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo