An Open Cookbook

An Open Cookbook


Chocolate Maple Zucchini Cake

Pull out the party hats because today is a day to celebrate.  The monthly Recipe Swap group is celebrating it's 1 year birthday.  Just one year ago, Christianna of Burwell General Store created this special monthly swap including recipes from her vintage cookbook with a few fellow bloggers.  It was such a success that she started adding more people to the mix as the year progressed.  I was extremely fortunate to meet her at the BlogHer conference in May and feel so blessed to be included in such a great group.  So this month we are recreating a Maple Cake as a our birthday cake recipe:

I have always treated birthdays as a time to reflect on the past year and to make plans for the upcoming year.  And lucky for me, I just celebrated my actual birthday too.  So I have been doing a lot of thinking in the past few weeks.  The girls at work had a lovely party for my on my birthday.  R introduced me to the idea of chocolate zucchini cake.  I mean...brilliant concept...shredded zucchini, whole wheat flour and chocolate chips.  It is basically unhealthy not to eat it.  So it was synchronicity when our recipe swap's theme was birthday cake and maple influenced.  So I thought, why not combine R's chocolate cake and sweeten it with maple syrup.  It was one of those times in life where everything fell into place and made perfect sense.

Joining the recipe swap group has been a gigantic life enhancement.  First and foremost, meeting dozens of fellow food bloggers in person and online has added a comforting dimension to my life.  It is so nice to have a forum of creative people to bounce off ideas, compare notes and look up to.  It is especially great that we are sprinkled all over the world adding so many different perspectives to the group.  It is so interesting to see how we all spin off of the original recipe.  Many life lessons have been added to my repertoire.  We all get the same original recipe, and we each interpret it completely differently.  'Variety is the spice of life' has a whole new meaning now.  And everyone's story to go along with the interpretation is so meaningful and special.  It really has made me appreciate our diverse lives.

The other major aspect of the recipe swap group that has changed my life is that it has forced me to step outside of my boundaries to try new things.  The rabbit recipe really helped my stretch out of my norm.  I would have probably never gone to a butcher and asked for '1 chopped rabbit please' if it hadn't been for the recipe swap group.  I was so nervous...but ended up feeling so unexpectedly empowered afterwards.  So I thank you, Christianna.  From the bottom of my heart, I thank you and our whole group for the support, encouragement and creative spirit you have all added to my life.  Cheers to our Recipe Swap many many more years of sharing.  Check out the links below for everyone else's interpretation of the Maple Cake:

Chocolate Maple Zucchini Cake
Yields 9-12 servings (depending on how you cut the cake)
Adapted from R's recipe

This is one of those secretly healthy cakes with the addition of zucchini, apples and whole wheat pastry flour.  I have a plethora of apples in my fruit basket, so thought it would be a nice addition to the cake.  But if you prefer to just use only zucchini, swap out the apple and replace it with 1/2 cup of more zucchini.  The original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups sugar, which I replaced with only 1/2 cup maple syrup.  This cake is definitely on the less sweet side, so add more maple syrup if you are so inclined.  You can also experiment with different flours.  Oat flour would have added a nice dimension.  So go wild with your is a celebration after all.

1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup safflower (or canola) oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup shredded apple
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Sift the flours, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.  In a separate large bowl, cream the butter, oil and maple syrup until fluffy and well combined.  The butter will be a little chunky at this point, probably because it is maple syrup and not sugar.  This is fine, it will still cook the same.  One by one add in the eggs and whisk.  Drizzle in the vanilla and whisk until combined.

Pour about 1/3rd of the dry mixture and a few spoonfuls of the yogurt into the liquid mixture.  Stir well.  Continue with this method until all the dry ingredients and yogurt are all used.  Add in the zucchini and apple.  Mix until everything is fully integrated.

Pour the batter into a parchment lined (or greased) 9 x 9 pan.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Carefully pull out the pan, and sprinkle with chocolate chips.  Place on top of a baking sheet in case a random chip jumps off.  Place back in the oven for 25 more minutes or until fully cooked.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Slice a nice square piece and enjoy with a cup of coffee or glass of wine.


Alex said...

Happy belated birthday!! I have wanted to try something with chocolate and zucchini and this might fit the bill. those chocolate chips look so yummy!

Barbara | Creative Culinary said...

I've wanted to try mixing the too as well. I've long made lots of zucchini breads but for some reason the addition of chocolate has alluded me. Sounds delish!

Boulder Locavore said...

Alli, what a lovely post and what a fantastic addition you've been to the swap. Love this cake. It really stays true to the vintage recipe and is a perfect 1 year tribute. Love the birthday cup in the photo too! So glad we are in this together.

PolaM said...

That cake looks great! You managed to make zucchini into a decadent treat! Great job!

Rachel said...

Ahhh, a cake with all the good stuff! You weren't shy with the chocolate chips on top and I totally approve : )
It's fun to read about others' experiences with this year of recipe swapping. Thanks for sharing!

Jacqueline - The Dusty Baker said...

Happy Double Birthday! I agree that it would be totally UNhealthy NOT to eat a cake such as this. And that said, it's going on my to-do list because I am nothing if NOT HEALTHY FOR SWEET THINGS! Great take on the swap, and I'm so happy to have "met" you through this little group :)

Shari said...

What a great swap and so out of the box. Thanks for all of your contributions thus far.


Camilla Fay ~ Caffay Way said...

Just today my daughter asked if we could make zucchini bread. I was stunned because much to my dismay she's a tough nut to crack when it comes to veggies. And here is your zucchini cake - it fell into place like you described in your post :)

Haley said...

Yum! Looks amaaazing! I think I'll be trying this one soon! =)

Lana said...

Hey, I was also in Atlanta in May and that's where I met Christianna!
I have marked a few recipes that combine zucchini and chocolate, but they somehow never made it into my weekly menus:) I love zucchini in any incarnation, though, and now I feel really inspired to finally take the plunge:)
And, happy birthday (you ARE supposed to celebrate as long as you want in my book)!

emily | nomnivorous said...

Yummy melted chocolate, what a lovely pair to maple. I really love zucchini bread so this sounds fantastic.

Claire said...

I can't wait to make this for my little ones - it looks just fabulous!

Momo Fali said...

That looks FANTASTIC! YUM!

Sabrina Modelle said...

Yum! I love zucchini in a cake, it just makes things so moist. This one sounds great. Love having you in the swap, Alli.

Kim Bee said...

I am new a new member of the swap. Just stopping in to see what everyone made. Your cake is gorgeous and your post was so beautifully written.

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Shumaila said...

I have made a chocolate zucchini cake in the past. Since the pan size I used was slightly smaller than the one recommended, the whole batter overflowed from the pan while baking and it was a disaster in terms of looks. But taste wise, it was moist and a great chocolatey flavor. Lovely take on the swap! Feels good to go through everyone's birthday take on the Swap!