This simple lemon zucchini cake has an incredible texture. It's soft and moist, gently scented with lemon and covered with the silkiest cream cheese frosting! And to sweeten the deal this can also be made easily in the Thermomix! I called her Aya.
This cake is all about summery zucchini and lemons. If you're like me you've perhaps got an abundance of both. Our lemon tree is giving us lemons-they're not the most picture perfect specimens but they're incredibly juicy with thin skins so they make for easy juicing. The cake itself has a gorgeous texture to it. Can you see that moist crumb? It's almost like a steamed pudding.
This lemon zucchini cake is delicious iced or uniced. I just had half a block of cream cheese in my fridge that I needed to use up and I will use any excuse to add cream cheese frosting to a cake. If you're worried about the zucchini it really disappears once the cake cools. And if you have a Thermomix I definitely recommend making it because it's a cinch and the cream cheese frosting is so silky smooth. I gave a slice for afternoon tea to the builders Peter and Andy and a slice for Mr NQN and before long the cake disappeared.
This cake was the first cake I made in my new stovetop oven and I was very excited about it. The biggest expense for kitchen appliances was a good oven - I ummed and aahed but finally decided to get my dream oven. This is a Falcon classic dual fuel oven with gas stovetop and electric ovens. I wanted an oven that could perform but also look classically beautiful. I chose a black oven with brass hardware. It honestly takes your breath away when you see it in real life (not sponsored, I bought it but was kindly given a trade discount without any obligations).
It's funny how used to bad things you can get. With the old owner's decrepit oven I got used to having to shove a garbage bin to close the door, I got used to not being able to make pavlovas since my oven wouldn't cook on anything lower than 180C/350F and I got used to not having a grill because the grill did not work. But now I have 5 gas burners, a dedicated electric grill and not one but two ovens! I'm sure over time I'll learn about all the cool tricks it has (apparently it also defrosts) but my favourite feature is a rack inside the actual door so that it is so easy to take things in and out (hello basting meat!). And in a matter of weeks my kitchen will hopefully be finished so I can show it all to you. Eagle eyed readers might notice that the benchtop that the cake sits on is just timber boards that my wonderful builder Peter got for me as a temporary benchtop until my stone benchtop arrives but I think it adds to the look of the sunny lemons.
So tell me Dear Reader, what is your kitchen full of at the moment? And have you got any name suggestions for my oven?
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella
Lemon Zucchini Cake
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by 1 readers
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- 160g/5.6ozs. grated zucchini (around 1 medium zucchini)
- 200g/7ozs. cake flour*
- 1 teaspoon bicarb
- 1/2 cup/60g shelled pistachios, chopped
- 85g/3ozs. butter, softened
- 150g/5ozs. caster or superfine sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 140ml/4.9ozs. milk mixed with 60ml/2.1 ozs lemon juice
For cream cheese frosting
- 150g/5ozs icing or powdered sugar
- 100g/3.5ozs cream cheese, room temperature
- 50g/1.7ozs. butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- Finely grated lemon zest to decorate
Cake flour can be bought at the supermarket. You can also make it at home. To make 1 cup/150g/5.2ozs of cake flour replace 2 tablespoons of plain all purpose flour with cornflour/fine cornstarch and whisk well. I usually mix up a big batch of this and keep it in a container ready for baking cakes as it produces a softer texture.
Step 1 - Line a loaf tin with parchment on the base and sides and preheat oven to 140C/284F (yes very low). Mix the cake flour and the bicarb together in a bowl and grate the zucchini in this and add pistachios. Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy and then add eggs in one at a time. Beat in the lemon zest and vanilla. Add the lemon juice curdled milk to the butter mixture alternating with the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Do not overmix. Scoop into the prepared tin and allow to sit on the benchtop for 10 minutes (this is to relax the glutens). Then bake in the oven for 1 hour 10 minutes.
Thermomix directions: Mix the cake flour and the bicarb together in a bowl and grate the zucchini in this. Add the butter and sugar to the Thermomix bowl and beat for 4 minutes speed #4. Add the eggs in and beat for 15 seconds for each egg at speed #4. Then add the lemon zest, vanilla, lemon juice curdled milk and flour zucchini mixture. Set on reverse speed #4, 15 seconds. Scoop into the prepared tin and allow to sit on the benchtop for 10 minutes (this is to relax the glutens). Then bake in the oven for 1 hour 10 minutes.
Step 2 -Make the cream cheese frosting. Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth, Then sift the icing sugar into this mixture and add the lemon juice and vanilla bean paste. Beat on low speed at first until the sugar is incorporated and then increase speed and beat until smooth. Spread over the cake and finely grate lemon zest over the top.
Thermomix directions: Place the icing sugar in the Thermomix bowl and set to 10 seconds speed #5. Add the cream cheese, butter, lemon juice and vanilla and set to 15 seconds speed #5. Scrape down the sides and then repeat. Spread over the cake and finely grate lemon zest over the top.