chocolate zucchini layer cake

Many years ago I lived in Perth 
while I was studying Sports Physiotherapy. One day a fellow student brought in a chocolate zucchini cake, which was absolutely delicious. In all these years I've never tried recreating the cake until this recipe appeared in a recent Delicious magazine. I just had to try it out though I did make a few changes.

My favourite twinnies just turned 3 so I decided to make a 2 layer chocolate zucchini cake for their birthday celebration. Because we had many mouths to feed I made the cake in a 20cm tin but I think a higher cake would look more impressive. Next time I would make a 2 layer 17cm cake but it might take an extra 10 minutes or so to bake. 

Here's the recipe for you which makes a 2 layer 20cm cake. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Chocolate & zucchini layer cake – adapted from a Clare Scrine recipe
2 eggs
75g sour cream
125 ml vegetable oil (or other neutral oil)
60 ml black coffee, cooled
2 tsp vanilla extract
135g finely grated zucchini 
165g brown sugar
½ tsp salt
150g (1 cup) self-raising flour
¼ tsp bicarb soda
45g (scant ½ cup) Dutch-processed cocoa powder

Chocolate Sour Cream Icing 
90g roughly chopped dark chocolate
125 ml sour cream, at room temperature
2 tsp maple syrup

To fill & top
150 ml thickened cream, whipped
200g mixed berries

Preheat the oven to 190°C, conventional. Grease and line the base of a 20cm tin with baking paper and dust with cocoa.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, vegetable oil, cooled coffee and vanilla until well combined and a little frothy. Add the zucchini and stir well to combine. In a separate large bowl, combine the sugar, salt, flour, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir gently until just combined, ensuring you scrape right to the bottom of the bowl to mix well. Pour into the prepared tin then transfer to the oven and bake for 50 minutes
 or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out mostly clean. 

It’s important not to overcook the cake, so keep a close eye on it. Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes, then snap off the side of the tin and leave to cool completely.

Melt the chocolate (in a microwave-safe bowl) in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each increment. Remove from heat and whisk in the sour cream and maple syrup. The icing should be smooth and silky. Refrigerate the icing until the cake has cooled (about an hour or so). The icing will thicken as it cools.

Halve the cake then place one of the layers on a serving stand or plate. Top with a thin layer of icing, using the back of a spoon or a knife to spread and swirl the icing so that it’s flat and evenly distributed. Spread the cream over the top, then arrange about half the berries over that. Place the second layer on top of the berries, pressing gently to ensure it sits flat. Top the cake generously with the remaining icing, spreading it over the top of the cake. Top the cake with the remaining berries before serving.

The cake was really easy to make and was quite a hit with the girls, especially the icing. I think the girls ended up wearing as much of the chocolate cake as they ate.

I've been knee deep in Christmas so next week I'll be sharing with you the first bake for Xmas month 2022.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,


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