Birthday celebrations are in full swing at my son’s preschool, which means that we’ve had an interesting couple of weeks. I now have 4 parties behind me and I have to say they all went smoothly and I am so appreciative for how understanding and sensitive the parents have been in calling to consult with me while planning the menu. The one area where I insist that I will bring something though is the cake.
Though I have even had parents offer to make a vegan cake, which was such a lovely surprise, I always insist that I will bring cake for us and that they needn’t bother. Why? Because it is not just the cake. It’s the icing, and any decorations they may want to add to finish it off. Did you know that, for example, egg white is sometimes used to add detailing to candies, like those fruit slice jellies where it is used to create the white outlines stamped onto the candy. So I insist they fulfill their child’s wildest dreams and make whatever cake they would have made were we not coming; afterall – it is their child’s birthday, not mine. And I bring a slice of cake from my freezer that my son is more than happy to eat.
Or at least I will starting this coming week now that I have cake in the freezer, having just finished off the last batch, which I’d made from this recipe for easy vegan birthday cake.
This time I decided to make an old favourite, with a bit of a twist. I know that this looks like I’m getting ready to make soup. It’s just missing the onion and garlic.
But, mix in some cocoa, flour, baking powder, sugar, vanilla and applesauce, and it actually looks like this. Better, right? All that is left is to add a cup of chocolate chips, admittedly taking it down a couple of notches on the healthy scale – but adding chocolate is never a mistake.
Bake in a lined springform pan on 180 C for 45 minutes and voila – deliciously fudgy vegan chocolate zucchini cake (well, chocolate zucchini and carrot cake). I love this cake served with a scoop of raspberry sorbet and sprinkled with caramelized macadamia nuts.
Here’s the recipe so you can try it yourself. To make this cake gluten-free, substitute your favourite gluten-free flour blend (I’ve made it gluten-free twice and it turned out great).
Because this cake has vegetables in it, be sure to store the leftovers in the fridge (or pack it up for the freezer, like me).
- ½ cup oil
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup cane sugar
- ½ cup cocoa
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ cup applesauce
- 1½ cups grated zucchini
- ½ cup grated carrot
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 180 C and line a spring-form cake pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the oil, sugar, applesauce, vanilla, and grated zucchini and carrot.
- Add the chocolate chips and stir until evenly distributed.
- In a small bowl combine the flour, cocoa and baking powder until well blended.
- Add your dry ingredient mixture into your wet mix and stir until combined well. Make sure you dont' end up with pockets of flour near the bottom of the bowl.
- Pour the batter into your spring-form pan and bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Let cool in pan for a few minutes and then release the spring to remove the sides and let cool fully.
- Serve with sorbet or top with a chocolate ganache. Store covered in the fridge or freezer.