Carrot Zucchini Cake is filled with carrots, zucchini, walnuts, and raisins providing lots of texture and flavor.
This recipe is part of our Family Dinner Book Club menu for A Garden for a Groundhog.
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Carrots and Zucchini are two of the most abundant vegetables in homegrown gardens every year. I think a spiced cake with cream cheese frosting is the perfect way to use them up. Decorate this cake with fresh fruits for a beautiful display and even more flavors to bite into.
Tips for making Carrot Zucchini Cake
-cakes come together best when all the ingredients are at the same temperature. Take the eggs and yogurt out of the fridge about 20 minutes before you start mixing. Melt the butter first thing and then let it sit to cool while you gather the rest of your ingredients.
-Likewise, cream cheese and butter will yield the best results when whipped together at room temperature. Take these out of the fridge and let sit on the counter while the cakes bake and cool.
-Baking cake is a great way to get kids involved in the kitchen. Measuring and mixing are easy jobs that hone math and motor skills.
-This recipe requires the use of a box grater. Move slowly and with caution while grating the vegetables.
Tools for making Carrot Zucchini Cake
measuring cups and spoons
electric hand mixer
Carrot Zucchini Cake is full of flavor and texture using ingredients straight from your homegrown garden.
- For the cakes:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 2 carrots (1 cup grated)
- 2 zucchini (1 cup grated)
- 1 cup pecan pieces
- 1/2 cup raisins
- For the frosting:
- 2 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 8-10 cups powdered sugar
- 2-4 tablespoons milk or cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- pinch kosher or sea salt
To make the cakes:
1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Prepare 6 (6-inch) or 3 (9-inch) cakes pans with your preferred greasing method.
2. In a small mixing bowl, melt the butter and set aside to cool. Whisk in the eggs, yogurt, and vanilla until smooth.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking power, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk to combine well.
5. Using the large holes on a box grater, grate the carrots and zucchini to yield 1 cup shreds of each. Add these to the cake batter along with the pecans and raisins. Use a spatula to mix well.
6. Pour the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with dry crumbs, about 30-40 minutes.
7. Allow the cakes to cool 10 minutes in the cake pans, and then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.
To make the cream cheese frosting:
1. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric hand mixer to cream together the cream cheese and butter.
2. Add 6 cups of powdered sugar and mix on low-medium until smooth. Mix in 2 tablespoons milk, vanilla, and a pinch of salt.
3. Taste the frosting and add more powdered sugar if you want it sweeter, or if you want to increase the volume of frosting. Add more milk as needed for a creamier consistency. If the frosting tastes too sweet, add a small pinch of salt.