Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cake #47: Lemon Zucchini Loaf Cake (Healthy)

My freezer is still overflowing with zucchini from last year. I usually go through whole bushels of it making Chocolate Zucchini Cake and Brownies or Zucchini Muffin/Cupcakes *DROOL* but this year, with 52 Cakes, I didn't have as many opportunities to make our family favorites. Which means I need to use up all my gorgeous 2011 zucchini before the 2012 zucchinis make an appearance. 

This recipe makes that a task we'll all enjoy.

When I was searching for lemon zucchini cakes I found a lot of recipes, but they all had too much oil, too much sugar and not enough egg. I think rich golden egg yolks adds a ton of color, flavor and tenderness to any loaf cake. Plus, many recipes added spices - like nutmeg or cinnamon - that, in my opinion, would compete with the gloriousness that is lemon. 

I also wanted something light enough in calories and fat that I wouldn't feel bad about feeding it to my family. 

To that end, I replaced oil with apple sauce and used yogurt as the base of the liquid ingredients. In this recipe, soy or almond milk would work just as well.

The result was heavenly. Our house smelled sweet and fresh, the loaves were tall and golden and the flavor was lemony but not sour and mildly sweet, not sugary. The lemon glaze provides a nice tart counterpoint to the delicate cake. 

You may notice that my pictures are not up to par - it's because the loaves disappeared before I could even get good shots. 

My family gave this recipe full points all around and suggested I make it as often as I can.

For me, I love the ease of loaf cakes - two bowls, two pans, a whisk and a spatula. Yay for less to clean. The ingredients were inexpensive and it packed well in my husbands lunch. It's a wonderfully light recipe that's perfectly suited to hot summer days. I also love that I had enough to share. In the future when I make this it'll be one of my, 
" One to keep and one to share"
recipes. I'm sure my neighbors won't mind a bit.

Lemon Zucchini Loaf Cake

Makes two 9×5 loaves

4 cups flour (I used all-purpose but I think some whole wheat would be fine)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 container of vanilla yogurt (I used light, fat-free)
milk to bring yogurt to 1 cup  (about 1/3 cup)
Juice of 2 lemons
Zest of 2 lemons
2 cup grated zucchini (mine was frozen from last year. I grate it with the skin on and freeze it in 2 cup bags)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9×5 loaf pans with cooking spray.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs well, add canola oil, apple sauce, vanilla, lemon juice, zest and sugar, and blend well.

Put yogurt in a liquid measure and add milk to make 1 cup. Stir until smooth then add to egg mixture.

Mix zucchini into wet ingredients.

Add liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and blend everything together gently; don’t over-mix!

Split batter between prepared loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely.

Lemon Drizzle

1 cup powdered sugar
Juice of 1 lemon

Mix powdered sugar and lemon juice until well blended. Drizzle or spread glaze over cooled loaf. Let stand until set.


Kelli said...

This looks wonderful! This is our first year growing zucchini and it is already coming in and we have so much...we eat it everyday! Thanks for the tip on freezing as well as I was looking for ways to freeze it! I am totally going to make this it sounds so yummy!!!

Teri B said...

Do you think this recipe could be used to make muffins? Sounds very refreshing!

Nicole Maki said...

Hi Teri,

You're comment is set to "no reply" so I couldn't email you. Hope you see this.

My experience is that any baking powder based recipe like this works great as muffins. You just need to reduce the time and keep an eye on them.

Hope you try them - it's a delicious recipe!

Anonymous said...

what a fantastic recipe of the combination i love.thanks for sharing, i'm going to give it a try!-connor,
northern California

Carmen said...

Another I will definitely be making! Yumyumyumyum!

Is Canola oil just a vegetable oil?

Naptime Review said...

Looks so good and I love that it is lowfat. Thanks for sharing. Newest GFC follower from Whipperberry hop. Love for you to follow back when you get a chance ;)

donna!ee said...

OH MY NICOLE....i've just made this and it's wonderfully deliciosso! thank you much for sharing, blest be :)

Jenn said...

I am counting down the days until my Mom's garden has some zucchini for me! I love lemon and zucchini together and I love using yogurt in recipes. Do you remember what size container of yogurt you used?