ZUCCHINI GINGER CAKE with GINGER CREAM CHEESE FROSTING ala Valerie Bertinelli
Unsalted butter, for the pans
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
1 ½ pounds zucchini
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons QUALITY ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups light brown sugar
4 LARGE eggs
1 ⅓ cups avocado oil
¾ cups whole milk
1 ½ tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350º.
- Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans.
- Grate the zucchini on the large holes of a box grater, then wrap in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze dry.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger and cloves together in a large bowl.
- In a second large bowl, whisk the brown sugar, eggs, oil, milk, fresh ginger, vanilla and grated zucchini. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
- Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans; smooth the tops with an offset spatula.
- Bake the cakes until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
- Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
- Use a serrated knife to carefully cut each cake in half horizontally, making four layers. OPTIONAL!
24 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
6 cups confectioners’ sugar
½ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger, plus a few pieces sliced into thin strips, for garnish
- Beat the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth.
- Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, beating until incorporated
- Beat in the chopped crystallized ginger.
ASSEMBLY (NOTE: – most times I just make a 2 layer cake which really only needs half as much frosting)
- Place a cake layer on a cake stand or platter.
- Spoon a quarter of the frosting (about 1 1/2 cups) on top and smooth it evenly with an offset spatula.
- Stack another cake layer on top; repeat with the frosting.
- Continue with the remaining cake layers and frosting, leaving the sides of the cake bare. Top with the sliced crystallized ginger.