Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake

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Yes, there is zucchini in this cake. No, it is not “health food.” In the words of my husband, it is a “(bleep)-ing good cake!”

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His reaction surprised me–not the swearing (the kids were in bed), but that he would be so excited about cake. He doesn’t like zucchini that much either, so the fact that he was enjoying a zucchini cake seemed incredible.

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Last week I was faced with that late-summer phenomenon that is well-known to CSA members, vegetable gardeners, and neighbors of people with a vegetable patch: a glut of zucchini. There was a giant one in our CSA box, which meant I needed to get creative.

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Large zucchinis present a culinary challenge because they are watery and bland. But this cake uses those qualities to its advantage by keeping the cake nice and moist. I had all the ingredients hanging around in my pantry, so once I grated the zucchini the cake came together in a snap.

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So, the next your faced with a behemoth zucchini, don’t think ugh, think cake.

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Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake (adapted from eggsonsunday.wordpress.com)

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (plus extra for the Bundt pan)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (plus extra for the Bundt pan)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt (see Notes)
2 cups grated zucchini (do not peel)
11 ounces (about 2 1/4 cups) chopped chocolate (see Notes)
Powdered sugar (optional)

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a Bundt pan with softened butter. Add a few Tablespoons of cocoa powder to the pan and shake until it is evenly distributed over the entire pan. Dump out excess cocoa powder. (See third photo from top of post for what the pan should look like.)

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda & salt.

In a large bowl beat together the sugar, butter & oil until they are well blended. Add one of the eggs and beat well. Repeat with remaining egg.

Add 1/3 of the cocoa/flour mixture to the sugar/butter/oil mixture and beat until incorporated. Add half of the yogurt and beat until incorporated. Repeat with another 1/3 of the cocoa/flour mixture, the rest of the yogurt, and finally the last of the cocoa/flour mixture.

Stir in the grated zucchini and chopped chocolate. Pour into the prepared Bundt pan. Spread the batter out evenly and give the pan a few taps on the counter to release any trapped air bubbles.

Bake for 65 minutes. (A toothpick inserted into the cake should come out clean.) Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with a sprinkling of powdered sugar (I used a fine strainer to do this) and serve.

Serves: 10-12

Time: 1 1/2 hours, plus cooling time

Notes: I used vanilla Greek yogurt. You can substitute plain yogurt (Greek or regular) with a teaspoon of vanilla extract mixed in. You can also substitute chocolate chips for the chopped chocolate. The chunks melt into the batter–which makes delicious little pockets of extra-chocolatey cake–so the form (chips or chopped bits) doesn’t matter.

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