Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Vanilla Spiced Cream

I love zucchini. Up until now, my favorite thing to do with zucchini was stir fry it in some olive oil with garlic and lemon juice. I also enjoy making zucchini bread. I even have tried a chocolate zucchini bread. I NEVER thought I could turn this amazing vegetable into chocolate cake! Now that I do, I’m never going back.

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Get ready for so much cake, SPOON friends. This recipe is going to blow your mind.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Vanilla Spiced Cream
Excerpted from Paleo Sweets and Treats by Heather Connell

Birthdays come once a year. Why not make them special with a three-layer chocolate cake? The zucchini adds moisture to the cake, which makes it even more decadent.For cake:
8 Medjool dates, pitted
1 tablespoon (15 ml) water
9 eggs
½ cup (109 g) extra-virgin unrefined coconut oil, melted
½ cup (125 g) unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons (30 ml) maple syrup
2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
¾ cup (180 ml) coconut milk
1 cup (120 g) coconut flour
½ cup (60 g) cacao powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon sea salt
1¼ cups (138 g) shredded zucchini

For vanilla spiced cream:
2 cups (270 g) raw cashews, soaked in water overnight
1 cup (235 ml) canned coconut milk
2 Medjool dates, pitted
1½ tablespoons (22 ml) maple syrup
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped, and pod discarded

For topping:
Dark chocolate shavings (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4). Grease three 8-inch (20 cm) round cake pans or two 9-inch (23 cm) round cake pans with coconut oil and lightly dust with coconut flour.

To make the cakes: Place the Medjool dates in a microwave-safe bowl with the water and heat on high for 30 seconds. Drain some of the water, leaving about 1 tablespoon (15 ml), then use a fork to mash the dates until smooth.

Place the Medjool dates in a food processor along with the eggs, coconut oil, applesauce, maple syrup, vanilla, and coconut milk and process until smooth.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, cacao powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of the food processor with the date mixture and process until well combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Remove the blade from the food processor and stir in the zucchini.

Evenly distribute the batter among the prepared cake pans and bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the cream: Drain the cashews. In a food processor, combine the cashews, coconut milk, dates, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, and vanilla bean seeds and process until very smooth.

Spread the cream on the top of one of the cooled cakes, just coating the top. Gently place the second cake layer on top of the cream layer. Repeat with the third cake, if using. Then spread additional cream on the top of third cake. Sprinkle the dark chocolate shavings on top of the cake.

The cake can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days.

Makes one 8-inch (20 cm) three-layer or 9-inch (23 cm) two-layer cake

 

The Paleo diet has swept the nation as a huge nutritional and lifestyle trend that many have embraced.

But what is the modern dessert lover to do when traditional baking ingredients such as flours, grains, dairy, and sugar are off the table? Never fear. You can have your cake and your Paleo lifestyle too! Written by Heather Connell, author of the popular blog Multiply Delicious, Paleo Sweets and Treats shows you how to bake delicious treats using fresh, seasonal produce, natural sweeteners, and nutritionally dense, grain-free flours. You won’t miss out on anything with treats such as: Dark Chocolate Pot de Crème with Roasted Cherries, Sweet Potato Tarts, Orange Pomegranate Cupcakes, and Mango Coconut Sherbert.

This paleo diet dessert cookbook gives you easy-to-make indulgent treats to let you stay the Paleo course. This collection of seasonally-focused recipes gives you Paleo-friendly options for any dessert craving.

This book is publishing September 1st and will be available wherever books and ebooks are sold.