Thursday, April 09, 2009

Glad Other People Are Gardeners

A few people liked the idea of a zucchini-carrot cake, so I'm giving you the recipe. I found it in my favorite spring cookbook—Gardener's Community Cookbook. First, let me say I am not a gardener. I am inept, not just at planting and tending to things that grow, but in tending to your most basic house plant, too.

So, I like my gardener's cookbook, but I need other people to grow the stuff. That doesn't seem to be a problem when it comes to zucchini, which leads me to a question. Why do people grow so much zucchini when they end up with too much and practically beg people to take the extras? Why not just grow less? Same with tomatoes. Even in this cookbook, the author thinks people will like the idea of adding zucchini to traditional carrot cake so they can get rid of extra veggies.

My dad always had what I considered too many tomatoes, and he practically force-fed them to us at the table. I'm not sure what else he grew, but I remember the tomatoes, garlic and concord grapes. He grew the grapes on a little arbor he built in the side yard, and he used them to make wine in the basement. But he didn't see the need to establish a garden area for the rest of it. The garlic grew in front of the picture window and was mixed in with the shrubs and annuals. And the tomatoes grew up by the stakes my dad stuck by the sidewalk where he had also planted petunias. It drove my mother nuts, and so I think my dad put the tomatoes right out front for spite. Who knows.

Anyway, here's the recipe:

Zucchini-Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes on 9-inch square cake

Butter for the pan
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup raisins (optional because I can't stand 'em)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (also optional because other people can't stand 'em)
Cream Cheese Frosting (recipes follows)

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Lightly butter a 9-inch square baking pan.
Beat the eggs with the sugar in a large bowl until the mixture is frothy, then beat in the oil.
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon into the bowl and beat until well mixed. Add the zucchini, carrots, raisins, and walnuts and stir to mix into a stiff batter. Spoon the batter into the baking pan and bake for 35 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack. when the cake is completely cooled, frost with the cream cheese frosting.

Frosting
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat together the cheese and butter in a medium bowl. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth. Use right away while still spreadable.

4 comments:

lynn said...

I will be trying this - thanks!

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Yum.

Seriously.

Yum.

dive said...

I am SO going to make that, Robyn.
Yum!
Thank you.

Shazza said...

Ditto what Dive said - carrot cake and zucchini bread are my two favorite things so to have them combined into one sweet tasting piece of goodness is going to be heaven!

As far as the gardening goes, I only had 4 tomatoe plants last year and I was STILL giving them away. Zucchini unfortunately I have not been successful in growing. I have a powdery mildew problem.

Thank you SO much for this recipe!!! Yum, yum, YUM!!!