How I Invented a Pretty Good Cake


I like to think that I am a pretty good baker, but for me so far it has been all about following recipes.  I only know the very basics about the science behind how it all works.  I am pretty comfortable with cooking on the fly, but baking is much more of a balancing act.  While I love to play around with my baking, I usually start with a recipe and go from there.  I am pretty comfortable with any failures, since I know my understanding of the foundations of it all is quite limited.  Every failure is just a step to understanding more how it works.

This recipe began in an odd way.  One day I was rather desperate to eat nachos (this is how my life is sometimes), but I was disappointed to discover I had no sour cream or any other dip type condiment, and no way of getting to the store.  I made the nachos anyway, and made a weird sort of soured whipped cream with Sriracha.  While it wasn't disgusting, it won't be making its way into the family recipe collection.  I also misjudged the amount I would need and ended up with about a cup and a half of the soured cream (pre-sriracha) left over.  I don't like wasting food, and for some reason my brain connected this to a chocolate zucchini cake.  I took out some of last summer's zucchini to defrost, and started trying to figure out how to make it all into a cake.  I looked at quite a few "cake templates" people had put up online using different ratios between the ingredients, and what I came up with ended up being quite delicious!  I wouldn't recommend trying to recreate my weird soured cream experiment - just use regular sour cream instead!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Yields two eight inch cakes.
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Chocolate chips (optional)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350˚F.  
  2. Beat eggs, sour cream, vanilla, and sugar together.  
  3. Whisk the remaining dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.  When combined add to the wet ingredients and gently mix until there are no remaining pockets of dry ingredients.
  4. Gently stir in the zucchini.
  5. Pour into two eight inch round cake pans.
  6. If you are not stacking the layers and icing the cake, sprinkle some chocolate chips on the top of each.
  7. Bake for approximately 30-45 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

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