After making this Hummingbird Cake the other week (and completely falling in love with it), when it was time to make a birthday cake, I knew exactly what to do!
This cake is sort of a remix of the Hummingbird, but much more coconut-y on the inside, and covered in chocolate (literally: chocolate everywhere!) on the outside.
It's for my longest friend that I made while in Paris. We started our masters together, and now, 4 years later, we share a PhD office, cry over the injustices of the PhD world together, make and grade macroeconomics tests, attempt to teach macroeconomics, and well, occasionally grab a glass of wine for some cake! She has really, truly made the last few years of my life possible. It's slightly crucial for my sanity to be with someone who understands exactly what I'm going through. I'm ever so excited to celebrate her birthday with her!
Coconut zucchini cake - what you need:
- 3.5 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup apple sauce
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 3 packed cups shredded zucchini (3 medium zucchinis)
- 1 cup shredded coconut
Coconut zucchini cake - what you do:
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius (350F). Prepare two 23 cm (9 in) cake pans by greasing them with (vegan) butter, and then coating them with flour.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
Beat in the apple sauce, vegetable oil, coconut milk, and vinegar. Combine everything together very well.
Fold in the zucchini and shredded coconut.
Pour the batter evenly into the two cake pans. Tap them on the counter to pop any air bubbles.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting.
Coffee chocolate frosting - what you need:
- 1 cup (225 grams) butter (vegan butter for a vegan version), softened
- 3 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup cooled espresso or coffee
- 2-3 tablespoons coconut milk
Coffee chocolate frosting - what you do:
In a large bowl, beat the butter until soft and fluffy. Add in the confectioner's sugar one cup at a time. Scrape the bowl well after each addition. Beat in the cocoa powder. Finally, beat in the coffee. If you prefer a lighter frosting, add a few tablespoons of coconut milk to the frosting. Beat well.
Coconut chocolate ganache - what you need:
- 100 grams dark chocolate, chopped
- 1/3 cup coconut milk
- 1-2 teaspoons coconut oil
Coconut chocolate ganache - what you need:
Add the ingredients in a heat proof bowl and place it over a pot of simmering water to make a double-boiler. Once the chocolate begins to melt, remove from the heat and stir it together with the coconut milk And oil until the mixture is completely melted and blended.
Allow the ganache to cool for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. You still want the chocolate to be malleable in order to pour over the cake, so watch to ensure it doesn't harden too much!
To assemble this cake:
On a cake stand or large platter, place one of the cake rounds flat-side-up. Drop a big dollop of frosting in the middle of the cake, spread it around, and add the second cake on top.
Make a crumb layer around the cake by thinly applying frosting to the edges and top. Scrape off any excess frosting, and stick the cake in the fridge for 15 minutes to allow this layer to harden.
Frost the rest of the cake.
If you're not digging the extra chocolate ganache layer, stop here! If you want to maximize the chocolate potential of this cake... keep on going!
If you took a break between the frosting and the ganache part of this cake, make sure that you're starting the ganache process with the cake at room temperature.
Pour a moderate amount (1/2 - 2/3) of the ganache over the cake and smear it around the top of the cake slightly to cover all the edges. Use a spatula and work from the center outward. If you need more ganache, add more, starting from the center once more and working your way out to the edges.
Since this cake was for a birthday, we obviously needed SPRINKLES!
This cake was a success! It definitely wasn't as light as the Hummingbird Cake from a few weeks ago, but the dense texture and moisture from the zucchini made for such an interesting texture! I saw people sneaking back for second servings at the birthday party, so I'll definitely be keeping this cake on hand for another event! It was very interesting introducing something so foreign - zucchini cake - to Europeans. I'm happy to spread a little bit of North American culture around Paris! Everyone was surprised about how tasty zucchinis could be in cake.
Plus- THE FROSTING: new favourite frosting of all time. It is so flavourful and so (surprisingly) light! I will be adding this coffee chocolate frosting to probably everything I eat for the next week. No shame.
Oh, and PS: this entire cake is vegan friendly if you're baking for vegans!
Baking soundtrack - Tunes to inspire your inner baker:
Okay, okay, maybe this isn't exactly a "tune", but these are so hilarious that I deem them totally acceptable for any baking soundtrack!