There’s a weekly school bake sale at present, to drum up funds for the refugees over in Calais. It’s obviously a very worthy cause. It also — on a far, far more trivial note — means that I get to bake and not eat the entire end product. This may sound like an unfortunate result, but my jeans are getting tight. That chocolate cake — that chocolate cake — nearly did me in. Nye and I consumed 3/4 of that full-sized, 3-layer cake on our own, no joke.
The challenge of baking for a school bake sale is that the products need to appeal to kids and be easy to grab. This means lots of chocolate (this never fails to appeal), and, for better or worse, no 3-layer crumbly cakes. I decided to make Lamingtons this past week. Don’t know what these are? I hadn’t either, till I discovered them at my favourite, Aussie-owned coffeeshop. They are almost-too-big cubes of an ultra light plain sponge cake, covered on all sides with chocolate, and then rolled in coconut. They are as yummy as they sound, assuming you like coconut half as much as I do.
I’d never made Lamingtons before. And… I still haven’t. I decided on my first go to make a batch and a half, but, like a distracted idiot, I only increased the quantity of ingredients on certain items, not all. The recipe I was working off of called for 8 eggs for a single batch. EIGHT EGGS! I used a full dozen eggs to increase my recipe as planned, but, again, I didn’t increase the flour, sugar and many other ingredients accordingly. As these absurdly eggy cakes cooked, the house began to fill with a queasy smell of a breakfast cafe—eggs, eggs, eggs! The cakes came out, and I basically had 3 massive soufflés that then sank as they cooled to ultra dense, stodgy frittatas. Epic. Fail.
I didn’t have the time, inclination or egg count to redo the Lamingtons, so I turned to my fridge and grabbed some zucchini. As I said, chocolate at bake sales sell… but I’d already made chocolate zucchini bread. It was gorgeous, but I wanted to try something new for my own sake. I didn’t feel zucchini muffins would necessarily be the biggest of hits with kids (at least, to look at), but with frosting…. that’d be a different story! And it was.
This recipe is thanks to Heather Christo. And for reference, this recipe would work just as well in loaf/bread form as well.
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 ¼ cups white sugar
- 3 eggs
- 3 cups flour
- 2 ½ tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ginger
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 2 cups zucchini, shredded
- 1 cup raisins
- ¾ cup pecans or walnuts (optional)
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 Tbs milk
- Preheat oven to 350ºF/180ºC.
- Line cupcake tray with cupcake liners.
- Grate zucchini and set aside.
- Combine oil and sugar.
- Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until light and fluffy.
- Whilst eggs are mixing, combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
- Add dry mix slowly to wet mix.
- Add zucchini, mixing until it is only just incorporated.
- Fold in raisins by hand. If using nuts, fold those in as well.
- Spoon batter into cupcake tray, filling each cupcake liner about ¾ full.
- Bake approx 15min, or until only just lightly golden. Don't overcook or it will dry out!
- Place cupcakes on cooling rack.
- Whilst cupcakes are cooling, make frosting. Whip butter and cream cheese.
- Add vanilla.
- Carefully add powdered sugar and cinnamon. (Turn off to do so. Add all at once; I use a dishtowel to ensure the sugar doesn't spray out.)
- Slowly add milk. Whip until light and fluffy.
- Frost cupcakes when completely cool, and enjoy!
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