Summer Lime Cake

 

Zucchini and Lime Cake
This was such an unusual sounding cake, I had to try it. I expected a flavor totally different than what came out. Essentially, this cake is just a really moist cake with a terrific lime frosting on top. In fact, my father-in-law asked if it was a “key-lime cake,” and then had another slice, and my twelve-year-old (who was complaining that if I made a zucchini cake, no kids would it eat) ate four slices. So, I think if you’re not really into zucchini, you’re still likely to enjoy this cake! I’ve made it twice in the last week, which says a little bit about how well zucchini are growing around here. This recipe comes from Three Sisters Bake, an enchanting cookbook by these Scottish sisters that is a delight to read and look at. I’ve adjusted the measurements for US, but included the original ones as well. I’ve also adapted the baking powder for better results at high temperature (if you’re at sea level, you may want to take it down a teaspoon).

Summer Lime Cake
For the cake:

  • 1/2 c. (135ml) sunflower oil
  • 4/5 c. (200g) caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 c. (300g) all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 12 oz. (335g) zucchini, finely grated
  • grated zest of 2 limes

For the icing:

  • 3/4 c. (200g) full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 c. (100g) icing sugar
  • grated zest of 1 lime
  • juice from 2-3 limes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (160C, gas 2). Line the base and sides of an 8-in. springform cake pan with parchment paper.

Beat the oil, sugar and eggs together in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Sift in the flour, baking powder, and salt and fold into the mixture. Fold in the grated zucchini and lime zest.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool a little in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack.

To make the icing, beat the cream cheese and icing sugar together until smooth. Add the lime zest and juice and beat another 2-3 minutes on high to get really light and fluffy.

Once cool, top the cake with the icing by running a spatula or palate knife back and forth over the cake creating deep grooves to give a nice textural look.

Zucchini and Lime Cake 2

If you look closely, you can see my cream cheese wasn’t at room temperature for this one. Whoops!

 

 

Pear + Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pear and Carrot Cake

I think I’ve mentioned how in love I am with Sarah Randell’s Family Baking book. I’m nearly bowled over by every recipe–they are all simple, full of good and interesting ingredients, and perfect for every night desserts or treats. This recipe was a perfect use for all the random items in my fridge box the other night, so I made it and loved it. The pears felt so unusual to me, but they were the perfect touch. Can’t wait to include it in many fall evenings to come.

Pear + Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

1 1/2 c. (200 g) all-purpose flour
3/4 c. (100 g) spelt flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. bicarbonate of soda
1 T. ground cinnamon
2 pinches of ground cloves
4 large eggs
1 1/2 c. (275 g) light brown or muscovado sugar
1 c. (250 ml) virgin coconut oil or rapeseed oil
1 c. (150 g) grated carrots
2/3 c. 100 g grated zucchini (courgettes)
2 pears, cored and chopped
1 c. (150 g) walnut or pecan pieces
2/3 c. (100 g) sultanas

For the cream cheese frosting
5 T. (75 g) very soft unsalted butter
6 1/2 oz. (200 g) cream cheese, chilled
1/2 c. (100 g) authentic thick Greek yogurt, chilled
1 1/4 c. (175 g) powdered sugar, sifted
1 T. poppy seeds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180˚C, 160 fan˚C, Gas 4).

Sift the flours, baking powder and baking soda into the bowl of an electric mixer (or use a large mixing bowl and an electric whisk). Tip any spelt left in the sieve into the bowl too. Add the cinnamon, cloves, eggs, sugar and oil. Mix together.

In another bowl, mix the carrots, courgettes, pears, nuts and sultanas. Using a large metal spoon, fold these ingredients into the cake mixture, making sure everything is thoroughly combined.

Divide the mixture between two 8 in. (20-cm) round cake tins that are buttered and base-lined with baking parchment. Spread the mixture out evenly with a spatula. Bake in the preheated oven for 40–45 minutes [28-30 minutes worked better for me], or until risen, golden and set in the centre. Let cool in the tins.

To make the poppy seed frosting, whisk together the butter and cream cheese, add the yogurt and icing sugar and whisk again – an electric whisk makes quick work of this. Stir in the poppy seeds, then refrigerate until needed.

Tip the cold cakes out of the tins and peel off the base papers. Place one cake on a board or serving plate, bottom-side uppermost. Spread half the frosting over it. Put the other cake on top, top-side uppermost, and spread the remaining frosting over the top.