Almond Joy Zucchini Cake
- cooking spray and flour for preparing pan (if needed)
For the Batter:
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (fine grain, not flaked kosher salt)
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 tablespoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini (from about 7-8 ounces of zucchini squash)
- 3/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
For the Topping:
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Prepare an 11 x 7-inch baking pan (see note about using a 9 x 9 pan) by spraying with cooking spray and/or lightly but thoroughly flouring the bottom (if needed – some pans don’t need this).
- In a large bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt, whisking to combine thoroughly.
- In a medium bowl, combine applesauce, brown sugar, eggs, oil, almond extract, and vanilla. Stir well to combine thoroughly.
- Make a well in the flour mixture and add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture, stirring just until moist (do not over-mix).
- Add zucchini, 3/4 cup coconut, and chocolate chips, and stir briefly again, just to distribute evenly.
- Spoon batter into prepared baking pan and sprinkle almonds and 1/4 cup coconut evenly over the top of the batter.
- Bake for 33-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. (See note below for more information on adjusting baking time for various types of pans.)
- Cool completely in pan, on a wire rack, before cutting and serving.
Make-Ahead and Freezing: This zucchini cake recipe freezes well. After cooling completely, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in the freezer in a freezer-safe zipper bag. You can also pre-slice the cake and freeze individual portions.
Adjusting Bake Time for Your Pans: You may need to make small adjustments in bake time to account for different pan materials. Glass baking pans (and usually also dark metal pans) generally will tend to bake this cake a little faster than light metal pans. I’ve used both glass and light metal successfully in testing this recipe, but there can be a variance of a few minutes in baking time. The key is to check for doneness early and often, especially until you know how a recipe will work with your pan and your oven. Also, I’ve tested this recipe in a 9 x 9 glass pan, and although I prefer using an 11 x 7 for this recipe, if all you have is a square 9 x 9, you will need to increase the baking time closer to 45 minutes.