At its most simple, a zucchini cake is a cake made using zucchinis. A zucchini, also called a courgette in many English-speaking countries, is a summer squash used in a variety of recipes. Zucchini cakes come in a number of shapes and forms, but are often made using Bundt molds and are often mixed with chocolate and/or with a crisp lemon glaze.
The zucchini cake can either be sweet or savory, but is most often sweet. Regardless of how it is made and what other ingredients are used, the zucchini cake is a moist cake. Zucchinis can be bought in most supermarkets and, given the right conditions, can be grown in most gardens or allotments.
There are many types of zucchini cake. The basic cake is often mixed with chocolate to make either a chocolate sponge or a chocolate chip sponge. It can also be combined with a lemon glaze, walnuts, cream cheese frosting and carrots to make a zucchini carrot cake. In terms of form, the zucchini cake can be a normal sponge with a cream filling, sheet cake cut into blocks or a Bundt cake using a Bundt mold; a Bundt mold is a circular mold with ridges and a central pillar making the final ring shape.
The basic zucchini cake requires shredded or grated zucchini, flour, eggs and baking powder. For additional taste, it traditionally requires sugar, baking soda, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg. Other flavorings can be used such as vanilla extract and ground ginger. The basic cake mixture can also include toasted nuts such as walnuts, pecans and almonds. It can also include chocolate chips or cocoa powder to make a chocolate zucchini cake.
These basic ingredients go into the cake mixture in much the same was as a cook makes any other cake. The cake takes around 25 to 50 minutes depending on a few factors -- the other ingredients used may call for longer or shorter cooking times — and the oven. Cooks often check the cake at regular intervals to avoid burning. If a glaze, filling or frosting is to be added, it is usually made as the cake is cooking. It is then added after the cake has been allowed to cool for at least 10 minutes.