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Got Zucchini? Bake a (Low-fat) Chocolate Cake!

In early September, when zucchini plants reach their peak and offer up armloads of summer squash at a time, it’s common to open the front door to get the mail and come inside with a bucket of zucchini. (This is why I never bother growing my own zucchini – I never really need to.) Even when you don’t have friends and neighbors unloading their homegrown zucchini, it’s cheap and abundant at the market, and well worth picking up, if only to make a dense, moist chocolate zucchini cake – one of my favorite kinds of chocolate cake. (Don’t mind the picked-out chocolate chips in this picture – kids live here.)

Last week there was an enormous yellow zucchini in our CSA box – it was the size of a small child. I hacked an end off and grated it, and just that chunk was enough for a chocolate Bundt cake and a pan of brownies. It’s a good thing everyone loves this stuff – perhaps rather than drop off armloads of zucchini, we’ll start dropping chocolate zucchini cakes on peoples’ doorstops. How to win friends and influence people – with summer squash.

(Low Fat) Chocolate Zucchini Cake

2 cups all-purpose flourӬ
1 cup sugar
Ӭ3/4 cup cocoa
Ӭ1 1/2 tsp. baking powderӬ
1 1/2 tsp. baking sodaӬ
1/2 tsp. saltӬ
1 1/4 cups buttermilkӬ
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
Ӭ2 large eggs
Ӭ1/4 cup canola oil
Ӭ2 tsp. vanillaӬ
1 cup strong coffeeӬ, cooled (I dissolve 2 tsp. instant into water) or milk
1 zucchini, coarsely grated”¨ (don’t peel it)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add buttermilk, brown sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla and stir until well blended and smooth. Stir in coffee and zucchini.

Pour into a Bundt pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the top is springy to the touch.

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