Sunday, October 13, 2013

Zucchini Fudge Cashew Cake

Is there anything better than a rich, moist, tender chocolate cake waiting for you when you come home from school or work? I grew up in the era of Deep 'n Delicious cakes, which we were never allowed to have at home, but when I went to a friend's house it always seemed to be waiting for us in the freezer. There was something about being able to just dig right in to a piece of cake at the end of an ordinary day that made the experience perfect - and I've been a fan of the "snacking cake" ever since.

These days, the snack cakes of my youth are fewer and farther between on the grocery shelves, being replaced by gigantor muffins, pizza pockets and snack wraps. However, when I bring a homemade, no-frosting-needed, single layer treat to a gathering, it always winds up going first. 

I originally set out to make the Zucchini Fudge Cake Brownies that I saw on Eat Healthy, since I had a few scoops of Zapple Butter to use up before we went apple picking this morning. Somewhere along the line, I got it into my head that it would make a killer gluten free brownie that I could lace with the bottom of my jar of cashew butter and stud with roasted cashews too for good measure. I knew, even with the guar gum in my recipe, that they would be tender and rich, but they came out of the oven looking and acting way more like a cake than a pan of brownies. That said, it was one of the most spectacular surprise outcomes I've had recently, and was  lapped up by everyone who tried it - vegans, omnivores, gluten free or not! Sneaking in a hefty dose of zucchini was easy as pie, and you'd never guess it was in there! Considering that the only oil came from the cashew butter, it was surprisingly moist and tender for days and would have been perfect for a weeknight treat or a mid-afternoon snack.

GF Vegan Zucchini Fudge Cashew Cake

Zucchini Fudge Cashew Cake
Serves 16
½ cup unsweetened apple butter (or Zapple Butter)
2 tbsp cashew butter
⅓ cup brown sugar
¾ cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
3 cups finely shredded zucchini, lightly squeezed (about 1 lb)
2 cups gluten free all-purpose flour (mine was made of chickpea flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, sorghum flour and fava bean flour)
½ tsp guar gum
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup chopped, roasted cashews
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 9” pan with parchment
  2. Mix apple butter, cashew butter, sugars, vanilla and zucchini in a large bowl.
  3. Add the flour, guar gum, cocoa, baking soda and salt, stirring to combine. Fold in the cashews.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes. Cool completely in the pan before turning out.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 156.9
Total Fat: 3.9 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 4.2 mg
Total Carbs: 32.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.5 g
Protein: 3.3 g