Wow. Where do I start with this cake?
It’s absolutely incredible, moist, hearty, slightly crumbly, sweet, and delicious. That’s where.
Our air conditioner happened to go out the weekend I baked it, which meant sweat was pouring down my hairline as I was whipping up the icing. It was a true act of love and so, so worth it.
The minute the cake was done I popped it in the freezer so I could ice it as quickly as possible, with THIS STUFF. Dairy-free cream cheese icing. Thank you dairy-free “dairy products.” My gut owes you one.
In this here icing we have:
Tofutti dairy-free cream cheese
Earth Balance vegan butter
& Powdered shuga
So creamy, light, slightly tangy, and just as good as the real stuff – guaranteed.
Let’s put it on that cake, shall we?
Wow. This cake is INSANE. The almond meal gives it a nutty, hearty texture and flavor. The zucchini adds moisture and plenty of vitamins C and B and fiber. Applesauce and cane sugar add just the right amount of sweetness. And the icing sends it over the TOP!
To keep this cake gluten-free, I used gluten-free oats, almond meal and my favorite gluten-free flour blend. The good thing is it has many elements + an egg for binding, so even if you use a slightly different flour blend, it should turn out fine.
I HAD to have this cake before the summer ended. I adapted the recipe from a family favorite that belongs to my aunt Donna. Donna and I have so much in common: July birthdays, loud laughs, and an extreme love for sweets. No wonder she and I gush over this cake…
If you are skeptical of your ability to bake a gluten-free cake, don’t be. This one only requires 1 bowl!
This cake is also very forgiving. I made it the next day as cupcake/muffins and they turned out wonderfully. The important thing is: Make this recipe! Your family and friends will love you for it – promise.
Gluten-Free Zucchini Cake (Dairy-Free)
GLUTEN-FREE ZUCCHINI CAKE
- 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup raw or organic cane sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup olive, avocado, or melted coconut oil
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 large eggs*
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend*
- 3/4 cup almond meal (ground from raw almonds)
- 1/4 cup gluten-free oats
- 1 pinch salt
DAIRY-FREE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 4 Tbsp non-dairy butter (such as Earth Balance // softened)
- 2- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (1/2 lb. yields ~2-2 1/2 cups)
- 4 ounces "Tofutti" dairy-free cream cheese (softened)
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (148 C) and butter and flour an 8x8 pan with dairy-free butter or cooking spray and gluten-free flour.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, applesauce, eggs, and zucchini. Add vanilla, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Lastly add almond meal, gluten free flour blend, and gluten free oats and whisk again to combine. The batter should be slightly thick but very easy to pour.
Pour batter into your pan and bake for 45 minutes - 1 hour, or when a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the edges are golden brown.
While cooling, make your frosting by beating dairy-free butter and cream cheese together, then add vanilla and beat again. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until you reach desired consistency and sweetness. It should be fairly thick but still spreadable.
Once the cake is fully cooled, frost and serve immediately. You'll have leftover frosting.
The cake should keep covered in the fridge for several days, or in the freezer for several weeks. However, it's best when eaten fresh. Let set out for 10-15 minutes before serving if refrigerating so it warms a bit and becomes more tender.
To adapt this recipe into more of a zucchini bread, reduce the cane sugar to 1/2 cup (as original recipe is written) and forgo the icing!
*You could make this recipe vegan by subbing the 2 chicken eggs for 2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 5 Tbsp water). However, I did not try the recipe that way and can't guarantee it will yield similar results.
*Gluten-free flour blend: 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour, 1/2 cup potato starch, 1/4 cup tapioca flour, 1/4 cup white rice flour.
*This recipe is from the kitchen of my aunt and beloved godmother, Donna Parks.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with frosting.
Nutrition Per Serving (1 of 9 slices)
- Calories: 385
- Fat: 14g
- Saturated fat: 2g
- Carbohydrates: 60g
- Fiber: 2g
- Sugar: 43g
- Protein: 4g