Zucchini with Lemon Cream Cheese

Flashback to June 2013. I laughed in my dad’s face as he suggested a more sugar-free business model for bubbles+sprinkles. I laughed, not because eating healthy isn’t important to me, (I’m what you call an any-vore– I’ll try anything once), but because how much fun is a sugar-free cupcake? Cupcakes, [and bubbly], to me invoke connotations of celebrations, frivolous and serious. I see them as a way to break loose from your daily routine tracking calories and meeting deadlines. But I think I’m eating a bit of humble pie this week, as I tried my hand at Zucchini Cupcakes.

They were inspired by some lovely friends of mine, whom I met while visiting Guatemala. We’ve remained in touch over the past year, so I have to give kudos to the Peters family for this idea.

But guys, it was HARD! Baking with fruit and veggies means that sometimes a couple of iterations of a recipe are necessary. And I have no shame in admitting that this was a two-batch week. The first batch just didn’t dome as much as I would have liked and I didn’t get the cornbread-esque taste that I was going for. I checked. I adjusted. And I’m a fan of the following recipe:

Cupcakes (makes 12):
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 zucchini (10 ounces), coarsely grated (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Frosting:
  • 16 oz confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • The juice of a lemon
  • Lemon peel for garnish

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Preheat oven to 375– a bit higher than normal. We’ve got some ingredients here that are a little bit more dense. Line cupcake tin and set aside. Combine cupcake ingredients and fold in zucchini, in large bowl. Here’s the kicker- don’t. over. mix. If you over mix recipes like this one, you’ll create pockets of air in the batter. This is a surefire (heh, pun) way to bake sunken cupcakes. If you’re using an electric mixer, I recommend 1:30 – 2 min on medium. If you’re doing it by hand: 3 min, tops. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 of the way and bake for 25 minutes (again- a little bit longer).

While your cupcakes cool, let’s whip up some lemon cream cheese frosting. Cream cheese can be sticky to work with, I encourage you to get your hands dirty. Mix all frosting ingredients, ensuring that no seeds from the lemon slip in there. Frost your cupcakes and garnish with slices of lemon peel. I dipped mine in excess sugar for extra sweetness. Another option? Check out this video to learn how to make that perfect curly-Q.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Xo,
Jenna

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