Chocolate Zucchini Birthday Cake

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Super rich, super chocolate-y, super decadent, this Chocolate Zucchini Birthday Cake will fill your senses. Perfect for all you chocolate lovers out there 🙂
You will just not believe that it’s also healthy, refined sugar free and vegan.

I personally love it because although it is super decadent, it isn’t too heavy as raw cakes tend to be.
I made it first for my wonderful friend Mitra’s Nutriholist birthday because I knew she would love the addition of zucchini and extra virgin olive oil. She is a certified nutritionist so you understand why 😉

The sponge is super moist and fudgy, brownie-like, perfectly connecting with a rich frosting.
For non believers: zucchini and extra virgin olive oil won’t taste at all. It’s a promise 😉 ! But yes, you can substitute with grated apple and coconut oil.

The frosting is raw and it goes perfectly with this sponge, makes it super rich, but you can go ahead and use any other frosting of choice.

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Making the cake is fairly easy and quick. You will be done in half hour tops, then you just need to wait for everything to cool down completely before assembling the cake. This is important because the frosting is raw, containing cocoa butter for firmness. This also means that it will melt down if exposed to heat.

As I go with all my cakes, I didn’t use wheat flour but brown rice and spelt. If you want, you can go with all purpose, but I do encourage you to try at least brown rice flour cause it’s the best!

Ok, I think I covered it all and we can proceed to the recipe 🙂

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Preparation time: 20 minutes + 35-45 minutes for baking
Yields: 10 pieces

Ingredients

For sponge cake
Dry
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup sifted spelt flour (optionally use all purpose wheat flour)
2/3 cup ground walnuts
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
5 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp vanilla powder

Wet
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup agave syrup (or less if you prefer less sweet cakes)
2 tbsp ground flax + 6 tbsp water = 3 flax eggs
2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1,5 cup oat milk + 2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1,5 cup grated zucchini

Frosting

1 cup cashew nuts, raw and soaked in water for at least 3 hours
2/3 cup water
4 tbsp agave nectar
1 tsp espresso powder
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1/3 cup cocoa butter, melted
pinch of salt
4 tbsp cocoa powder

Method

1. Turn on the oven to 175° I use the steam mode in my Electrolux steam oven because baking in steam mode makes the cakes rise better and makes them softer inside
2. Mix the milk and cider vinegar and leave to stand
3. Sift the flours and mix them in a bowl with all other dry ingredients
4. Grind the flaxseeds and mix them with water. You will see that what you’ll get will look a lot like a beaten egg
5. Mix olive oil, agave syrup and lemon juice
6. Mix flax and oil mixture with a spoon and add into dry ingredients, then add milk and mix again. Do it gently, do not over mix it because if you do it too harsh the cake could turn out chewy. Now fold in the grated zucchini (I squeezed out the excess liquid prior to adding it to avoid the cake being too moist). Alternatively you can use apple or apple sauce (say, 1/2 cup). The batter should be fairly thick but still pourable
7. Pour the ready batter into a lined cake tin (I used 18 cm tin to get a high cake). you can also bake it in two tins to be sure that it bakes thoroughly.
8. Bake for 35 minutes if baking in larger tin (24 cm) or in two small tins. or 45 minutes if baking in one go in 18 cm cake tin. It’s because the baking time depends on the thickness of the batter. In a wider tin (or if using two) the batter will be thiner and will require shorter baking time.

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9. Test the cake with the tooth pick. When it’s done the tooth pick should come out dry.
10. Set it aside to cool down and prepare the filling.  Sponge needs to cool down completely cause the frosting is very sensitive to heat and it will melt. For frosting, it’s best to use a high speed blender ( I use my ESB9300 Electrolux Blender ). If not, you can use an immersion blender or any blender or food processor. The frosting will not be as smooth, and it will require some patience and effort. You will need to stop a few times and scrape the sides to get it to blend properly.
11. Ok, so wash and drain the soaked cashews. Put them in the blender with the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. If it’s too thick, add a little bit of water.
12. Check for sweetness and if it’s chocolate-y enough. You can add more sweetener and some cocoa powder. Transfer into a container and leave in the fridge to firm up (or in the freezer if in a hurry – it will take around 2 hours to firm up)
13. Cut the sponge in half (or in three layers), and assemble the cake.
14. It will keep in the fridge at least for 5 days

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And if you’re a chocolate lover, check some other chocolate recipes like Double Chocolate Raw Cake, Raw Nutella Cake and Vegan Chocolate Sponge Cake

Lots of love,

Maja xx

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