Let me just start by saying that this recipe has a lot of sugar… so don’t bother reading this post if sugar is not your thing. If, however, you love a moist, dense cake with a hint of cinnamon, covered in maple flavored icing and topped with salted almonds – then read on.
Maple, sugar, salt, cinnamon, zucchini… honestly, what’s not to love?
NOTE: This cake is based on my mom’s zucchini bread recipe. To make zucchini bread instead (with a lot less sugar) pour the batter into two greased or non-stick loaf pans and bake at 325 for 1 hour.
Zucchini Praline Cake
FOR THE CAKE
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups grated zucchini
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
FOR THE ICING
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 tsp. Mapleline or other maple flavoring
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted (sift before measuring)
- 1/2 cups whole roasted salted almonds or pecans, coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 325.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the eggs, oil, zucchini, sugar and vanilla until well blended.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
- Add the dry ingredients to the zucchini mixture and stir just until combined.
- Divide the batter evenly into THREE 9″ cake pans (well-greased or non-stick). If you don’t have three pans, bake the cake in batches.
- Bake until the cake is light brown and set in the middle – 22 to 25 minutes.
- Turn cakes out onto a rack to cool.
- In a medium sauce pan, combine the brown sugar and butter and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved – about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Pour in the milk. Continue to stir and bring to a boil.
- Remove the pan from heat and stir in the Mapleline flavoring. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Place the powdered sugar in a a large bowl. Pour the butter mixture over the powdered sugar and mix by hand for 2 – 3 minutes until the icing is smooth. Use the icing while it is still warm.
ASSEMBLE THE CAKE:
- Place one layer of the cake on a plate and pour icing in the center. Spread the icing out the the edges, then set the next cake on top. Repeat. Set the third cake on the top and pour the remaining glaze over the cake.
- Spread the icing to the edges and let it naturally drip down the sides or use your spreader to frost the sides… it’s your choice!
- Sprinkle the top of the cake with the chopped nuts.
- Let the frosting set up for at least 30 minutes before cutting.
- Serve with vanilla ice cream.
- This cake will store well for a few days at room temperature, wrapped tightly.