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Live Right, Live Well

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Why bake bread when you can have cake? This decadent zucchini dessert boasts antioxidants too, with ...

Wondering what to do with the abundance of fresh zucchini from your garden or your local market? Bake a chocolate zucchini cake instead of the standard zucchini bread or muffins. Even though it’s still a decadent, rich cake, it offers nutrient perks: 60-percent whole-wheat flour for whole-grain goodness, plus canola oil instead of butter for lower saturated fat. Zucchini, pecans and cocoa powder offer good-for-you antioxidants. Cinnamon, espresso powder and orange zest add depth and balance the earthier whole-wheat flour.

Makes 16 servings

1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso coffee powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1 3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fresh orange zest
2 cups grated unpeeled zucchini (about 2 large)
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
Powdered sugar for sprinkling (about 1 tablespoon)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Generously grease and lightly flour a Bundt cake pan or a 10-inch tube pan.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, cocoa, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir in chopped pecans.

3. In a large bowl, combine oil and sugar with an electric mixer until thoroughly blended. Add eggs, vanilla and orange zest and mix well. Fold in zucchini.

4. Add flour-nut mixture to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Mix just until blended.

5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

6. Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

7. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. Store at room temperature in tightly covered container.

Nutrition information (per serving)
310 calories
5 g protein
40 g carbohydrates
15.5 g fat (1.5 g saturated)
40 mg cholesterol
235 mg sodium
144 mg potassium
61 mg calcium
2.2 mg iron
90 IU vitamin A
3 mg vitamin C
3 g fiber



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