Last zucchini recipe for the year, I promise. It’s just that I didn’t check the vegetable patch for a couple of days and I now have two very large zucchinis to use up. We ate pasta for dinner last night, and I froze some, but that still leaves a lot requiring attention. So … cake. The chocolate colour goes a long way towards hiding the zucchini. Throw in a little cayenne pepper and cinnamon, and you have this Slow Cooker Mexican Chocolate and Zucchini Cake.
Cooking a cake in the slow cooker has been on my ‘things to try’ list for a while now, and an alignment of the stars this week saw it rise rapidly to the top of that list. The Princess is back at school and is eating everything in sight. She has now worked her way through all the baked goods in the freezer. However, the unrelenting summer means that it is far too hot to even contemplate turning on the oven to make more. Combine that with the zucchini glut and it seemed like a good idea to finally give the slow cooker a go.
To be perfectly honest, I didn’t hold out high hopes for this cake. I wasn’t convinced that it would rise properly, and thought that I would end up with a dense, stodgy mess. Peeking through the lid of the slow cooker during the first hour of cooking seemed to confirm my suspicions. There was not a lot of action in there. However, the magic happens in the second hour of cooking. The cake rose beautifully, was well aerated and really quite tasty.
As I usually only bake for The Princess and Mr Grumpy, I don’t normally bother to sift my dry ingredients. They never complain. However, on one occasion whilst testing this cake I found myself sifting the flour to remove the lumps from the cocoa powder. This made a substantial difference to the density and rise in the cooked cake. Even if you never sift flour for another cake again, take the time to sift it for this one. It will be worth it.
I was hesitant about adding the cayenne to the mix. The Princess is already more than suspicious about my cakes, so I thought the chilli might be a step too far. To my surprise she really quite likes it. Here’s hoping you do too.
If you are sensitive to chilli, either reduce the amount of cayenne pepper or just leave it out. It will still taste fine.
- 350g (2¾ cups) white spelt flour
- 50g (scant ½ cup) cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
- ¼ teaspoons cayenne powder
- Pinch of salt
- 250g (1½ cups + 2 Tablespoons) rapadura sugar
- 3 eggs
- 150ml (3/4 cup) macadamia oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups (approx. 350g) grated zucchini
- 125g (1/2 cup) chopped walnuts, plus extra for the top of the cake.
- Remove the liner from the slow cooker, replace the lid and turn it onto High.
- Grease the liner with butter, then line with baking paper. Greasing the liner helps the baking paper stick to the sides. Ensure that there is a bit of overhang with the paper to allow you to lift the cake out when it is cooked.Set aside.
- Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl and set aside.
- Add the sugar and eggs to a large bowl. Whisk together until the mixture is slightly frothy.
- Add the remainder of the wet ingredients and stir to combine.
- Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. You should have quite a thick batter.
- Pour the mixture into the lined slow cooker liner.
- Scatter extra chopped walnuts over the top of the cake, insert the liner back into the slow cooker and replace the lid.
- Cook the cake for 2½ hours*, or until the cake is well risen and the top of the cake has lost its 'wet' appearance. A cake skewer inserted in the middle of the cake should come out clean.
- Lift the cake out of the liner using the paper and allow to cool on a cake rack.
- Eat & enjoy!
Don't try cutting the cake until it is completely cool, as the cut surface of the cake dries out very fast and becomes unpleasant to eat.
I am linking this post up to the Our Growing Edge blog hop created by Bunny Eats Design, which inspires bloggers to try new foodie related things. This month’s host is Kim from Love, Live, Life by Kim. If you would like to join in you can do so here.