Zucchini Fresh from the Farmer’s Market!

This is the line I kept repeating to my coworkers as they ate my newest adventure in cupcake…zucchini spice cupcakes.  I was inspired by a recipe for summer squash cake that I found on Foodgawker.  I had gone to Maine for the weekend with Lenny and Susical and we went to the farmer’s market and bought about five pounds of summer squash and zucchini for maybe $2.  I seriously thought the woman had the price wrong when she said it but everything in Maine costs a penny anyway (seriously, you can take $20 out of the ATM and have an awesome night out on the town and still find money leftover in your wallet the next morning).  Anyway, we ended up eating all of the summer squash on the grill that night but look home a huge zucchini that we had to do something with.  After I saw the recipe for squash cake, a light bulb went off in my head realizing that duh, I could do something like this with my farmer’s market zucchini!

I really liked the idea of the squash/zucchini cake recipe but I had to make some modifications, I mean a recipe with 2 cups of vegetable oil is just ridiculous in my opinion (and probably your’s too I’m guessing).  They actually turned out great with my additions/subtractions and stayed really moist from the zucchini, you won’t even miss all of that extra oil and such.  Here is my recipe:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp. crystalized ginger chopped (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Directions

1. Set your oven to 350 degrees and line the cupcake pan with 18 liners…this will obviously take more than 1 pan if you only have the 12 cupcake pan like me.  I’ve found that since a lot of recipes make 18 cupcakes it’s handy to have a cupcake tin that bakes 6 so you don’t have to fill up two whole pans.

1. In a large bowl beat eggs and add in oil, vanilla and zucchini.  Mix only until combined.

2. Whisk together all dry ingredients (sugar, flour, cinnamon, pie spice, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) in a separate bowl.

3. With the mixer on medium low add in the flour mixture in three batches making sure to completely mix everything in after each addition.

4. Fill cupcake tins 2/3 the way full and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

While the delicious spiced aroma fills your kitchen, it’s time to start working on the frosting.  This cupcake is pretty reminiscent of a carrot cake, and what goes better with spiced vegetable cake than cream cheese frosting?  On a side note, spiced vegetable cake sounds horrible, but I promise these cupcakes will be awesome.  Ok, moving on to the frosting which is easy peasy:

Ingredients

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature (I used 1/3 less fat)
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Directions

1. Mix together butter and cream cheese until well combined.

2. Add in sugar, mixing in one cup at a time

3. Add in vanilla extract until fully combined

All you have to do is top the cupcake with a whole mess of frosting and viola, people are raving about them.  I brought them into work and got tons of compliments on them.  People were eating them without even knowing what kind of cupcakes they were (those diabetes doctors will tend to do that, they go for all of the sugar).  I kept telling people “They’re zucchini spice cupcakes.  Made with zucchini fresh from the farmers market!”.  People love them even more when you say you made them with farmer’s market ingredients…people in the city are suckers for their farmer’s markets.  I think I’m going to have to look for more veggies in the farmer’s market to turn into cupcakes, it’s such an adventure!

xoxo,

~CurlyCupcake

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Sweet and Still Here…

Am I just the worst blogger ever or what??  I know, its been almost a month since I’ve posted and nothing, nada.  And sadly I’m back and I’m not even writing about cupcakes.  Ok, well I’m not writing about my own cupcakes but this is Adventures in Cupcakes, so I’m writing about someone’s cupcakes.  I went to Sweet in Harvard Square last night and only after I had eaten my entire cupcake did I think this adventure would actually be worth blogging about.  So sadly, no picture of my cupcake since I scarfed it down but I did try to get a few pictures on my phone before I left so I could chronicle this adventure.

Sweet is really cute, its very clean and white looking, kind of modern.  Definitely a similar feel with the light colors that I’d want in a cupcake shop, but I’d personally go for a little more homey, old fashioned look.  I do love their cute little cupcake logo though that they have all around the shop and on the windows.

So I’ve had Sweet before and thought they were okay, the frosting is a bit sugary for me, but I’m a huge frosting critic and tend to be really picky about my frostings…I mean who wants a mouthful of grainy sugar and butter mixture?  Not me.  Sweet does a good job with their frosting unlike our new cupcake shop in Brighton, which will possibly be named at a later time (horrible cupcakes though).

I went to Sweet with my friend Lindy, and she got the sweet cake cupcake which was vanilla bean cake with a chocolate buttercream frosting.  For me, I got a strawberry shortcake, which had the same cupcake base as the sweet cake but is filled with strawberry preserved and topped with whipped cream frosting and a sliver of strawberry.

The verdict?  I definitely liked my Sweet cupcake this time.  Surprisingly, the best part was the frosting.  It tasted like the perfect whipped cream but was thick enough to hold up to the cupcake.  The actually cupcake part was good but a little dense but definitely moist enough.  If I was going to make a strawberry shortcake cupcake though (and I definitely will), I wouldn’t put strawberry preserves in the middle.  I missed the fresh strawberry taste in this cupcake, so I think I’d go for fresh berries here.  Lindy said she liked her cupcake but it had a bit too much chocolate frosting on it and had to take off the extra dollop from the top.

Overall, our adventure to Sweet was pretty successful…its a pretty cute place and the cupcakes were tasty.  They have a lot of interesting flavors on their menu with certain ones being featured daily while others are seasonal flavors like the strawberry shortcake or bubblegum (which I’m not sure I’d be adventurous enough to try). It was definitely worth a try, plus its research for my own cupcake empire!

xoxo,

~CurlyCupcake