Lemon Zucchini Drizzle Cake

I might have mentioned in previous posts how much I love the Great British Bake Off.  Most of the items the bakers are asked to make I’m familiar with, but occasionally they’re asked to bake something that I (and even they) have never heard of.

While watching the other night, for the very first challenge, Mary asked the bakers to bake a “drizzle cake”.  A drizzle cake?  What in the world is a “drizzle cake”?  Get out the laptop and Google “drizzle cake”.  It appears that a ‘drizzle cake’ (a term used in the U.K. and not to be confused with a ‘glazed cake’) is a loaf or pound cake which has been punctured with holes after baking into which a simple syrup is poured (flavor of your choice), and then glazed.  Okay, sounds easy enough, which probably explains why it was the first challenge of the season for the British Bake Off contestants.  So, I’m going for it!

Of course, I’m not going to replicate Mary’s, or the contestant’s bakes.  As always I’ll create my own recipe, and with a garden bulging with zucchini (courgette for all the U.K. readers), have the perfect idea … a Lemon Zucchini Drizzle Cake.

After a few failed attempts (too much zucchini, too wet a batter, not enough leavening, etc.), the following recipe is a winner.  Not too puckery … not too veggie-like … and not too sweet, just chock full of lemony zucchini goodness.  Dense, rich and moist … think of carrot cake but without the spice … and, of course, add in the “drizzle” factor.

This one’s definitely a keeper.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

LEMON ZUCCHINI DRIZZLE CAKE
Makes one large loaf cake, or 12 muffins/small cakes.  Bake at 350° for one hour (for cake) … 35 minutes or so for smaller cakes … or til done.

1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons (or more) lemon zest
1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
2 eggs, room temperature
2 cups all- purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups shredded zucchini, drained dry

Drizzle
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350.  Grease a large loaf/cake pan or muffin tins.

This is really quite easy to make.  First grate the zucchini and put it in a colander to drain.  You want as much moisture removed from the zucchini as possible.  I grated the zucchini and let it drain for over an hour, then gathered up handfuls of zucchini and squeezed it dry.  If your zucchini isn’t squeezed dry, your cake will be wet and soggy.  And no one wants a “soggy bottom”.

In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Whisk together til well blended and the flour has lifted.

In another large bowl, beat the eggs til lemony colored and then add the sugar.  Beat well.  Add the oil, lemon juice, vanilla and yogurt.  Mix well and then add the lemon zest.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing well, but don’t over-beat.  Fold in the DRY, grated zucchini.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan or pans.  Bake in the center of the oven, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and dry … about an hour … and until the cake begins to pull back from the sides of the pan. When the cake is fully baked, cool it in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove it from the pan and cool it on a rack for another 15 minutes while you prepare the “drizzle”.

In a small bowl mix the confectioner’s sugar and the lemon juice.  It should be thin, but not too thin.  This is not a thick glaze.  After the cake has cooled, put it back into the pan and with a long skewer (I used a chopstick from last night’s takeout), poke holes in the cake about an inch or two apart.  Pour half the “drizzle” all over the cake, letting it settle into the holes, let it rest for about 15 minutes, then pour the rest of the “drizzle” over the top.

The “drizzle” oozes into this yummy cake making it very moist.   Leave the cake to set for at least an hour before serving.  And then serve this cake for a sweet treat at lunch, brunch or if you want the perfect accompaniment for your afternoon tea.  Absolutely delicious!  Enjoy!!

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