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This Zucchini Cake recipe is just the thing when you get a hankering for zucchini cake and need it fast! It’s a simple from-scratch recipe with all of the important elements: a spicy, moist cake with zucchini throughout and fluffy cream cheese frosting.
Have you ever had a zucchini cake emergency? You know — when it’s summertime, your garden is overflowing with zucchini, and your sweet tooth starts talking to you? Then you begin dreaming about spiced cake, walnuts, and pools of fluffy cream cheese frosting? Oh good, I’m not alone! And that, folks, is a carrot cake emergency! Luckily, I have us covered with this simple homemade recipe.
I love having a few quick and easy cake recipes in my repertoire. Carrot cake is great for year-round enjoyment, as is this vanilla cake. Red velvet cake is perfect for Christmas and Valentine’s day, and lemon cake is great during the spring and summer.
Cook’s Note – Emergency Zucchini Cake:
- If you don’t like nuts, then simply leave them out.
- Chopped pecans work well with this cake, too.
- If you don’t have vanilla bean paste, you can simply use vanilla extract. You just won’t get the little speck of vanilla in your cream cheese frosting.
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Emergency Zucchini Cake
- 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts plus more for garnish
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened but still cool
- 5 Tablespoons butter softened but still cool
- 1 Tablespoon sour cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups confectioners' sugar
FOR THE CAKE:
- Move oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 8x8-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray; cut and place a square of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan, lightly spray again, and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. In a large measuring cup whisk together oil and eggs; add the mixture to dry ingredients and whisk until combined. Fold in zucchini and walnuts.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Place pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the cake pan, invert cake onto a cooling rack and cool completely about 1-2 hours.
FOR THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- Once the cake is cool make the frosting. Add cream cheese, butter, sour cream, and vanilla to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on high until combined, about 60 seconds, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Add confectioners’ sugar and mix on high until nice and fluffy, about 1 minute.
TO FINISH THE CAKE:
- Spread frosting evenly over cake using an offset spatula, and sprinkle with walnuts (optional). Cut zucchini cake into squares and serve.