Saturday, July 18, 2015

[Gluten Free] Blueberry Lemon Zucchini Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

[Gluten Free] Blueberry Lemon Zucchini Cake
with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
It's blueberry season around the midwest and zucchini season will be here soon enough. I know I need to finish using up the stuff that is in the freezer from last season as I'll have to make room for this year's harvest. Now, I should probably tell you that I adore anything with lemon - pies, puddings, cakes, etc. I don't think I've ever tried something lemon without loving it. With that in mind, when several of my friends posted a link to I am Baker's blueberry zucchini cake with lemon buttercream on Facebook I knew that I needed to try it.

It was my turn to send treats with my hubby for those who come out to help with our church's Thursday night visitation program. I already had lemons, blueberries, and zucchini at home so I decided to attempt it. But I had two problems to overcome: 1. we have a few people that can't have gluten, and 2. I really do not like buttercream frosting. This meant that I had to experiment, which most of friends know will only make me want to try it all the more. :)

I dove right in and came up with my own version - [Gluten Free] Blueberry Lemon Zucchini Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting. It looked lovely leaving the house but I had to wait a few hours to hear what the final verdict would be. I wasn't disappointed by the response. It turned out perfectly - light and airy while remaining moist with just enough sweetness to balance out the zing of the lemon! By the way, these also make 2 dozen delicious cupcakes!

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil (coconut, canola, etc. as long as it's in liquid form)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini or summer squash
  • 3 small (or 2 large) lemons
  • 3 1/4 cups gluten free pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons xanthum gum
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries, divided
  • 2 - 8 oz. blocks of cream cheese
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk (coconut, almond, or regular)

For the cake:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine your wet ingredients (sugar, oil, applesauce, water, eggs, and zucchini).
  3. Using a microplane or fine grater, zest your lemons into the mixture.
  4. Cut your lemons in half and squeeze the juice into a small bowl of measuring cup. Don't squeeze them directly into the batter as you may accidentally drop a lemon seed into it, which is just a pain to fish out. Don't ask me how I know that. ;) Pour the lemon juice (free of seeds) into your batter and stir.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine your dry ingredients (pastry flour, xanthum gum, baking soda, baking powder, and salt). 
  6. Add your dry ingredients to your wet and whisk for a minute or two. 
  7. Now add 1 1/2 cups of your blueberries. Stir and divide into two greased and floured 9" round baking pans (or 2 greased 12 count cupcake pans).
  8. Place in your preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until tops are lightly browned and a toothpick (or cake tester) place in the middle of the cake comes out clean (15-20 minutes for cupcakes). 
  9. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. While your cake cools, you might want to prep the frosting. Don't bother prepping it while your cake is in the oven or you may end up devouring the frosting before it even makes it to the cake. When your cake layers are cool enough to handle, remove them from their pans and place them on cooling racks till they are ready to frost.
For the frosting:
  1. In a small bowl, zest your lemon. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into another small bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine your cream cheese, lemon juice, powdered sugar,  tablespoons of milk, and half your lemon zest. If the frosting seems too thick, add more milk one tablespoon at a time till you get a somewhat soft frosting. 
  3. If you cake is cool enough to frost, then, by all means, place a small dollop of frosting on your cake stand. Set your first layer of cake onto this dollop. Frost the top with half of the frosting. Place your second layer of cake on top of this and press down gently. Then place the rest of the frosting on top of your cake and spread. You can spread your frosting so it covers the sides (like the one I made) or you can leave the sides bare. 
  4. Top with your remaining 1/2 cup of blueberries and lemon zest. Then enjoy, whether your share or not is completely up to you.

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