Along with all of our birthdays, a dear friend of mine’s birthday is nestled in there as well. She and her co-workers celebrate their days and she had told me she had to go pick out her cake at the bakery and take it in to work. Nonsense! It’s absurd to me that you are responsible for your own birthday cake (unless you’re like me & can’t wait to get in the kitchen and create), let alone having to pick it up and take it to the office. Ahem, that’s what your co-workers are supposed to do. So, I offered to make her this cake and bring it to her on her birthday.
This cake is light and refreshing. A perfect spring and summertime cake to use up the abundance of zucchini growing in the garden. And, the lemon cream cheese frosting? Oh, behave! If only the internet had a scratch and sniff feature. It is so good, even by itself. After I frosted her cake, there was just a bit left over so I took out the raspberries from the refrigerator and had my own little dessert! Tasty, I tell you!
For the cake:
- 3 cups flour
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 cup refined coconut oil, melted and cooled (or you can use Canola oil)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 cups grated zucchini
For the frosting:
- 16 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 tsp. of salt
- zest of 2 lemons
- juice of 2 lemons
- 8 cups powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 3 9 inch round pans with parchment paper and grease the bottom and sides; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients for the cake. In a medium bowl, beat together all the remaining ingredients for the cake. Pour into dry ingredients & mix well. Distribute evenly among the 3 prepared pans. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until toothpick inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Cool cakes in pan for 10 minutes before removing and transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
In a stand up mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add in the salt, lemon juice, and lemon zest and mix together until smooth. Starting with two cups at a time, sift in the powdered sugar and beat well after each addition; scraping down the sides and bottom to fully incorporate. Using a plate or cardboard round, add one layer of cake, frost, and repeat. After the last cake layer, frost the top and sides.
Note: I’ve made this cake before and halved the frosting. This allowed enough frosting for in between the layers and the top. Since I was gifting this cake, I thought it would look better and more finished with an outside coating of frosting. Either way, it tastes amazing!