It was this recipe in the Squash Cookbook by Yvonne Young-Tarr that inspired me to candy zucchini. Before that, I considered candied zucchini as a project for people with too much time on their hands. Since then, I’ve served this coffee cake to dozens of people and no one has asked what was in it. Most have assumed it is an apple filling.
The recipe below is adapted from the Squash Cookbook to fit our nutritional specifications and diet needs. Even the adaptation is luscious. Who says that healthy can’t be divine? I use a turdinado sugar in this recipe — a stronger molasses flavor from something like sucanat would be overpowering.
If you are interested in following this path, look first at the directions for making candied zucchini (here). It is a good way to recoup some of those overgrown specimens. When you make it, candy as much as possible. It keeps in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks or you could dehydrate it. Alastair loves dried candied zucchini on his granola.
Coffee Cake Batter Ingredients
- 1 cup butter
- 2 lightly beaten eggs
- 1 cup thick plain yogurt or sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 cup cane sugar (e.g. turbinado)
- 2 cups spelt flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Coffee Cake Filling Ingredients
- 2 cups candied zucchini
- 1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
- 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup cane sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
Coffee Cake Steps
- Lightly grease a 10 inch spring-form pan.
- Sift the dry ingredients of the cake batter together (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt).
- Using an electric mixer whip the butter and sugar together until they are light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs to the butter mix and continue to beat until the eggs are fully incorporated.
- Add the yogurt or sour cream to the butter mixture. As it is blending in, add the vanilla and lemon zest.
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture a little at a time until all the dry ingredients are fully blended into the batter.
- In a small bowl combine the cinnamon, sugar, nuts, and coconut flakes.
- Pour half the batter into the prepared baking pan.
- Sprinkle half the cinnamon-nut mixture over the dough.
- Carefully spoon the candied zucchini onto the dough. Top the zucchini layer with the rest of the cinnamon-nut mixture.
- Spoon the rest of the batter on top of the cinnamon-nut layer.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick. When a toothpick is inserted in the middle of the cake and comes out clean with no batter clinging to it, the cake is done.
- Cool the cake completely on a wire rack.
- When the cake is cool, remove the outside ring. A cooled cake will slice so much better than a warm one. Patience pays off.
If you want to be decadent, garnish each slice with sour cream sweetened with maple syrup or with whipped cream sweetened with maple syrup.