Summer Solstice Chocolate-Orange Zucchini Cake

I came home from work last night in a terrible mood, so I locked myself in the kitchen. Baking always makes me feel better. It was wonderful to really concentrate on each step for a change, no rushing, no multi-tasking, no interruptions… just me in the quiet kitchen. Searching the fridge for inspiration turned up some slightly wizened zucchini, and I wanted chocolate. I remembered the Chocolate-Orange Zucchini Cake I made last summer. Not too sweet, light and moist, with an extra aromatic hit from the orange liqueur. This time I used the last little bit of my homemade kumquat liqueur.

The Summer Solstice is tonight and we’re right in the swing of zucchini season. Use up some of those cheap zucchini you can’t resist buying in this great bundt cake!

Chocolate-Orange Zucchini Bundt Cake

1/2 cup/1 stick butter
1/2 cup peanut oil
1 3/4 cups Florida natural unrefined or demerara sugar
1 tbl homemade citrus liqueur, triple sec, or vanilla
2 tsp grated orange peel
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 c pecan meal (can use almond flour or any finely ground nuts or seeds)
3/4 cup cocoa
3 cups shredded zucchini, squeezed dry

Preheat the oven to 325°F and butter a bundt pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, oil, sugar, liqueur, orange peel, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Beat in the eggs.

Stir in the sour cream, then dump in flours and cocoa powder. Beat until just mixed. Then stir in grated zucchini. Don’t overbeat!

Spread batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake the cake for 45 minutes, then test with a skewer or toothpick. If the skewer comes out clean, the cake is done. Cool in pan for 10 minutes then flip bundt pan over a plate and let the cake cool completely before slicing. This cake really benefits from sitting for a few hours before serving!

If you can.