I can feel bath season coming on. I can expect for my shower curtain to be untucked from my bathtub, I can expect to make a new batch of mustard bath soak every week, I can expect to likely drop my phone into the water before bath season is done.
Bath season is also vegetable season though every season is technically vegetable season. It’s my desire for everything roasted and toasted that led me to this place, with both mustard bath ingredients and zucchini cake ingredients on my kitchen counter.
All of this to say that… I put vegetables on our cake (not mustard – not yet). I took a perfectly lovely spice cake and not only put vegetables inside, I put them on top, well… bottom, too. Fall seems like a good time to experiment with ways we can roast, toast, and caramelize so let’s!
This is a simple fall spice cake, the kind you toss together in one bowl with a whisk making it a very reasonable cake to make on a weekend morning, or weekday night. It’s an everyday cake and we’re technically getting our vegetables in, too so technically, we all win!
Here’s what you’ll need for this flipped spice cake:
- a heap of raw shredded zucchini plus sliced zucchini rounds for the bottom of the pan / top of the cake.
- brown sugar and butter that will make a quick caramel in the bottom of the cake pan.
- flour and leavening and salt because cake.
- cinnamon and nutmeg and maybe a few shakes of ground ginger if you’re feeling it.
- eggs to bind and oil to moisten the batter.
Start by whisking the sugars together with the eggs.
You can do this by hand with a whisk – just whip to glossy and smooth.
Add the oil and whisk to combined.
I use oil for this cake because I think it makes for a more moist crumb. Besides, we’ll get plenty of butter flavor from the bottom of the pan as the cake batter cooks atop butter, brown sugar, and zucchini rounds.
Into the wet batter with the shredded zucchini, adding even more moisture to the final cake.
To our flour we’ll add ground cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg, and salt.
And gently spoon the flour into the wet ingredients.
I found that whisking the flour into the wet ingredients in two batches did the trick!
The batter will be glossy and a pourable thick, studded with zucchini shreds. Similar to a pancake batter which… I feel like you could very easily fry this batter on a griddle and call it a pancake – but that’s a cake for another time.
Allow the batter to rest while you melt the butter in the cake pan.
Just allow the butter to melt in the cake pan as the oven preheats. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
And pack in the zucchini rounds.
Pour the thick batter over the zucchini and butter mixture. The next time we see these gems they’ll be cooked and lightly caramelized!
See those little peaks of butter around the edges? That’s the good stuff. All that flavor will bake into the outside of the cake.
Bake the cake for 30 minutes or so… maybe a touch longer, until the cake is just firmed through the center.
Remove from the oven and start the countdown! I give this cake 10-15 minutes of rest in the pan before running a butterknife around the edges of the pan and inverting it (as confidently as you can) onto a serving platter or cooling rack.
You could enjoy this cake just as it is – because wow it’s simple and delicious. OR you could sprinkle the cake with more granulated sugar and bust out the kitchen torch!
I like a little caramelized crisp to this cake so torch it just before serving. Or just serve plain and feel like you’re eating your vegetables with your cake and everything is A-OK!