My father has got one of the greenest thumbs that I’ve ever seen. Every summer, for as long as I can remember, my dad has had a HUGE garden. It’s actually come to be quite the spectacle at their current home. They live on Chincoteague Island, which is a popular tourist destination in summer. Evidently, people are not used to seeing a garden up close and personal. Every time we are visiting, there are folks stopping in the street to take pictures. Poor souls – I don’t know what I would do without a garden at my fingertips!
Last weekend my dad gave me two HUGE zucchinis. You know, the kind that are too big to do anything with? Then, I came across a post over at Erin’s site. It was the perfect use for these goliaths. Actually, I only used one. Any suggestions for the other?
These were seriously some of the best cupcakes I’ve had in my life. And, I’ll tell you kids, I’m no stranger to a cupcake. The were so moist and delicious, they literally melted in your mouth. They would have been awesome “as is”. But then, to slather them with heavenly cream cheese frosting? OMG, make these.
I always have a cache of spices I am trying to use up, so I tweaked the original recipe a bit. I added in some allspice, as well as a pinch of 5-spice powder. If you don’t have those – feel free to omit them, they will still be just as good!
Zucchini Spice Cupcakes
Yields: 24 cupcakes
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp table salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp Chinese 5-Spice Powder
1 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp grated lemon zest
2 cups packed light brown sugar
3 cups packed grated zucchini
1 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. In another bowl, whisk together oil, eggs, vanilla, and zest until well blended; whisk in brown sugar until smooth. Stir in zucchini, then add flour mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in walnuts.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
To finish, use an offset spatula to spread cupcakes with frosting. Refrigerate up to 3 days in airtight containers; bring to room temperature before serving.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, and then vanilla, and mix until smooth and combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 3 days in an airtight container; before using bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again.
Adapted from: Erin’s Food Files