Summertime, and the baking is easy.
I several pet peeves. But one big baking peeve? Anything with “dump” in the name. It is inherently a little . . . unappetizing, no? Yet a whole category of cakes are called “dump cakes.” Unlike cakes requiring creaming butter and sugar, folding meringues, melting chocolate, or any other steps, dump cakes have two steps only: Dump all the ingredients in a mixing bowl, and stir. Yet I cannot help myself: This zucchini bread needs to be called Zucchini Dump Cake. Doing otherwise fails to do justice this sweet, seasonal quick bread’s ease.
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Zucchini bread is summer’s version of banana bread. Of course, bananas have no season, but zucchini sure does. It is everywhere in July and August, taking over farmers market tables, supermarket produce shelves, gardens, restaurant menus, and food websites alike. I love when vegetables can be dessert. Vegetable desserts are so much better than, you know, vegetables.
For reasons I cannot explain, zucchini tastes wonderful as a cake. A good zucchini bread is moist, flavorful, and gently spicy from cinnamon and nutmeg. This cake accomplishes all of that, and in the easiest way possible.
Recipe Notes: Zucchini Bread Dump Cake
- Use the large grate on the vegetable grater. No need to wring out the moisture. It is part of the recipe.
- How do you know when to turn the cake out of the loaf pan? When the cake is done, place it on a cooling rack and wait about 20 to 30 minutes, until the pan feels slightly warm to the touch, but not hot. Run a small offset spatula around the edges before turning it over to release.
- This recipe calls for one loaf pan, but it can also be baked in a 9″ round pan, or divided into two 6 or 8″ cake pans. The baking time will be significantly less.
Zucchini Bread Dump Cake
- 2 cups grated zucchini, from 1 large or 2 smaller zucchini
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2/3 cup canola or other neutral oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease or line a 9x5" loaf pan or cake pans of choice.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir by hand until well mixed. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is combined.
- Pour batter into the loaf or cake pans, and bake until the cake feels firm on top and a cake tester comes out clean, about 1 hour for a loaf cake; less if divided into two cake pans. Cool in the pan for 20 to 30 minutes, then turn out onto a cooking rack to cool fully.