Zucchini Cake with Crunchy Lemon Glaze

This amazingly moist and delicious cake makes zucchini disappear. It is a very forgiving cake to make, so don’t be afraid to make your own modifications!

Serves 12-16

Adapted from Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen by Gina DePalma, and borrowed from David Leibovitz


  • 1 c almonds, pecans, or walnuts toasted
  • 2 c flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 t kosher or sea salt
  • 2 t cinnamon ground
  • 1 t dried ginger ground
  • 1/2 t nutmeg freshly ground
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 c sugar
  • 1 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 c zuccchini finely grated
  • 1/4 c lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1/3 c granulated sugar
  • 1 c powdered sugar


Grate the zucchini either using a box grater by hand or with a grating attachment on a food processor.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Grease a 10 cup (2.5l) bundt or tube cake pan with non-stick spray or butter, dust with flour, then tap out any excess. You could also use a cake pan (as was used in the photograph above, or two loaf pans) Reduce baking time for smaller pans.

Pulse the nuts in a food processor until finely chopped. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, 1 3/4 cup (350g) sugar, and olive oil for 3 minutes on medium speed, until light and fluffy. Stop and scrape down the sides of the mixer, then add the vanilla. Mix in the dry ingredients, scraping down the sides of the mixer bowl to make sure everything is mixed in well, then beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. Stir in the chopped nuts and zucchini. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan, smooth the top, then bake the cake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake has begun to pull away from the sides of the pan.

During the last few minutes of the cake baking, make the glaze by whisking together the lemon juice, 1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar, and powdered sugar.

Let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then carefully invert it onto a cooling rack. Brush the glaze over the cake with a pastry brush and let the cake cool completely.

Storage: The cake can be wrapped (or put under a cake dome) and will keep for a few days. You can freeze the unglazed cake. However to apply the glaze, you’ll need to defrost the cake then warm it so the glaze will adhere properly.

Dessert baked good dessert nuts zucchini

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