Sunday, August 29, 2010

Augustoberfest (aka Zucchini cupcakes)

Well, what a lack of Summer we have had here in the glorious Pacific Northwest. It really feels as though we went straight from Spring to Fall. Okay, maybe we had Summer for five days two weeks ago when we had high heat, but since then it's been cool and partly cloudy. Despite this strange (for August) weather, my mom has managed to grow quite a few zucchini in her garden. Saturday for lunch we made zucchini fritters, and Sunday I made zucchini cupcakes. We still have zucchini left over, and I believe I know what their fate will be. More zucchini cupcakes.

You see, zucchini cupcakes make for the perfect dessert for that transition from Summer to Fall. The zucchini is and end-of-summer veggie, while the spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves) in the cupcakes are very autumnal. I have to say, they are quite delicious, and just what I needed.

Without further ado, the recipe:

(From Martha Stewart's Cupcakes)

Zucchini-Spice Cupcakes

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, at room temp
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 cups packed light brown sugar
3 cups packed grated zucchini

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In a large 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. Batter will be wet.

2. Divide batter evenly among cups, filling about three-quarters full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. Cool cupcakes completely in tins on racks.

Note: I topped these with leftover cream cheese frosting from the red velvet cake I made for my co-worker's birthday. Use your favorite cream cheese frosting, or leave plain.

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