Low Fat Chocolate Zucchini Cake (fail)

Low Fat Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Things don’t always go well in baking. Sometimes, you just learn about what doesn’t work, and move on. And that’s today’s lesson. Oops.

I didn’t bake last night, I went to some crazy “Restore The Core” class instead. It wasn’t exactly a mistake, but I won’t be going back. I felt good for having done it, but it was unpleasant and difficult in a not fun way. I’m going to go to some yoga classes instead, I actually bought a monthly pass to the new yoga place down the street and I plan to make good use of it. With that in mind, I wanted to bake tonight and I wanted to make something new, but I didn’t want to plunge back into decadence, so I opted for the zucchini cake. Plus you have to appreciate a recipe that requires a combination of these two items: zucchini and coffee.

zucchini and coffee

But both of those came in later. The zucchini sat patiently and the coffee had to cool anyway, so I put the measuring cup in a bowl of cold water while I got everything else together.

First up, the dry ingredients: whole wheat white flour, white sugar (I used 3/4 cup instead of a whole one), cocoa, baking powder baking soda, and salt.

dry ingredients

I whisked.


The recipe said to add the next set of ingredients and mix, but I stirred them together first in a separate bowl. Eggs, buttermilk, brown sugar, canola oil, and vanilla all went in.

wet ingredients

I stirred it up, then poured it into the flour mixture.


I stirred it all up. It looked full of chocolately goodness. I added the zucchini.

adding zucchini

Everything still looked pretty good. It was time to add the coffee.

addng coffee

And that, my friends, is when things started to go wrong. The texture went from being a familiar batter-like texture to pure liquid. Stirring helped a little, but not much. You can sort of see from the picture, but pouring it into the pan involved no scraping and no careful checking to make sure it was distributed evenly. I could have poured it from a jug.

batter in pan

It said to bake for 45-50 minutes, so I set the timer for 40. I peeked in at about 30, and it was almost bubbling. Not a good sign.

At 40, it wasn’t done.

At 45, parts of it were completely done and parts were still gooey.

At 50, most of was done, but small sections weren’t.

At about 55, maybe a little later, I pulled it out. It seemed done, but I kept it in the pan for another 20 minutes. It actually looked okay at that point.

cooling in pan

When I came back 20 minutes later, after being thoroughly engrossed in a horrifying episode of Criminal Minds, the inner section had collapsed somewhat. This wasn’t a good sign.


I took it out of the pan.

out of pan

It still looked like things might turn out well, until I had a look at the pan itself. Despite being properly sprayed to prevent stickiness, there was an awful lot of batter stuck to that inner ring. Not a thick layer, by any means, but a thin, consistent one.

I let the cake cool for another 20 minutes or so, and then sliced it.

I’ll spare you the photos.

It was just wrong. It was gummy and weird and had some proper crumb texture around the edges and in patches here and there, but clearly was more than undercooked in those spots, it just wasn’t meant to be. I don’t think anything could have saved this. There was just too much liquid.

I didn’t feel bad, though. It wasn’t like the cheesecake, which I screwed up, or the bad corn muffins, where I should have known better. It was just a recipe that didn’t work for me, and now I know. I have some great recipes for chocolate zucchini cake to fall back on, and new ones to try.

Dave very lovingly pitched it for me. He knows how difficult that is for the baker.

We had a rough day in the kitchen anyway. Dave made this lovely-tasting mongolian beef from a Pinterest recipe, but halfway through cooking he realized that the pan he was using wasn’t non-stick anymore, and the steak he was using was a little too tough. We ate it for dinner anyway, and I thought the flavor was wonderful, but the meat definitely required a lot of extra chewing.

So we try again today. I think I’ll take Juliet to Stew Leonard’s after yoga and pick up some produce and meat and other delicacies. Redemption is right around the corner. Thematically, a fresh start is definitely in order.

LOW FAT CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKE RECIPE (maybe you’ll have better luck)

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