Vegan Zucchini Pistachio Cake

Treat yourself to a slice of decadence

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Vegan Zucchini Pistachio Cake
Photo: Lauren Toyota

This simple recipe is slightly spiced and has the added health benefit of zucchini. Actually adding the zucchini gives this cake an awesome moist and fluffy texture. The added nutrition is just a bonus!

Makes: One 6-inch cake (about 8 pieces)

Recipe Ingredients

Cake Batter

  • ¼ cup shelled, salted pistachios
  • 1 Tbsp. golden flax meal
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup (1 stick) vegan butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 zucchini (about 7-inches long x 1 ½-inches wide)

Lime Cream Cheese Frosting

  • ¼ cup plain vegan cream cheese 
  • 1 ½ cup sifted organic confectioner’s sugar
  • zest of 1 lime (about 2 tsp), plus a few drops of juice
  • 1 Tbsp. shelled, salted pistachios, finely chopped as garnish

Recipe Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 6-inch spring form pan with parchment paper, and grease the sides with vegan butter. 

Make the cake batter: First grind up the pistachios in a spice grinder or small food processor into a fine flour or meal.

In a small bowl, combine flax meal and water and set aside to thicken.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, ground pistachios, baking powder, sea salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. In another bowl, melt the butter in the microwave or over low heat in a saucepan. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract and the thickened flax mixture and whisk until well combined.

Shred the zucchini on a box grater. You should have about 1 ¼ cup shredded. Using a nut milk bag or fine mesh sieve, strain and squeeze the zucchini of excess water. Once strained, it’s about ¾ cup of shredded zucchini. 

Add shredded zucchini to the flour mixture and break it up, tossing it around in the flour to coat. Add the melted butter and sugar mixture, and fold together with a spatula until combined and no dry ingredients are visible, but ensure you do not overmix the batter. 

Pour the cake batter into the springform pan. Spread evenly out to the edges. Place in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove the cake onto a wire rack and allow it to cool for at least 30 to 40 minutes before removing the outer ring of the springform pan. Ensure you cool the cake completely before frosting.

Make the frosting: Combine cream cheese, confectioners sugar, lime zest, and lime juice, with a spatula or hand mixer until smooth. Spread the frosting on top of the cake in an even layer. It should just slightly drip over the edges and hold its shape without dripping all the way down the side of the cake. Sprinkle chopped pistachios all over the top. Allow the frosting to set for about 30 minutes before serving. 

Note: Leftovers should be stored in the fridge. Before eating, it’s best to let the cake sit out and reach room temperature.

Nutrition facts per serving: Calories 376; protein 3 g; fat 16 g; carbs 55 g.


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