Zucchini Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting is the best recipe to use all the garden surplus you have! A triple layer cake that is so dense and moist, then you slather a killer lemon cream cheese frosting all over it.
I think once school is back in session, there is somehow a shift in the time-space continuum. That first day of school, I feel all full of determination and dedication to finishing all the projects that have to get done. Especially now that 5 of my 6 kids are in school for 7 hours a day.
I should have all the time in the world to get them done…..right???
Well, we are about to finish our second week of school and my to-do list only grew. When I sit back to try to figure out where those 70 hours of almost child free hours have gone, I am at a complete loss. The most pressing matter on my project list is my garden. So much food that needs to be canned or frozen!! Don’t even get me started on my apple tree that decided to start dropping fruit 3 weeks earlier than normal. Usually when feeling this overwhelmed, I will get up a few hours earlier to give myself more time. I am currently getting up at 5:00 am. I don’t think getting up at 3:00 am would do me or my family much good.
The closest thing I have done to preserving my garden’s bounty was this amazing zucchini cake. Though, it was gone in less than 24 hours, so I’m not sure I could count it as preserving. I loved how easy it was to mix together in a bowl, with no need to haul out my mixer. If you want a simpler version, just bake it in a 9×13 inch pan instead!
Need another zucchini recipe? These Carrot and Zucchini Bars will be just what you need!
Zucchini Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
My favorite zucchini recipe becomes this triple layered moist cake which is then slathered in a fabulous lemon cream cheese frosting!
- 3 C flour
- 3 C white sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 C oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 C grated zucchini
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 C butter, room temperature
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 4 C powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly spray three 6″ round cake pans and line the bottoms with wax paper or parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients for the cake. In a medium bowl, beat together all the remaining ingredients for the cake. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix well. Divide evenly between the three pans.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until the cake bounces back when gently touched in the center. While the cake bakes, use a wooden spoon to beat together the cream cheese, butter and lemon zest until smooth. Add the remaining frosting ingredients and mix until smooth and lump free.
- Cool the cakes for 10 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a cooling rack. Remove the pan and slowly peel away the wax/parchment paper liners. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
- Serving Size: 1/16th
- Calories: 664
- Sugar: 69g
- Sodium: 362mg
- Fat: 33g
- Saturated Fat: 8g
- Unsaturated Fat: 22g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 88g
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 5g
- Cholesterol: 76mg
Ooh, this looks delicious! I have a giant zucchini that I was planning on stuffing and doing something healthy with but I think we might have to “settle” for this instead. :o)
Jen T says
So understand your statement about free time disappearing and project lists getting longer with no kids home. Sigh. . .right there with ya and my long list. This cake looks amazing! My garden died long ago with our over 100 degree days in July and water restrictions because of the drought, but I have one zucchini left in the fridge, and this recipe is calling out to it! Thanks!
Emily Thompson says
Would it be possible to make this as a sheet cake? Just curious, I don’t have round cake pans. Thanks!
Absolutely! Just watch the cake because I’m sure the time will be different than for the round cakes.
Wonderful!! Thanks for answering, I can’t wait to try this! Looks delicious!
hi thanks for this recipe, it was great! The frosting was a bit runny – how did you get it to set? thanks
Can jou perhaps use almond flower and make it more healthy. Cake flour is ratpoison.
Rat poison….I had no idea 🙂 I have never tried this recipe with almond flour so if you give it a try, come back and let me know how it turned out for you Adrienne
What do you exactly mean by grated zucchini?
I can imagine many ways to grate them….peeled, not peeled, sliced, etc
Claudia- do you have a grater or shredder that you would use to grate cheese? Just use that with some zucchini and viola
Kristin M says
Just wondering if you have to let the zuchini “sweat” after you grate it. Just worried about it not holding together as a whole. 🙂
I have always used it freshly grated and never had any problems.
Kristin M says
Awesome!!! Makin it as we speak!!
Jodi A says
Oh my! I had an overabundance of zucchini in my garden last year, so I was searching for different ways to use them all. I came across your recipe for Zucchini Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting and gave it a try. It was my husband’s (and family’s) FAVORITE way to eat zucchini! I just plucked the first zucchinis from my garden this summer and immediately came in to find and print off this recipe! Thank you so much for sharing this!
That is so awesome Jodi! Thanks for coming back and sharing your experience with me. It means a lot to me -Carole
Ruby Trejo says
Just made this for my family after our zuchinni plant blessed us with one too many! It was a hit! I squeezed out the excess water from zuchinni and had to add 15 mins to the cook time for 2 loaf pans with half the recipe but it was perfection! Great bread on its own but the frosting took it to the next level! Had to put the frosting in the fridge for a bit when it started to run which helped… all in all we are so doing this again ! Thank you!
So glad you liked it Ruby! If I can make a suggestion, don’t squeeze out the extra water after you grate the zucchini. That extra moisture really makes the cake so soft and tender! -Carole
The cake needed to cook much longer than the 30-35 minutes suggested. I made a 9×13 and it needed a good hour. I covered the it with foil the last 20 minutes.
That doesn’t surprise me Pauline. The recipe is supposed to be baked in three small pans so yes, baking it all together in one large pan will take a lot longer. Thanks for your comment! -Carole
Waiting for the cakes to cool so i can frost them-cant wait to try it! One question, though-does this need to be stored in the refrigerator? Thank you for sharing your recipe!
Hey Erin! I like to store my cream cheese frostings in the fridge but not a necessity either.
I can’t wait to make this but I have a question about the flour. Is it all purpose flour and not self rising since you are adding baking soda? Thank you!
Howdy Pam! You are correct.
Just wondering 3 cups sugar seems a lot?
Hey Lisa! You are right, it is a lot but remember that you are making a triple layer cake compared to a normal double layer or a 9×13 inch size. It makes a lot of cake 🙂
Sharon Irvin says
Hi ya Lisa, how can I convert this to either 9″ cake pans or a bunt, I don’t have 6″ pans? It looks soooooooo good!
Hi Sharon – you can definitely use either but will need to adjust the cooking time accordingly! – Carole
I just made it, in the oven right now. I did how ever make it into a sheet cake and added lemon peel into the batter. Baking right now smells great.
Glad you made the recipe work for you Nikki!
I made this yesterday in a bundt pan. It was so good . My friends really loved it.
I’m so glad Luanne!
Made this today. Super easy to make and super moist and delicious. My only issue and I have never had this happen when I make a cake is they all sank in the middle after they over flowed in the oven.. saddness.. they didn’t turn out pretty but taste wonderful I checked and rechecked recipe ingredients nothing was missed everything measured precisely so not sure what happened. Will try it again because it tastes amazing.
Wow Beth! I’m not sure what happened either. My only thought is maybe you used tablespoons of the baking powder and baking soda instead of teaspoons?
Haven’t made it yet but I have a question. Did you really mean 6 inch pans? That’s a lot of batter and wouldn’t it be very tall for that size pan?
Hi Jeannine! You can certainly use 6 inch pans but the cake shown did not use 6 inch pans. If you do use 6 inch pans, don’t overfill them because you will have some extra batter. Good luck!
Your recipe calls for 6″ pans. I’m confused as to what size pan to use.
Hi Janie! I used 6 inch round cake pans. Round pans are measured by their diameter.
Hi, this is always the first thing we make with the first 2 zucchini from the garden every year for the past few years. Thank you for sharing! My winter born family has even asked for it for birthdays. I just enjoy mixing up the frosting every once in a while. But this time I didn’t have oil and my 4 children were disappointed so we used applesauce in its place. We have to have this for dessert tonight with our first zucchini. Can’t mess with tradition 😉
I love hearing comments like this Kate! Thanks so much for coming back, sharing your great story, and your review.
Looking forward to making this for my family! Before I do, I would like to clarify the pan size. The recipe calls for three 6″ pans, but you mentioned in an earlier post that the cake pictured was not made with 6″ pans. Could you clarify? I plan to use 8″ pans myself and will watch the time in the oven. Also, could muffins be made?
Hi Mary! If you use 8″ pans, you will only have a double layer cake, which will work great! You will need to watch the time on the oven and check for doneness however. And yes, I believe this recipe would make excellent muffins or cupcakes. Would love to hear how it turns out for you!
Stephanie L. says
Made this today, it was deeeeelicious! My sister gave me a massive zucchini from her garden and I wanted to make a layer cake instead of a loaf or a quick bread. The texture, the spice, everything about it was perfect! It is sure to become a summer staple in our family. Thanks for sharing!
I’m so glad you loved it Stephanie! Thanks so much for coming back and leaving a review. It helps so much 🙂
Jo Foster says
Can I use zucchini that I shredder and froze?
Absolutely! I do it all the time. Just be sure not to drain away any of the water that will be in your container it was frozen in.
using two 9 inch pans will extend the baking time, correct? No other changes, other than the time?