Zucchini Crabapple Cake

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I have been making a zucchini cake for years and years.  Despite having the word zucchini in the title, the cake is about as healthy as a brick.  It has 3 cups of sugar and 2 cups of oil in it, which make it delicious, but also make you feel terrible about yourself after eating 6 pieces in a row.

Zucchini Crabapple Cake is my attempt to right the ship (just a little) and make one of our favorite treats a little more healthy.   I can also take advantage of my garden bounty in the freezer.

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One thing I love about this recipe is you can do it all by hand with a wooden spoon and whisk.  No cleaning a mixer is a nice bonus!

To start I put 3 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 cup white sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon into a large mixing bowl.  Stir to combine everything (breaking up any chunks of brown sugar).

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In another bowl I combine 1 cup veggie oil, 4 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 cup crabapple puree.  The crabapple puree is what I made and froze from our crabapple picking adventure at my mom’s house last fall.  You can substitute unsweetened applesauce if needed.

I whisk that together until really well combined.

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Next the wet ingredients go into the dry and get stirred for a minute or two until mixed together.

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Then 3 cups of grated zucchini gets added and stirred in.  I used frozen shredded zucchini left over from last fall’s harvesting.  You want to drain as much extra moisture as you can from the zucchini.  I left mine in a colander in the sink for awhile and pressed water out of it with a bowl.

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Into a sprayed or buttered 9×13 pan and into a 350 degree oven it goes.  I check mine around 45 minutes but it usually takes 50-55 minutes to be perfect.

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After letting it cool, it was time assess the damage.  My little maniacs are used to a zucchini cake with double the oil and an extra cup of sugar so this experiment had the potential to anger them.  Luck was on my side.  They never noticed the difference and I was happy with how moist it still turned out.  A healthier dessert that uses our extra garden bounty is certainly a win in my book!

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Zucchini Crabapple Cake
Recipe Type: Cake
Author: Blogging with Apples
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 55 mins
Total time: 1 hour 10 mins
Serves: 25
A healthier zucchini cake using our gardens bounty!
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup crabapple puree (or sub applesauce)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups zucchini, shredded and drained
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 pan.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugars, cinnamon, and salt until well mixed.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk oil, puree, eggs, and vanilla until well combined.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix completely.
  5. Then add shredded zucchini and stir to combine.
  6. Pour batter into 9×13 pan and even out.
  7. Bake 45-55 minutes until done.
  8. Let cool and enjoy!


Jeff McIntosh

About Jeff McIntosh

Jeff's family lives in his childhood home on a 1/4 acre in town lot. Despite the small space to work with, they have challenged ourselves to produce as much of our own food as possible — and cook it! They document their journey at Blogging with Apples.