ZUCCHINI & CACAO CAKE WITH CASHEW BUTTER ICIING

From the moment I started planning Olive’s first birthday party in my head I knew that I wanted to be the one to make her cake. Not because she didn’t deserve a fancy three tier cake but because I thought it was something special for us both to look back on. My mum always made my cakes (you know the ones from the Women’s Weekly Cake book) and I would always look at them with so much pride.

I guess being so health conscious there was no way I was ever going to make Olive a birthday cake loaded with refined sugar. So this is when I started to test out some recipes that I already had used.

Admittedly I tested my Zucchini and Cacao Muffins recipe as a cake, I thought it would be a nice connection given I had made those when I was in labour but unfortunately the muffin recipe didn’t translate well to cake – it was either too raw or too dry.

That’s when I started testing and came up with the recipe below. Using the yogurt and zucchini meant it was really moist (awkward word but no better way to describe the inside of a cake). I grated the zucchini’s so fine you wouldn’t be able to find them unless you really looked for them.

You can use plain wholemeal flour if that’s all you have, I just prefer to cook with spelt flour given it’s added health benefits.

CAKE INGREDIENTS
2 medium zucchini’s grated (3 cups)
⅓ cup nutlex (or dairy free butter)
½ cup coconut sugar
3 eggs
2 tbsp honey
⅓ cup natural organic yoghurt
1 ½ cups wholemeal spelt flour
¼ cup cacao
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract

CAKE METHOD
1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees
2. Cream the nutlex and coconut sugar before adding in the eggs one at a time then the yoghurt, honey and vanilla extract – mix until well combined.
3. Gently sift in all the dry ingredients into a seperate bowl before adding all the wet ingredients and mixing well
4. Spoon the mixture into a lined cake tin
5. Bake for 45 mins or until a skewer comes out clean
6. Leave to the cake to cool completely before icing

ICING INGREDIENTS
2 cups greek yoghurt
¼ cup cashew butter (I used homemade)
1 tbs vanilla extract
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
2 cups coconut flour
Approx 1tsp beetroot powder for your desired colour (or use matcha powder for green icing)

ICING METHOD
1. In a high speed food processor (or blender) add the yoghurt, cashew butter, vanilla extract and vanilla paste – blending on a low speed until completely smooth
2. Then add the coconut flour and beetroot powder until the mixture begins to thicken
3. Once the mixture has thickened add to a bowl and place in the fridge for 10 mins or until its firm enough to use
4. Add to your cake as desired