With the end-of-summer Aspen harvest upon us, my refrigerator was filling up with green goodness including an abundance of zucchini accumulated from my enthusiastic gardening friends. On this particular Sunday, Robbie and I had been invited to dinner (my contribution was dessert) but I completely lacked the motivation to go shopping for ingredients to follow a zucchini recipe on hand. The day was slipping away and I needed spontaneous inspiration fast! So, I tossed out the standard dinner party rule of, “don’t bring an untested recipe to your dinner host”, dug deep into my soul (a.k.a. cupboard) and got creative with the items that already existed in my pantry. Fortunately, luck was smiling upon me and combined with a few surprises, Julie’s Gluten Free Carob Zucchini Cake was born!
Julie’s Gluten Free Carob Zucchini Cake
½ C coconut oil
½ C carob chips
½ C unsweetened dark chocolate chips
¼ C raw tahini (or other smooth seed or nut spread)
3 T Maca powder 3
3 T carob powder (can substitute cocoa powder)
½ C shredded coconut (can substitute other dried fruits or nuts)
½ C coconut palm sugar
¼ C maple syrup
1 T vanilla extract
3 T Grand Marnier* (can substitute honey sweetened: decaf espresso, strong earl grey or chai tea (black or rooibos); other cordials, plant based milk, beet juice or water)
1/3 C Go Raw sprouted granola (can substitute oats)
½ t Himalayan salt
3 organic, free range eggs (or your preferred egg substitute)
2 C Pamela’s gluten free baking mix (I like this because the rising agents are included)
2 C shredded zucchini with the extra liquid squeezed out (shredded carrots should work if zucchini is out of season)
½ C Carob Chips whole (optional – for the chocolate chip effect)
Keep flavor combinations in mind as you make substitutions in the recipe.
- Preheat over to 375° F
- Melt coconut oil, carob chips, unsweetened dark chocolate chips and tahini together, set aside and let cool to room temperature.
- Mix the ingredients starting with the Maca powder to the Himalayan salt together. Add the melted carob/chocolate mixture and stir well.
- Add the eggs, Pamela’s baking mix and zucchini and gently mix until combined. Do not over mix.
- Pour into a greased and floured bake pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Or a greased and floured cupcake tin, or cupcake cups. Makes approximately 12-16 cupcakes.
*A story about the Grand Marnier. This is not a typical staple in the Levin household. I have had in my possession 2 single serving bottles for longer than I would like to mention…it ages well. They were part of a hotel welcome basket from a trip years before with a dear friend. We happily devoured the fruits, cheeses and assorted nuts but spent the rest of the weekend occasionally staring at the 2 little bottles Grand Marnier, wondering what purpose they were going to serve (Grand Marnier screams “hangover” to me, so it is easily avoided). At the end of our trip, my friend casually tossed them into my bag and said, “You’ll use these one day”, and I, of course, thought otherwise. These 2 little bottles traveled with me back to Aspen, to various homes, always silently staring at me, waiting for their time to shine, and their day had finally arrived!