It’s summertime which means you (or your neighbor) probably have an overabundance of large, possibly gigantic, zucchini just waiting to be used up.
I actually didn’t plant any zucchini this year because I knew my father-in-law did, and he always sends the big, overgrown, sat- on-the-vine-too-long, ones my way. I’m really glad too because it saves me lots of space in my garden and leaves me room to plant other things.
I’ve been waiting to make these cupcakes but I didn’t have any zucchinis left. Thankfully my neighbor must have been feeling my vibes the other day because she sent her stepson over with some zucchinis and cucumbers. I was so excited I could have kissed him, but I didn’t, instead I just sent them over some cupcakes.
Anyway, what I’m trying to tell you is, if you have a gigantic zucchini or even a surplus of normal-sized ones that you don’t know what to do with, you need to make these cupcakes. They are fabulous! Years ago when I got my Taste of Home Magazine in the mail, these cupcakes were on the cover— I think my mom and I both made them within days of getting that issue in the mail. While the cupcakes themselves are moist and so delicious, it’s the frosting that knocks these out of the park. The frosting is to die for, really it is. In fact, if I end up having any leftover after frosting them, I’ve been known to spread a little extra on EVERY bite of my cupcake!
You have got to try these!
- 3 eggs
- 1-1/3 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1-1/2 cups shredded zucchini
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter , cubed
- 1/4 cup 2% milk (I use half-n-half)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 to 2 cups powdered sugar
NOTE: Depending on your oven, you may not need to bake these as long as the directions say, mine were actually done in about 18 minutes so just watch them carefully. Also, because I like LOTS of frosting on my cupcakes, I usually end up using about 3 cups of powdered sugar and then just add a little more milk. Make sure you let the frosting cool to a lukewarm before you beat in the powdered sugar. I've done it before where I'm in a hurry and don't let it cool and it just doesn't seem to work as well. It stays much smoother and is easier to frost with if you let it cool first. This frosting is definitely a different consistency than your typical buttercream. It's a thinner consistency but hardens slightly as it cools. Usually I leave my hand mixer right next to it and after frosting about 4-5 cupcakes, I just give it a quick stir again to keep it smooth. One more thing, I do like to add a teaspoon of vanilla to the cupcake batter in addition to the almond extract.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, oil, orange juice and extract. Combine dry ingredients; gradually add to egg mixture and mix well. Stir in zucchini.
Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 20-23 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.
For frosting, combine the brown sugar, butter and milk in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Cool to lukewarm. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until frosting reaches spreading consistency. Frost cupcakes.
Recipe Source: Taste of Home Magazine August/September 1997