Gluten Free Zucchini Cake with Apple Butter Frosting & Apple Cider Reduction

Fall as a kid is bittersweet, but fall as an adult is cozy, comforting and full of choices- should I drink spiked hot apple cider and watch Netflix, or should I drink red wine and watch Amazon Prime (#LiveItUp)? Celebrate fall with this Gluten Free Zucchini Spice Cake with Apple Butter Buttercream, Apple Cider Reduction & Spiced Apple Rosettes.

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Whole Grain, Browned Butter, Zucchini Cornbread

Glasses with varying levels of optimism/pessimism litter the surfaces of our apartment, creating a steady morning routine of retrieval. The many water glasses form trails of our attempts to beat the heat, a sip here, melted ice there, a refill, a new glass… until the sink is full, and the cycle repeats. Meanwhile, our little fur-baby leaves pockets of heat on the floor, as she shifts from cool tile, to hallway darkness, to that slight office breeze. Poor little one. It’s hot. It’s humid. It’s summer, and I love it, but none of our apartment situation really makes me scream, “let’s baaaake!” 

Whole Grain Zucchini Cornbread by With The Grains // www.WithTheGrains.com

So for the most part, the oven finds itself on a summer vacation, its energies reserved for quick bursts of pizza-making on busy nights or warming weekend pancakes. However, when it comes to celebrating two years with the love of my life, I brave the heat. On these sorts of summer occasions, the oven and I really set to work! 

Whole Grain Zucchini Cornbread by With The Grains // www.WithTheGrains.com

I don’t just bake, I commit. I turn on a long playlist, I grate, beat, pour, dance, scurry… and “glisten.” I commit because two years is special and because it’s that time of year when zucchinis demand acceptance and creativity because, like the heat, they are part of summer. 

Whole Grain Zucchini Cornbread by With The Grains // www.WithTheGrains.com

Like so many avoided activities, once I start, I just keep going, and bread leads to pie, but that’s another story. My Southern-Inspired Menu called for cornbread, but the season called for zucchini. This bread is both. It’s hearty enough to pair with fried chicken and deviled eggs but sweet enough to slather with butter and honey for breakfast.  

Whole Grain Zucchini Cornbread by With The Grains // www.WithTheGrains.com

Whole Grain Zucchini Cornbread by With The Grains // www.WithTheGrains.com

Whole Grain Zucchini Cornbread by With The Grains // www.WithTheGrains.com

Whole Grain Zucchini Cornbread by With The Grains // www.WithTheGrains.com

Here’s to summer baking!

Quelcy Signature


Whole Grain Browned Butter Zucchini Cornbread
Adapted from Bon Appétit

About this Recipe: Serve this warm with extra butter and honey. Compliments savory dishes or makes a wholesome breakfast. Can be made one day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature or in the refrigerator if you’re apartment, like mine, is hot.

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Sprouted Spelt Zucchini Beet Cake with Vodka Mint Glaze

A cake can be a meditation, each slice a chance to savor the here-and-now. If made with care, each bite passes without judgment, eyes close, stresses escape, and gravity feels lifted for but a moment. Just as you acknowledge the light in others through meditation, a cake is a testament to many hands and contributors. After all, as Carl Sagan said, “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”

Sprouted Spelt Zucchini Beet Cake with Vodka Mint Glaze // www.WithTheGrains.com

This cake was a man who spoke very little English, his reserve offset by his immense talent. He peeled limes into fire-breathing dragons, twisted fish into floral arrangements and carved beets into beautiful roses. He obsessed over granules of rice and valued the spacing between sushi. I watched his mastery in awe. In urban terms, game recognize game, but in the world of creatives, my neuroses is humbled by your neuroses, and I applaud your details! Less catchy, but it’s equally an ovation!

Sprouted Spelt Zucchini Beet Cake with Vodka Mint Glaze // www.WithTheGrains.com

This cake was the Urban Farmer, his mother and his grandfather before him. They taught the him to gently respect nature, believe in nature, fight for nature, and in the end, reap her rewards. Her zucchinis continued to appear under his tutelage, as if by magic, under broad leaves that could transport the imaginative mind to island vacations. Her beets merited gallery time, with mesmerizing patterns of burgundies and whites circling like aging trees. And her mint…! Her mint runneth over!

Sprouted Spelt Zucchini Beet Cake with Vodka Mint Glaze // www.WithTheGrains.com

This cake was a gathering. It was a celebration of the new guard of hands that work the land and restore value to the foods we eat. It was a celebration of edible weeds and fresh pickings. This cake was a campfire, warming the prematurely cool evening. It was laughter. It was sparks in the night sky. It was time savored.

Sprouted Spelt Zucchini Beet Cake with Vodka Mint Glaze // www.WithTheGrains.com

These are the benefits of the “slow foods” as they are called – the foods with integrity and time amongst the ingredient lists. These foods are not “cheat foods” or “guilty pleasures.” This cake is a testament to the season and the many hands contributing along the way. Perhaps you will become part of this cake’s story too?

Single-Grain

Bon Appétit!
-Quelcy

Sprouted Spelt Zucchini Beet Cake with Vodka Mint Glaze

About This Recipe: This bundt cake begins with my new favorite flour- One Degree Organic Foods’ Sprouted Spelt Flour. Through their website, you can read about the farmer who grows it. This combination of local zucchini and beets adds moisture and subtle sweetness. The glaze uses a Mint Vodka Simple Syrup instead of water or milk. I used Boyd & Blair Vodka instead of water when making the simple syrup to take advantage of the vodka’s rich, vanilla notes.

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Whole Wheat Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

An alarming crunching sound interrupted our late-night dinner preparations. We ran to the window, half expecting to see ruby red slippers pinned under a house. Instead, we discovered a battered and bruised car thrown into reverse. It began to zig and zag away from the parked car it had just launched a good six feet through impact. As if performing the role of a movie extra, the Urban Farmer exclaimed “He’s trying to get away!” and pointed to the ensuing action. The dog barked and jumped in a confused mix of excitement and alarm.

Whole Wheat Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread // www.WithTheGrains.com

The neighbors flocked to the street immediately, like ripples in a puddle pierced by a droplet of rain. One brave soul waved his arms at the drunk driver, beseeching him to stop. Whether it was the presence of witnesses or the absence of all motor skills, the man swerved onto the sidewalk, hit a planter and a tree, and the getaway was over. Amidst a sea of obscenities and cigarette smoke, the neighbors managed to sequester the vapid and staggering man until the police arrived. Like the nosy neighbor I am, I watched the event unfurl from my third-floor window, my BLT growing colder as I pieced together the incoming evidence.

Whole Wheat Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread // www.WithTheGrains.com

These neighbors of mine are far from perfect. A lot of them are loud. One is far too nosy and negative for her own good. They yell. They fight. They publicly air more grievances and dysfunction than I would ever care to display. However, I have neighbors who save treats for my dog, look out for our cat, wave to me from their cars, greet me at the local coffee spot and fill me with an unexpected sense of home and comfort. When it comes down to being neighbors, to defending another member of the block and looking out for the safety of the street, I prefer these folks to the quiet types who remain hidden behind closed doors.

Whole Wheat Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread // www.WithTheGrains.com

This sentiment had been there, had been growing in me for quite some time, but it wasn’t until the accident that I began to appreciate what had been under my nose. Much like my neighbors, this chocolate bread is more than meets the eye. The lurking zucchini is easy to miss until someone or something points out the wholesome goodness waiting to surprise you.

‘Tis the time of year when zucchinis bombard us, so make this loaf and maybe make some to share with your neighbors too.

Single-Grain

Bon Appétit!
-Quelcy

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