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Gluten-Free Zucchini Cake

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This Gluten-Free Zucchini Cake is free of refined sugars and the perfect excuse to use up your leftover summer zucchini! In under an hour, you’ll have a moist, earthy, and healthy cake to enjoy as an after-dinner treat or even for breakfast. 

An overhead shot of a sliced zucchini cake.

Gluten-Free Zucchini Cake is the healthy cake you’ve been searching for! Its nutty and earthy flavors are perfectly balanced and comforting. Enjoy a slice with some frosting after dinner or with melted butter and a cup of tea in the morning. 

Just like banana bread, this recipe is very easy and loaded with healthy stuff. The zucchini adds moisture, as well as vitamins C and B, and fiber. Almond meal is a heart-healthy ingredient and has plenty of protein, manganese, and vitamin E.

Don’t forget the frosting! You can decorate this healthy cake with cream cheese frosting, or cashew lemon frosting.

Ingredients needed

To keep this cake gluten-free, I used almond meal and my favorite gluten-free flour blend. The cake has many elements and eggs for binding, so even if you use a slightly different flour blend, the cake will still turn out well!

These are the ingredients you need:

  • Zucchini
  • Butter
  • Honey
  • Lime
  • Eggs
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Almond meal
  • Buckwheat flour
  • Raisins
  • Baking powder and baking soda
  • Psyllium
  • Black pepper
  • Pine nuts
A slice of gluten-free zucchini cake on a glass plate.

Almond meal vs. almond flour

While they’re both made from almonds, the two are completely different! Almond meal is easy to make at home by blending raw, unpeeled almonds into a fine powder. It’s more gritty and has a prominent almond flavor, which adds to this cake’s nuttiness.

Almond flour is much more light and is perfect for both gluten-free and keto baking. You can use it in the replacement for almond meal in this recipe, but the flavor in the cake will be much more neutral.

What is psyllium?

When you need an extra dose of fiber, turn to psyllium! This baking ingredient comes from pulverized psyllium husk shells. It gives gluten-free bread that bread-like texture we’re so used to.

Being a probiotic, psyllium is great for your digestion and gut health.

A gluten-free zucchini cake on a golden cake stand.

How to make it

Gluten-free baking can feel intimidating, but this recipe is very easy and can be done in just a few steps. The cake will feel super moist and decadent when it’s done.

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350ºF. Grease a cake tin and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the grated zucchini, melted butter, and honey in a large bowl. Grate the lime zest over top, then add in the lime juice. Finally, add the eggs and mix well.
  3. In a smaller bowl, add the almond meal, buckwheat flour, rosemary, raisins, baking powder, baking soda, psyllium, and black pepper. Whisk to combine.
  4. Slowly combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour the batter into the cake tin. Top it with pine nuts and place it in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes (do not overbake).
  5. When a toothpick comes out clean from the cake, remove it from the oven and let it cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Afterward, let it fully cool on a cooling rack.

Helpful Recipe Tips

Follow these tips to make a perfect zucchini cake every time:

Use the right cake tin

I baked this cake in a 20 cm cake pan, but an even larger pan works just as well. You can use a springform pan for easy removal, but it’s not necessary. 

If you’re going to switch up the pan, just remember: the larger the tin, the shorter the baking time, and the smaller the tin, the longer the baking time.

Remove it at the right time

We want a soft and moist cake, which means we have to take it out of the oven at the right time. A sign of a perfectly done gluten-free cake is when it begins to detach slightly from the edge of the cake tin. 

If you’re still not sure if it’s ready, poke a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s done!

An overhead shot of a zucchini cake on blue surface.

Recipe variations

  • Different kinds of honey from different regions taste different. We prefer to use a strong and bold flavored wildflower honey for this earthy tasting cake.
  • Lime gives the cake a special taste, but it can be switched for lemon. Use the zest of a whole, organic lemon, and the juice of half a lemon.
  • The nutty taste of buckwheat flour goes really well with honey and rosemary. Swap the buckwheat flour for a 1:1 gluten-free flour mix (the ratios may vary). Also, if you use a flour that already contains psyllium, leave it out in the recipe.

Storing

Wrap the cooled cake in plastic wrap and store it sliced or unsliced in the fridge. It should stay fresh for 4 to 5 days.

You can also freeze the unsliced, unfrosted cake for up to 3 months. Make sure it’s cooled completely, then wrap it tightly in plastic before freezing. Leave it to thaw overnight in the fridge or at room temperature.

More cake recipes

If you love this recipe, make sure to try my other cake recipes:

Gluten-free Zucchini Cake

Prep time20 mins
Cooking time50 mins
Total time1 hr 10 mins
Category: Baking
American
Servings: 8 slices
Calories: 336.23kcal

Ingredients

  • 400 g zucchini
  • 100 g butter
  • 150 g honey
  • 1 lime
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • 100 g almond meal
  • 120 g buckwheat flour of gluten-free blend
  • 60 g raisins
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ tablespoon psyllium
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons pinenuts

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F.
  • Grease an 8 inch / 20 cm cake tin and line the bottom with baking paper.
  • Grate the zucchini coarsely into a large mixing bowl.
  • Melt the butter.
  • Dissolve the honey into warm butter and pour the mixture into the zucchini.
  • Grate the lime zest into the zucchini, cut the lime in half and squeeze the juices into the bowl too.
  • Add two medium eggs into the bowl and mix well.
  • Weight almond meal and buckwheat flour into a smaller bowl.
  • Chop the rosemary finely and add to the flour mix.
  • Add raisins, baking powder and soda, psyllium and black pepper into the flour mix and give it a whisk to combine the dry ingredients well.
  • Add the dry ingredient mixture into the zucchini and mix well.
  • Pour the cake batter into the cake tin (and sprinkle the pine nuts on the cake).
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes. Test the baking with a wooden stick, when it comes out clean the cake is ready. Be careful not to overbake.
  • Let to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing the cake from the tin on a cooling rack.

Tips

Using a springform makes it easier but is not necessary.
You can vary the size of the tin: in a larger tin, the baking time is shorter and in a smaller tin, longer.
The baking time is an estimate. Every oven and condition is a little different so have a close look at the cake at the end of the baking.
The cake can be cut while it’s a little warm.

Nutrition

Calories: 336.23kcal (17%) | Carbohydrates: 38.18g (13%) | Protein: 7.29g (15%) | Fat: 19.78g (30%) | Saturated Fat: 7.49g (47%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.65g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3.65g | Trans Fat: 0.41g | Cholesterol: 67.8mg (23%) | Sodium: 303.45mg (13%) | Potassium: 332.09mg (9%) | Fiber: 4.7g (20%) | Sugar: 17.76g (20%) | Vitamin A: 484IU (10%) | Vitamin C: 11.96mg (14%) | Calcium: 88mg (9%) | Iron: 2.01mg (11%)

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