When my friend Sandy showed up at my door two days ago with a giant zucchini, it took me about 1.3 seconds to know what I was going to do with it. Her father-in-law, George, had lovingly grown the zucchini in his garden and I was now the lucky recipient of a mighty nice vegetable masterpiece.
I was a HUGE fan of zucchini growing up, experiencing its goodness in so many dishes. But as an adult I found out it could be used in desserts too.
Lately everyone has been boasting about their beautiful vegetable gardens and posting pictures on their websites. Soon you will all have enough zucchini to feed the world. What a better way to use up your stash than with these Zucchini Pistachio Cupcakes.
These cupcakes are so good the Wild Boar and hooligans kept begging for more. I was shocked at how in love they were with their Vegetable-Dessert. They are usually less than thrilled with the vegetable-pusher-persona role I am known to take on.
The cupcakes are sweet and extremely moist. The frosting has lime added to it, giving them a little zing and unique flavor.
I promise you will love them. Wait till you see how easy they are to make, there is no mixer required!
Here's what you'll need: Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Yellow Cake mix, cinnamon, ground cardamom, pepper, ground cloves, eggs, vegetable oil, milk, zucchini, powdered sugar, fresh lime juice, lime zest and pistachio nuts.
In a large bowl, combine box of cake mix, 1 Tablespoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves.
In a medium bowl, whisk together 4 eggs, 1/2 cup vegetable oil and 1/2 cup of milk.
Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until smooth and add 10 ounces of shredded zucchini. I shredded the zucchini in my food processor but a box grater would work too.
Fill a prepared cupcake pan with batter. I made some using cupcake liners and some without. I think they turn out better with the liners since they are so moist. I always fill my cupcakes to the rim but 2/3 full is also an option.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-24 minutes or when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Once the cupcakes are cooled, make the icing. Do not do this until you are ready to frost, as it will harden quickly.
In a medium bowl, add 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar, the zest and juice of one lime and 1 Tablespoon of water. Whisk until smooth. If the icing is too thick add more water 1 teaspoon at a time. If the icing is too runny, add more sugar.
Cover each cupcake with the glaze and sprinkle with pistachios.
See the little bits of lime zest in the icing...yeah, I know you do. It's so good.
I even caught a hooligan sneaking a bite. The stinker, but I don't blame him one bit. They are addicting.
Zucchini Pistachio Cupcakes
adapted from Rachael Ray
One 18.25 ounce box Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Classic Yellow Cake mix
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
1 large zucchini (10 ounces), shredded
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
Zest and juice of one lime
1/2 cup roasted, salted pistachio nuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with baking liners.
In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, cinnamon, cardamom, pepper and cloves. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, vegetable oil and milk. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until smooth, stir in the zucchini.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pans. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 20-24 minutes. Let cool.
Sift the powdered sugar into a medium bowl. Whisk in the lime zest and juice and add 1 Tablespoon of water. If the icing is too thick add more water in one teaspoon increments. If the icing is too thin just add more sugar. Cover each cupcake with the glaze and sprinkle with the pistachios.