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Summer Daze: Zucchini Ginger Cupcakes

August 10, 2006

Zucchini Cupcake

So, it's August. Right now I'm waiting for the light to turn from white to yellow, the trees to turn from green to scarlet, the muggy clouds to fade into... Oh wait - that's right, I live in Florida! We do have seasons here, but they go like this: tourist season, hurricane season, gorgeous cool-and-sparkly winter season, spring break season. Right now we're just sitting around nervously, waiting for the hurricanes to start.

In a yearning for the balmy summers and early autumns of the north, I made zucchini cupcakes from the inspiring July Gourmet; they just looked chunky, delicious, and wholesome, like they were designed to gobble up that overwhelming bounty of squash oozing out of Northern gardens by this time of year.

Zucchini Cupcake

These cupcakes are not very sweet, and I was a little disappointed that the crystallized ginger didn't come through more. Next time I will double the amount and leave half of it in sparkly chunks. These could very easily do for breakfast muffins, sans icing. Or with, of course. Cream cheese - they put that on bagels, don't they? What's a little extra sugar?

And the cream cheese icing, it really is the best reason to make these anyway. I used fresh cinnamon, and extra orange zest, and it was delicious. I wanted to lick them all smooth.

But I didn't, of course. That would have been sorta unhygienic.

Zucchini Cupcake

Zucchini Ginger Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Reprinted from Gourmet/Epicurious

For cupcakes
1/3 cup crystallized ginger (1 3/4 oz), coarsely chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh orange zest
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups coarsely grated zucchini (2 medium)
3/4 cup mild olive oil
3/4 cup mild honey
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla

For frosting
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh orange zest
Raw sugar
Orange zest curls

1. Preheat oven to 350F and prep your muffin pans with paper liners.
2. Pulse crystallized ginger in food processor until finely ground, then add flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, zest, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and pulse until combined. (Fresh-ground spices make a difference in this recipe; I put in fresh cinnamon and it really shone through.)
3. Whisk together zucchini, oil, honey, eggs, and vanilla in a medium bowl, then stir in flour mixture until just combined.
4. Divide batter among muffin cups and bake until golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes.
5. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely, 1 hour.

Make frosting
1. Beat together frosting ingredients with an electric mixer at high speed until combined well and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Frost tops of cooled cupcakes.
3. Garnish with orange zest curls and raw sugar, if desired.

Makes about 18 cupcakes

Posted by Faith at 10 August 2006

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wow, these look great; very aromatic + i LOVE cinnamon...delicious pictures!
Just discovered your blog (as many others...) but really like it! Am already waiting for new posts!! =)
Have just started a foodblog myself actually, I’m so excited to start making all this new things!
Really hope you'll check it sometimes!!! =)

Posted by: julia at August 11, 2006 06:19 AM

They look delicious. I like the association with the ginger a lot. Very pretty.

Posted by: Bea at La Tartine Gourmande at August 12, 2006 09:30 AM

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