Kitchen cupboard: Annabel Crabb’s chocolate zucchini cake

This is a solid dessert. He has to go to Perth – I’m going to visit Jordon Steele-John. Five years ago, at age 23, he became the youngest senator to sit in federal Parliament. He is also the first wheelchair user in the Senate.

Jordan is a green, so I made the bold decision to incorporate a green vegetable into his dessert. This sounds weird, I know, but stay with me! Zucchini actually makes a stunning addition to this rich, dark chocolate cake.

I also made candied zucchini flowers for decoration and cream cheese frosting to hide the vegetables.


Cheese Frosting
Candied zucchini flowers (optional)


  1. 1.Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter and line a cake tin (28 x 13 cm) or a shallow rectangular cake tin (20 x 24 cm) with baking paper – depending on the desired shape or availability of the tin.
  2. 2.In a stand mixer, beat the butter and both sugars, then add the eggs one at a time until well combined. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer.
  3. 3.Mix the cocoa in 100ml of boiling water to create a paste. Add it to the butter and sugar mixture, then incorporate the oil, yogurt and vanilla essence by hand.
  4. 4.In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients.
  5. 5.Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing as you go. Then add the grated zucchini.
  6. 6.Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, depending on the size/depth of the pan. Let the cake cool in the pan.
  7. 7.For the cream cheese frosting: In a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter on high speed until smooth. In batches, add the soft frosting mixture and vanilla. Beat until mixture is thick and lighter in color.
  8. 8.To decorate candied zucchini flowers (this can be prepared up to 3 days in advance): Preheat the oven to 140°C. Line a flat baking tray with baking paper or ideally a silicone baking mat.
  9. 9.Keep the flower away from baby zucchini. Note: these zucchini are sweet and delicious, use them for another dish! Cut the flower in half and remove the stamens. You should end up with half a three-pointed flower.
  10. ten.Mix the oil and sugar in a shallow dish. Place the flower segment in the dish and coat it with the oil and sugar mixture.
  11. 11.Place on the lined tray. Repeat with remaining flowers.
  12. 12.Bake for 10 minutes, then flip the flowers and bake for about 5 more minutes. You want them to be flat and dry, but not burnt. Transfer the flower segments to a rack to cool. Then, once completely cooled, place it in an airtight container if you are not decorating the cake immediately.
  13. 13.Once your cake has cooled, spread the cream cheese frosting on it using a spatula. Tip: Go slowly so you don’t pick up any black crumbs in the frosting. Then decorate with candied zucchini flowers.

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Desserts and pastries, Recipes

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