This simple vegan zucchini pistachio cake recipe is slightly spiced and has the added health benefit of zucchini. Actually adding the zucchini gives this cake an awesome moist and fluffy texture. The added nutrition is just a bonus!
Zucchini bread or cake is quite an old school tradition, but I can’t seem to figure out who originally invented it. I remember when I was a kid my mom made a chocolate zucchini cake for one of my birthday parties. I thought she was nuts. But then I loved the caked so much I never questioned her again!
I thought for my own version I would omit chocolate but fold in ground up pistachios into the cake batter. I’ve recently become passionate about doing this because I really like the texture and end result. I did something similar with hazelnuts for pancakes and a 4-layer cake.
Now, I’m not sure if Easter is cancelled because of our shelter at home mandate?! I hope not. We can still eat Eastery / Spring-like creations and share them digitally with our friends and fam over house-party right? Might I suggest crepes, carrot cake doughnuts or this trifle. But I also think this vegan zucchini pistachio cake is a necessary part of the menu too. I think you could even swap the zucchini for shredded carrots if you want to make a carrot cake. I’d also then swap the lime for lemon in the frosting!
A week ago I ordered a produce box from Farmbox Direct as I wanted to try getting my organic veg delivered cause… #selfiso! I got some beautiful zucchini in my delivery that I used in this exact recipe as well as carrots, potatoes, brussels, apples, kiwis, and some juicy pears I gobbled up pretty quick. If you want to try out this service they deliver across the entire United States. Check it out.
vegan zucchini pistachio cake
This cake is lightly spiced and super moist. Get ready to dig in!
- ¼ C shelled salted pistachios (ground into a flour or meal in a spice grinder)
- 1 tbsp golden flax meal
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 C all purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ C vegan butter, melted (1 stick)
- ½ C granulated cane sugar
- ¼ C packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 zucchini (about 7-inches long x 1 ½-inches wide)
- ¼ C vegan cream cheese
- 1 ½ C sifted organic confectioners sugar
- zest of 1 lime (about 2 tsp)
- a few drops, lime juice
- 1 tbsp shelled salted pistachios, finely chopped as garnish
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line the bottom of a 6-inch springform pan with parchment paper and grease the sides with vegan butter.
- Combine flax and water and set aside to thicken.
- In a large mixing bowl combine flour, ground pistachios, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
In another bowl or in the sauce pot you melted the butter in, combine butter, sugars, vanilla, and thickened flax and whisk until very well combined.
- Shred the zucchini on a box grater. You should have about 1 ¼ cup shredded. Using a nut milk bag or fine mesh seive, strain and squeeze the zucchini of excess water. Once strained it’s about ¾ cup of shredded zucchini.
Add shredded zucchini to the flour mixture and break it up, tossing it around in the flour to coat. Add the butter and sugar mixture to this and fold together with a spatula until well combined and no dry ingredients are visible, but do not over mix the batter.
- Pour the cake batter into the springform pan. Spread evenly out to the edges. Place in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting, combine cream cheese, confectioners sugar, and lime zest until smooth using a hand mixture. You can add a few drops of lime juice if desired as well, but not too much that it affects the thickness of the icing. Spread onto the top of the cooled cake. Sprinkle chopped pistachios on top.
Cake freezes well too! I cut into individual slices and wrapped in plastic. Then placed pieces into a freezer bag.