A week ago I saw a pin on Pinterest for Carrot & Zucchini Bars w/Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting. Laura at Real Mom Kitchen had adapted the recipe from Better Homes & Garden. Since my zucchini plants in my garden have actually produced some zucchini this year, I have been on the lookout for recipes using zucchini. I love Carrot Cake so when I saw this recipe I knew I would have to try it. I decided to make them multi-grain as I am always substituting my whole wheat pastry flour for all-purpose flour in recipes. Fortunately my husband doesn't object to the whole wheat flour taste. For this first time, I only substituted half of the all-purpose flour with the whole wheat pastry flour. Next time though, I will try them with all whole wheat pastry flour. I also used the full amount of canola oil since it was only a half a cup, but next time, I will use part applesauce. I didn't have any applesauce so that is why I didn't use any this time. I know it cost more, but I like to buy the individual-serving sizes of applesauce. Everytime I buy a jar of applesauce, I end up having to throw the majority of it away, because I can't use it all up in a week. With the small 4-oz containers, I can open one when I need it and the rest keep. In the long run, that is cheaper for me.
The other change I made from Laura's directions is I made cupcakes. I like to make cupcakes instead of a cake and mini loaves instead of a regular loaf. Then I freeze the cupcakes or mini loaves and take out just one cupcake or one mini loaf to eat at a time. It allows me to "spread out" the goodies and I am not tempted to eat more than I really need. It means my cupcakes don't get any frosting, but that is ok. I don't need the extra calories anyway. If I wanted to take out several to serve to a guest, all I would have to do is let them thaw and then I could ice them with frosting. Normally when I want to eat a cupcake that I have frozen, I simply take one out and put it in the microwave and heat for about 15 seconds. Then I enjoy a fresh tasting warm cupcake. I am going to include the frosting recipe Laura had in case you wanted to frost the cupcakes after they cooled OR if you wanted to make the "bars" or a sheet cake use a 9 x 13-inch pan.
CARROT & ZUCCHINI CUPCAKES W/ LEMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the bottom of muffin pans to make 15 muffins.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, oil, honey, & vanilla. Fold in the carrots, zucchini, & walnuts.
In another bowl, combine flours, baking powder, ginger, & baking soda. Whisk together to blend.
Add flour mixture to wet mixture. Stir just til combined. Spoon about 1/4 cup of batter in muffin tins to make 15 muffins. (9 x 13-inch pan for bars/sheet cake.)
Bake about 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in center.
Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes and then carefully remove cupcakes to wire rack to finish cooling. When completely cooled, you may frost them with your favorite frosting or with one below. If you are going to freeze them, place flat on a plate in freezer for about 30 minutes to partially freeze. Then place in a freezer bag and lay flat in freezer to completely freeze.
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8-oz pkg reduced fat cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
In medium bowl, beat frosting ingredients on medium speed until fluffy. Spread on cooled cupcakes or bars/cake.
I think the frosting sounds really good so I might make the recipe in a 9 x 13-inch pan but not cut into bars and have a sheet cake. The cupcakes are really good and very moist.