This beautiful cake is dense, as it was originally adapted from a quick-bread recipe. Before juicing the lemon, remove the zest in long thin strips and reserve for a garnish.
For the cake:
- 3 eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups finely shredded and lightly drained zucchini
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 pint fresh blueberries, a few reserved for garnish
For the Lemon Buttercream:
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoons salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans with butter and flour or nonstick baking spray. (You can also line the bottoms of the pans with parchment rounds, if desired.)
Make the cake: Grate a large zucchini (or two small zucchini) and place in a clean dish towel. Lift the edges of the towel up and squeeze some of the extra moisture out, but you do not want the zucchini to be dry. You want to have about 2 cups of shredded drained zucchini. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar with a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer. Fold in the zucchini.
Slowly add in the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Gently fold in the blueberries. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans.
Bake the cakes for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in the pans, then turn the cakes onto wire racks to cool completely.
Make the Lemon Buttercream: Combine the butter, sugar, and salt and beat until smooth. Add the lemon juice and vanilla and continue to beat for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until creamy. Place the cake on a cakestand or plate. Frost the top with the Lemon Buttercream. Top with the second cake and frost the top generously. (If desired, you can frost the sides, too. We like the “naked” look.) Garnish with reserved blueberries. Serve warm or at room temperature.