I’m a big time
control freak planner. I’ve written
about this compulsion before. I like knowing what’s going to happen and when. I
make lists of my lists and multiple copies of my work schedule every week.
Nevermind that my to-do list is never done and I sometimes spread myself too
thin when it comes to scheduling appointments, I am what I am. I am a planner.
Lately, though, my baking hasn’t been as structured as I would like. I am forgetting canisters in cupboards or neglecting to gather all my tools in one place or not preheating the oven before I begin. I just feel scatterbrained and harried, often working with too many ideas and too little time. It’s been maddening to feel so unorganized in a space that I am usually so comfortable in, doing an activity that is usually so effortless and enjoyable. It had to stop.
I knew I needed a plan.
I knew I needed my bundt pan.
After washing the dust off of my sorely neglected pan, I began researching recipes. Setting the butter out to soften, I perused the internet and flipped through cookbooks. I emerged from my readings after what felt like hours, but was probably in reality only 30 minutes (I am not the most patient person), with two recipes. By combining the recipes along with a stash of too-ripe bananas and some beautifully green zucchini I felt I had a surefire hit on my hands. I organized all my tools, laid out all my ingredients, separated into their designated groups, and got down to work.
An hour and a half later I was left with a beautifully browned Banana Zucchini Bundt Cake. It was exactly what I had planned on and more than I had been hoping for. The addition of a simple lemon icing was a last minute decision, but the cake looked a bit plain without it and the brightness of the lemon compliments the deep flavors of the cake wonderfully. Sometimes things really can’t be planned.
Banana Zucchini Bundt Cake (makes one cake, serves 12 – 16, adapted from Martha Stewart and Dorie Greenspan)
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
2 whole eggs, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
1 ½ cups mashed overripe banana (about 2 large bananas)
1 ½ cups grated zucchini, drained on towel (about 1 large zucchini)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a Bundt or fluted pan, set aside.
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. Set aside.
Cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl as necessary. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until once again light and fluffy, another 3 minutes. Scrape bowl.
With the mixer on low, mix in 1/3 of the flour mixture until fully incorporated and no streaks of flour remain. Stir in ½ cup of the sour cream and mix again until combined. Alternate with the remaining flour mixture and sour cream, ending with dry ingredients. Stir in bananas and zucchini until combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 65 – 75 minutes or until cake tester inserted into center comes out clean. *Check the cake at 30 minutes, if it is browning too quickly cover it with a piece of tinfoil and continue baking for the allotted time.
Remove cake from oven and allow to cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes before turning out onto rack and cooling completely.
Cake can be served the same day, but is even better after a day or two and can be stored wrapped in plastic and tinfoil for up to three days.
Pour Quick Lemon Glaze (recipe follows) over cake when ready to serve.
Quick Lemon Glaze
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
Zest the lemon and add into the powdered sugar. Juice lemon and add into powdered sugar in 1 TBSP increments until desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over cooled cake.
Except a second piece of cake. Always plan on a second piece of cake.