Today isn't an official Martha Stewart Cupcake Club day, but, since I was late in arriving to the party, I thought it would be fun to catch up and bake through a few of last year's offerings. Having said this, I found this recipe for Zucchini Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. These sounded perfect now that we, in the south, are finally having a few crisp mornings that resemble fall - not to mention that, technically, one could claim to have eaten vegetables for breakfast, not cupcakes!
I can't make anything zucchini-related without remembering my Grandma. During their retirement years, my Grandma and Grandpa lived in a renovated country school house on a one-acre lot in rural Wisconsin. They always had a vegetable garden. In the fall, when we visited them, Grandma would load us up with bags of vegetables - tomatoes, green beans, carrots and ZUCCHINI! These weren't ordinary zucchinis. These were watermelon-sized Paul Bunyan zucchinis! Here the innovations began: Zucchini Ragout, Zucchini Pancakes, Zucchini "HotDish" (that's Minnesotan for "casserole"), and, of course, my personal favorite, zucchini bread. I remember one time, after several weeks of daily zucchini intake, I said to my Grandma, proudly (yet foolishly), "We finished all the zucchinis you gave us!" Happily, she went to her storeroom and brought out, yet another large bag of the green beasts! It was there that I learned this golden lesson: discretion is the better part of valor.
Today, many years later, I actually enjoy zucchini and, regretfully, have to buy miniature versions of my memories at the supermarket. But, alas, I digress....
Today's cupcakes were slightly different than the zucchini bread of my youth. I was a little worried when I saw so many flavors - cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, lemon rind and zucchini all mixed in one!
Trying to be a good student, I separated the wet and dry ingredients as the instructions stated, but still need convincing that it is worth the extra dishes!
I used "white" whole wheat flour and canola oil. The recipe also stated that, for a healthier cupcake, one could omit the cream cheese frosting. Omit the cream cheese frosting? I mean, isn't the only purpose of Red Velvet Cake/Carrot Cake/Zucchini Spice Muffins to provide a canvas on which to spread the cream cheese icing?
I used a gallon ziploc bag and piped it on extra thick.
The cupcakes had a pleasant spice taste that was not too overpowering. Just imagine in your mind "spice cake", not "zucchini bread". The cream cheese frosting had slightly different proportions than my standard recipe. It just might become my new go-to frosting!