Grind the grain, scoop the flour, and melt the chocolate; it’s time to celebrate and bake!
Growing up, fall time was about baking, creating family memories around flour, sugar, and a warm oven. Yes, there were processed ingredients and refined sugars (it was the 80’s), but the memories were pure and organic. Might I even say “priceless”? Too cliche?
Standing around my mom’s flour-dusted counter, I learned that baking is an art that brings people together.
Today, as a mom, it’s my desire to gift my children with the same memories that my mom shared with me. The gift of learning how to sift flour into a bowl, crack eggs, lick the batter-covered spoon (it’s an art, friend!), butter the baking pan, watch our labor of love rise in the dimly lit oven, and share in the joy of a delicious creation surrounded by family and friends.
This fall, I want to welcome you into my kitchen, to share in this art of baking and making memories. Together, over the next six weeks, we’ll navigate the often confusing world of baking with real food ingredients. We’ll explore the different types of real food flours, learning tips and tricks for baking with each one. We’ll chat over a latte about how to make substitutions for healthier ingredients like honey in place of processed sugar. We’ll also share in some amazing fall treats, with simple recipes you can make at home.
By the end of the six weeks, you’ll have confidence to bake and cook with real food ingredients (and many different flours) and new fall recipes to enjoy! Think of our time together as a free enrollment into the elite Real Food Baking University. A university where you learn and eat (and sip lattes). Oh my!!
I’ve teamed up with three real food baking champions: Bob’s Red Mill, Jovial Foods, and MightyNest to make the next six weeks delicious and healthy. Here are a few of the topics we’ll cover over the next six weeks, just in time for fall baking:
- Fall Baking Gear Essentials (everything you need for real food baking this fall and all year long)
- How to Use Spelt Flour + Recipes
- How to Use Einkorn Flour + Recipes
- How to Use Whole Wheat Flour + Recipes
- How to Use Pastry Flour + Recipes
- How to Use Almond Flour + Recipes
- How to Use Coconut Flour + Recipes
- How to a Gluten-Free Baking Mix + Recipes
- Real Food Baking Substitutions 101 (how to get rid of the processed sugar, canola oil, and Crisco in your favorite recipes)
- Plus, two huge giveaways for the ultimate fall baking gear and flours!
To celebrate the next six weeks, today, I baked you a cake, one of our family’s favorite fall cakes, packed with seasonal squash (yes, squash!) and naturally sweetened with honey. This cake is made with pastry flour to give it a light and moist texture (a flour we’ll explore in this series).
I already cut you a big slice and drizzled it with my my simple go-to chocolate glaze (which you probably remember from this amazing grain-free cake recipe). Sit, take a bite. Then, tie your apron and roll up your sleeves, let’s get ready to bake together.
Chocolate Bundt Cake with Zucchini and Walnuts
- 1 1/4 cups brewed coffee
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup honey
- 1/2 TB baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs whole, plus 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup butter melted
- 3/4 cup buttermilk 3/4 + 1 TB lemon juice will work as a sub for buttermilk. Allow the milk and lemon juice to sit on the counter for 5 minutes before using.
- 1 TB pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 medium zucchini grated
- 1/2 cup walnuts crushed
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or coconut cream skimmed from the top of a can of coconut milk
- 1/2 cup organic semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 TB honey
- 1/4 cup walnuts crushed, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the brewed coffee and cocoa powder to a slight boil (not a full boil, just starting to bubble), whisking every few seconds to prevent burning. Once the mixture reaches a slight boil, turn off the heat and set aside. The mixture will thicken as it sits.
- Fit a stand-mixer (like this) with the whisk attachment or use a hand-mixer (like this).
- In the bowl of the mixer, add the honey, baking soda, salt, and eggs. Beat the mixture for 2 minutes on medium speed.
- Add the melted butter, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Continue to beat for another 2 minutes. Beating the batter is the key to produce a moist, perfectly-raised cake! Turn off the mixer.
- Before moving on to the next step, press the shredded zucchini in between two paper towels or a folded dish towel, squeezing out any excess water.
- Turn the mixer on to medium speed and add the shredded zucchini, crushed walnuts, and flour (a cup at a time). Beat for 1 minute. Then, add the coffee and cocoa mixture. Beat for 2 minutes.
- Butter a bundt pan (like this) and sprinkle a small amount of flour over the buttered pan. Spread the flour over the buttered pan so there's a very light, thin coating of flour (this will make the cake easy to remove after baking).
- Pour the batter into the bundt pan and bake for 50-60 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. To remove, simply flip the bundt pan over and the cake will pop right out.
- For the chocolate glaze, in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat, melt the chocolate chips and cream. Once melted, whisk in the honey. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Allow to cool for 4-5 minutes.
- Pour the glaze over the top of the cake and top with crushed walnuts (if desired).
Note: If you’re using whole wheat pastry flour, decrease the flour to 2 1/3 cups.
Update: This morning I found the glaze had thickened nicely, next time I will have to take it off the store completely and let it cool more before pouring it on. 😀
Hey Bethany, I’m glad it thickened up for you. The glaze isn’t a firm glaze (like for cookies), but one that can be poured over the cake, and should thicken as it sits.
Finally made it! It’s moist and dark chocolatey, but seemed a little eggy to me, is that to be expected? I did use whole wheat pastry flour and measured less as you recommended underneath. I didn’t find a whole wheat texture noticeable at all.
The glaze turned out quite thin, I was expecting something more like the pumpkin donuts chocolate glaze. Still, it was yummy, and chocolatey. Thank you, I love that it uses zucchini too.
Hey Bethany, The cake should be “spongy” but not too eggy. The zucchini can have a bit more liquid at times which can interfere with the overall texture…I’ve had that happen.
I use Pero to substitute for coffee in baked chocolate recipes and it works great. Pero is a toasted barley powder in the same section as the coffee and is classified as a coffee substitute. It’s delicious too.
Kristin, I just love that jar the chocolate glaze was in. What kind of jar is it?
That’s awesome, Bethany! I’ve never heard of Pero. Thank you for sharing. The jar is from HomeGoods–I love their selection of unique jars.
Hi Kristin, I’m new to your blog and am excited to learn more. I have one question about the delicious looking cake recipe… do you have a substitute for the coffee? I’m not a coffee drinker.
Hey Robin, Welcome! The coffee is pretty essential as it brings out the rich chocolate taste of the cake. The end result produces a chocolaty cake without any coffee taste. 🙂
hmmm so not really a substitute? Do you think I could try using chocolate almond milk?
Robin, You can try using chocolate almond milk. You may need to adjust the flour a bit as I’m not sure how the almond milk and cocoa powder will react together. The cake won’t be as chocolaty, but it may work. Let me know if you try it!
I didn’t notice a temperture on the recipe? The cake is in the oven and I set it to 350*F. Sound good?
Hey Emma, Sorry about that. Let me take a look at what happened in the recipe card. You’re exactly right…350 :).
Yum! So chocolatey! The glaze is amazing! I used coconut milk which I’ve never done. Delish!
Yay, I’m so glad you like it. The glaze is my absolute favorite. By itself the cake isn’t overly sweet, and when coupled with the glaze…Mmmmm!!! Enjoy!
Lovely post, Kristin! I’m excited to see what you do with all of the different types of flours.
Thank you, Cassidy!
Kristin you’ve done it again!! Looks amazing!!!
Thank you, Daisy!
Beyond lovely pictures! I love bundt cakes and the presentation is gorgeous 🙂