Italian Squash and Olive Oil Cake with Toasted Walnuts

Since we have been home (3 weeks now) we have been non-stop busy. We have been entertaining as well as visiting with friends, both old and new, I have started teaching cooking classes again, and I have been very busy with the church, plus all the other everyday things that need to be done. I like being busy. For the most part, it keeps me out of trouble, although, rest assured, I can always find trouble; or it finds me. 🙂

We were invited to some of our new friends’ house for a light afternoon gathering after church on Sunday, and I was always taught you never show up empty handed. True to my teachings, I did not. I brought dessert.

As you know, I am always looking to try new recipes. I am open to trying anything and everything too. This time, my new recipe was another olive oil cake, made with squash and toasted walnuts. It was from one of my Italian cookbooks, which was a perfect fit for what we had for our meal.

The recipe called for zucchini. I was sure I had zucchini, but of course when I was looking for it, I could not find it. I did find yellow crookneck though, which worked just fine. Naturally though, once my cake was made, I found that indeed I did have zucchini after all. Murphy’s law in action. So note that when making this cake, either or both zucchini or yellow crookneck will work just fine for this recipe.

Italian Squash Cake with Olive Oil and Toasted Walnuts

The Cake

1 cup walnuts

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp nutmeg

3 eggs

1 3/4 cups sugar

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

either 2 tsp vanilla or 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp lemon balsamic vinegar or lemon extract

2 1/2 cups or 2 small squash, either zucchini or yellow crookneck, or a combination

Toast the walnuts and chop into small pieces. I usually toast my nuts on top of the stove in a dry skillet, but you can also toast them in the oven as well.

Preheat the oven to 350* F or 180* C.

Spray cooking oil into a bundt cake pan and then lightly dust with flour.

Grate the squash in the food processor or with a grater.

Mix all the dry ingredients together well and set aside.

Combine the eggs, olive oil and sugar together and mix until light and fluffy. Then add the vanilla and/or lemon balsamic vinegar or lemon extract. Because I have this wonderful lemon balsamic vinegar, I am experimenting with it in many different ways. It came out great in this cake. Then add the dry ingredients slowly and mix again. I like to add my dry ingredients in batches and mix in between each addition. Make sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition too. When the batter is done, gently fold in both the walnuts and the grated squash.

When everything is combined, evenly spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the cake is evenly browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

When the cake is completely cooled, remove it from the pan and drizzle the glaze on top.

The Glaze

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/3 cup sugar

1 cup powdered sugar

All that is left to do now is to enjoy it with friends and/or family. !Buon Appetito!

Life is short. Always make room for family, friends and desserts. Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.

Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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