I took a class in college on how to read and write short stories. (Yes, even at MIT you can take humanities classes. You can even major or minor in the humanities – it is one of the few places in the world where you can get a Bachelor of Science in literature or music.) In addition to reading and writing short stories, my professor also told us a little bit about the publishing world since she was, in fact, a “real” author (her name was Shariann Lewitt for any of you science fiction fans out there). One of the things she told us that stuck with me is that every writer has a specific medium that suits them. For example, some writers are just novelists while others are short story-ists. Others are journalists or reviewers; food writers, as well, are their own breed. Sure, they can cross these self-defined boundaries and write outside of their genre, but there is definitely something inherent in them that gives them a proclivity towards one type of writing or another.

I maintain that the same is true for baking. I can bake cakes or make pies. I can even whip up a batch of cookies. Should I so desire. But cupcakes. I think and dream in terms of cupcakes. They are my thing. As they say.
My roommate from college, Tiffany, is another lover of cupcakes. And cream cheese frosting. That is another one of my fortes. So when she came to visit, I whipped out my new cupcake cookbook – Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes – and searched for a recipe. I wasn’t supposed to own this cookbook, mind you. By which I mean, I wasn’t supposed to buy any new cookbooks. But then I ordered the next book for Cook the Books off Amazon.com and this cookbook somehow managed to finagle it’s way into my shopping cart. It had something to do with the fact that you get free shipping on orders over $25. Which I think is a pretty rational argument. Plus it is a cookbook filled solely with cupcake recipes. Which is an argument in and of itself.

Seeing as how I had not one, but two zucchini sitting in my refrigerator, Martha’s zucchini-spice cupcakes immediately jumped out at me. Plus that weekend just happened to mark the end of fall and so I felt this extreme urge to purge myself of all summer foods. I managed to convince myself that having summer squash in my fridge as the seasons turned would somehow bring me bad luck for the coming year. Ludicrous, I know, but what with the marathon and this whole medical school thing, I need to take all of the precautions I can.
Speaking of which, I ran 20 miles yesterday. Or 20.5 as my dear and wonderful running partner Alan would want me to tell you. We felt kind of dead at the end of it and, to be honest, I could not have run it without him. That is my last long run, though, before the actual race! And how do I feel? I feel like I am going to miss it. A lot. Oh well. Time to start planning for the next marathon ;).

These cupcakes were delicious. My roommate, Sophie, claims that they were her favorite cupcakes that I have made yet. She has a thing for cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Which really do happen to make everything better.
Zucchini-Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Serves 12, adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
1/2 tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp lemon zest
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini, pressed (about 1 zucchini)
4 oz neufchatel/cream cheese
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp butter
confectioner’s sugar, to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. In another bowl, whisk together the oil, applesauce, egg, vanilla, and lemon zest until well blended. Whisk in the brown sugar until blended. Stir in the zucchini. Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

2. Divide batter evenly among the lined cups. Bake, rotating the pan about halfway through, for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

3. To make frosting, blend together the cream cheese, vanilla, and butter. Add confectioner’s sugar to taste. Allow to chill in the fridge for at least one hour before frosting the cupcakes.

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at https://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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23 Responses to A Farewell To Summer – Zucchini Spice Cupcakes (with Cream Cheese Frosting)

  1. That’s a great way to use zucchini. Even the most veggie-phobic child will not say no to cupcakes…. I should make these for my niece!

  2. Ooo yum! And I love that the recipe doesn’t call for a buttload of oil.

  3. mangocheeks says:

    Thank you for your comment on my blog.

    I made a moist courgette chocolate cake early in the year, when I had courgettes growing on my plot, I don’t have any more if I did – I would have made come of these lovely cupcakes.

  4. Palidor says:

    Wow, congrats on another fabulous run! I agree with your reasoning about ordering books. I do that for Amazon.ca, which has free shipping for $39 and over. Hey, if you only need to add another item or two, why not? Cupcakes look great!

  5. Jen says:

    Thanks for being so supportive, congrats on those 20 miles!!

    oh and I love how you decorate your cupcakes too 😉

  6. Pam says:

    I wish I’d read this earlier! I could have made these today. They would be perfect for lunch at school all week!

  7. Amy says:

    I like your friend Sophie. And after 20.5 miles, I would have eaten at least six of these.

  8. Mari says:

    Wow 20.5 Miles! Girly you are amazing! You need to jog over to queens and come visit me lol

    Those cupcakes look delish. I was just at my dad’s house and his wife was making some cupcakes and a cake too lol

  9. Donna-FFW says:

    Your roomate must love you. I now I would with these gorgeous cupcake offerings.

  10. burpandslurp says:

    hahahahahaaa! That’s the cutest frosting piping…like a spider-web!

  11. Debinhawaii says:

    Yum! I love zucchini muffins so these cupcakes would be even better. Love your cute frosting too!

  12. girlichef says:

    Oh, they sound delicious!! Another zucchini bread(-ish) recipe for me to try!! 😀 20 miles…you are an animal.

  13. Núria says:

    I wonder how much is in Km… but it sounds like a lot to me :D. Nothing better than this fantastic cupcakes to get your sugar levels high again ;D

  14. Oh yum! They sound like the perfect way to rationalize cupcakes. 20 miles – yikes! Way to go!

  15. Luigi says:

    Wow, great! Feel so hungry now!

  16. Your running is so admirable.
    In Canada you have to spend $39 to get the free shipping from amazon.ca. I did just the same as you – ordered my CTB books… and then added in one Indian cooking one.. one sprouting one..and a whole grain bread book. Is there a 12-step program for us? Wait, I’m not ready for the cure yet.
    Thanks so much for your offer! I will keep my eye out for a young fella of the dairy farming persuasion. I am thinking Clark Kent in Osh Koshes and a white t-shirt?

    Great zucchini cuppycakes – you’ve gotta love Martha!

  17. Kim says:

    LOL! Great marketing on Amazon’s behalf! I just ordered and bought another book in order to qualify for free shipping too:D I just doesn’t make sense not to. I love these cupcakes and the pattern of the icing. Congrats on the 20.5 miles – I don’t think I’ve ever ran that in my life!

  18. Shannon says:

    *phew* another great run! these cupcakes are certainly a great way to celebrate 🙂 yum… can’t say no to cream cheese frosting!!

  19. you ran twenty miles and still made these? You are my hero! i’d be the best roommate if I had a roommate that made these delicious looking cupcakes.

  20. How yummy with the cream cheese frosting, my all-time favorite!!! 20 miles is so awesome. Your going to rock in the marathon!

  21. your comment about the shells made me laugh so much! these look awesome, i might have to lift my autumn ban on zucchini (which i’ve replaced with butternut squash.

  22. Megan says:

    20 miles? I’m dead just thinking about it.

    I loved those cupcakes – and I’m jealous of the fact that 1. You live in Manhattan. 2. The weather’s turning cold.

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