Edible Gardening

Chocolate Squash

Many thanks to all of you who came out for the last 2 Edible Landscaping classes.  I cannot tell you enough how much I enjoy having you here!  Due to popular demand, I am posting the Orange Scented Chocolate Zuccini Cake recipe.  This is one of many wonderful “garden” recipes from “The Cultivating Cook” cookbook published by the Guilford County Extension Master Gardeners.  (The cost is only $6 and you can call the Extension office at 375-5876 to see if they still have it in stock.)  Here’s how to make it…

2 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 ¾ cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp freshly grated orange zest
1 whole egg, lightly beaten
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
2 cups finely shredded zucchini
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup chocolate chips
powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

  •  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease & flour a 10-inch spring form pan.
  • Sift together first 6 (dry) ingredients. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl combine sugar, oil, orange zest, vanilla & eggs. Mix well. Stir in the shredded zucchini and buttermilk.
  • Add dry ingredients to the zucchini mixture. Mix well; do not beat. Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Pour into prepared pan & bake about 35 or 40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool about 20 minutes before removing from pan. When cake is completely cool, dust with powdered sugar.   Serves 8-10.

Note: This recipe will also work just fine with yellow squash, patty pan or scalloped squash.  The spring-form pan is optional.  I used ½ whole wheat flour but it makes the cake heavier. The recipe is really perfect as is. (Just admit that it is CAKE and rejoice that it contains anything as healthy as zucchini!)

So besides having pretty good cake, what did you think of the class? Were you inspired to change something about your own landscape?  Did you learn something new or find a solution to a problem?  Will you be checking Harris Teeter to look for Sharon fruit or Kiwi berries?  Do you think you will plant a new edible item or new perennial?   Post a comment or question below, or just email me.  I would love to hear from you!

Did anyone take pictures of your flower arrangements?  I got the blueberry photo after Jim picked over a gallon of berries that morning. Fortunately they are easy to freeze for later — FOR PIE!!  Ha ha haaa!  Ellen


2 Comments on Chocolate Squash

  • Linda Krebs says:
    June 28, 2012 at 10:46 am


    Your “Orange Scented Chocolate Zucchini Cake” was simply delicious! Hoping you will be sharing some Blueberry Pie at the next gardening class. Ha Ha. Oh, that Jim is a lucky man.

    It was facinating to learn about “corking” and how to resolve the problem for pear trees. Learning that “Organic” products are not always the best choice was also thought-provoking. Growing gigantic carefree raspberries and where to buy unusual bulbs were just a few jewels of information in your “Edible Gardening” class as well. Just taking one of your gardening classes is always inspiring. Think I am becoming part “mole” because of all the holes I have dug. Walking through your cut flower garden with flowers and gazing at your asparagus bed always makes me gasp but walking through your shade garden takes my breath away! Seventeen more shade plants were added to our woods yesterday after your class. I am not sure wheather to praise you or to curse you!

    I am looking for an evergreen plant for the woods that will stay small….some sort of camelia?????
    Want to take out our Frost Proof Gardenias. Can you suggest a variety that is virus free and where to buy?


    • admin says:
      June 29, 2012 at 3:02 am

      “Cam Too” nursery on Hwy 150 toward Browns Summit has greenhouses full of camellias. Call Cindy Watson before you come 643-3727 (they are mostly wholesale but accomodate the general public.) One of my favorite Camellia Japonicas is called “Jacks”. It has a gorgeous formal double pink bloom and is an all around pretty shrub. Cindy is the expert on which dwarf varieties are the most disease resistant and she is a pleasure to talk to. (She sells perennials too.) Other low maintenance evergreens for shade that stay small are Hellebores and dwarf Boxwoods including the white variegated one.
      Thank you for all your comments about the class. Jim has suggested that there should be a 12-step program for us gardeners, but I like to think we are good for the world and make it a more beautiful place. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Fields marked with * are required