Orange-Cardamom Zucchini Cake

I know. I say this all the time, but I’m not a big fan of zucchini. However, I AM a big fan of Martha Stewart. A couple summers ago, I bought a copy of Martha Stewart magazine to take along on vacation and I couldn’t wait to sit by the lake and start reading. I love Martha Stewart. She’s my culinary and entertaining role model. I spent most of my twenties at home with babies devouring Martha Stewart cookbooks and faithfully watching her TV show. I wanted to cook and entertain like her. Heck, I wanted to BE her. So, after flipping through the pages and ogling the photos, I found a great recipe for zucchini Bundt cake. No heavy spices, no copious amounts of oil, just a beautiful, delicious, moist looking cake that happens to be made with zucchini. I thought I’d give it a try. After all, I do love banana cake (vs. a heavy banana bread), so I was hopeful that this cake would be just as tasty. And it was. This cake is not too sweet, absolutely perfect for breakfast or tea time, and capitalizes on the bounty of zucchini that’s harvested in August. win win win.

The orange zest adds a brightness to the cake and the cardamom gives it an earthy, mellow spiciness. It’s a great combination. I love my rose shaped Bundt cake, but any Bundt cake pan will work.  You could use a loaf pan or a muffin tin, but you’ll have to adjust the baking time accordingly.


Orange-Cardamom Zucchini Cake, inspired by Martha Stewart Living magazine

Makes one Bundt cake


  • 1½ sticks of melted butter, cooled
  • 2½C pastry flour (can substitute Cup4Cup gluten free flour mix)
  • 1¼C sugar
  • 2½t baking powder
  • ¼t cinnamon
  • ¼t anise seeds
  • ¼t cardamom
  • 2 small zucchini = 1lb = 2½C grated, and drained (squeeze out the excess water)
  • 3 large eggs
  • zest from 1 orange
  • 3T fresh orange juice
  • Orange-Cardamom glaze (recipe follows)

Cake Directions: Preheat oven to 325°. Prepare the Bundt pan by rubbing with butter and dusting with flour or use Baker’s Joy Spray all over the inside. Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add the orange zest and give it a stir, making sure it doesn’t clump together. Add the grated and drained zucchini.  Stir to combine.

In a small bowl, add the eggs, orange juice, and warm, melted butter (the butter can be warm, but any hotter and it will cook the eggs). Give the mixture a quick stir to combine. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Be sure not to over-stir or you will create gluten and your cake will be tough. Be aware that the batter will be thick. If it seems too thick and clumpy, add a little bit more fresh orange juice and a give the batter another quick stir.

Pour into the prepared Bundt pan and bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and invert onto a wire rack. Let cool for half an hour more and, when the cake is still a bit warm, brush the orange-cardamom glaze all over the cake.

Orange Cardamom Glaze

Makes ¾C of glaze


  • 1½C confectioner’s sugar
  • ¼t ground cardamom
  • 1T orange zest, finely minced
  • 3T orange juice

Directions: Whisk ingredients together using a fork until the mixture is a smooth consistency. If it’s too thick, add a bit more juice or a touch of milk. If it’s too thin, add more sugar 1 teaspoon at a time. Use a pastry brush to coat the cake.

bundt slice


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