Zucchini Cake with Parmesan

Zuke cake with warm

My friend Billie recently shared this recipe and several slices of this savory French zucchini cake with parmesan with me. Billie is a hopeless Francophile and an epicure!

Billie and her husband Blaine and their two daughters lived in France for many years. Billie took advantage of this unique opportunity to develop her discriminating palate and her culinary skills.

She loaned me her cookbook, “Quiches, Cakes, and Companie.” I pulled out my rusty French and translated this recipe for my English-speaking followers. Some of the amounts may seem a little awkward and are best estimates of centiliters and grams to ounces and tablespoons. I also learned a new word, “poignee” of basil and mint, which simply means a “handful” and is not an exact measurement.

This basic savory cake recipe has unlimited variations and possibilities. These recipes or recettes, by Ilona, can be made with feta and herbs, figs and bacon, roquefort, pears and nuts, or mushrooms and gruyere.

You will need a traditional loaf pan or pound cake pan. The grated zucchini is briefly sautéed in butter in a skillet until most of the moisture has been absorbed. Mix the dry ingredients, flour and baking powder, and the wet ingredients, eggs, milk, and oil, separately. Then gently fold or stir these ingredients together until it forms a smooth batter. Finally, add the grated cheeses and cooled zucchini and herbs.

If you can find gruyere cheese, I recommend it because it adds a rich, salty, nutty flavor to the savory cake. If you cannot find gruyere, Billie suggested using feta. I would also suggest manchego or any other dry nutty cheese.

Use a handful of “poignee” of fresh basil and mint to optimize the essence of the herbs as they combine with the cheeses and the zucchini.

This savory moist cakes pair well with aperitifs for happy hour or can also be served with a salad for a light lunch.

Related Recipes