Vegan blueberry zucchini layer cake with lemon buttercream [V, GF option]

Vegan blueberry zucchini layer cake with lemon buttercream from The Spoon + Shovel

While I obviously have a bit of a sweet tooth, I would categorize myself as a cookie monster, and don’t make cakes very often. Recently, Meghan found this nice little recipe on Pinterest and suggested I try veganizing it. I swapped out the eggs and butter, changed a few ratios, added a gluten-free option, and here we are! This cake is packed with grated zucchini, plump blueberries and a buttercream frosting you’d swear was made with cream cheese. No need for Marie Antoinette jokes, let’s get baking.

Vegan blueberry zucchini layer cake with lemon buttercream from The Spoon + Shovel

Ingredients
For the cake:
3 flax gel eggs (approximately 10 T.)
~or~
3 T. apple cider vinegar/5 T. lemon juice + 3 t. baking powder + 3 T. soy milk
1 C. vegetable oil
3 t. vanilla extract
2 C. sugar
3 C. flour (gluten-free option here)
1 t. salt
1 t. baking powder
¼ t. baking soda
2 C. zucchini, grated and pressed
2 ½ C. blueberries

For the “buttercream” frosting:
⅔ C. dairy-free margarine (I used Earth Balance)
⅓ C. coconut oil
2 ½ - 3 C. powdered sugar
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 t. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

A quick word about the various egg substitute options listed - I did a number of trial runs of this recipe before posting, with flax gel and with vinegar + soda. The flax gel yields to a denser cake with more prominent sweetness and blueberry flavor, while the vinegar and soda led to a lighter consistency with a bit of tang. Using lemon juice in place of vinegar yields a bit more sweetness and less tang; it’s all up to personal preference.

-Preheat oven to 350 F. 
-Grate ~2 C. of zucchini (2 small or one medium-large) into a bowl or colander, excluding the core(s). 
-Transfer to a thick kitchen towel, wrap and place something heavy on top to press the liquid out of the zucchini. 
-In a large bowl, combine the egg substitute, oil, vanilla and sugar. 
-Add the flour, salt, powder and additional soda and mix until smooth, then fold in the zucchini and blueberries. 
-Pour into two oiled 8” cake pans and bake for 35-45 min until golden brown, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes away clean.
I would suggest cooling the finished cakes in the fridge while making the buttercream. 

-Using a hand or stand mixer, combine the margarine and coconut oil until smooth, then add the vanilla, salt and lemon juice.
-Sift the powdered sugar in ½ C. at a time until the frosting is thick and creamy; I used 2 ½ C. as I wanted it to be a bit less sweet, but you can go up to 3 C. per your taste and desired consistency.  
-I zested the lemon using a microplane, but if you don’t have one, make sure to finely chop it, as you don’t want people getting giant chunks of lemon zest in their frosting. 
-Fold in by hand and remove your cooled cakes from their pans.
-Frost one cake with half of the buttercream, place the second cake on top evenly and frost with the remaining buttercream. 
While it can be served at this point, I like to put it back in the fridge to cool the buttercream a bit for cleaner cutting.

This cake is pretty fancy, so make sure you stick out your pinky while smashing.

Vegan blueberry zucchini layer cake with lemon buttercream from The Spoon + Shovel