Snickerdoodle Zucchini Cake, and Week 37 – Nine little things that might make life a little less stressful

If anyone ever asked me what snickerdoodles and zucchini have in common, I might answer “nothing”.

And I guess they still don’t have anything in common, except that their flavors combine exceptionally well in this little cake.

It’s cinnamon-sugar crunchy on the outside, and dense coffee-cake-ish on the inside.

You pretty much would never know zucchini was hiding out in there if it weren’t for the tiny little green flecks of evidence.

You can’t taste it. 

With part whole wheat flour and a healthy boost from Greek yogurt, this little snack cake holds some benefits in disguise.

Whole grains, protein, and veggies . . . in a cake who’s flavor resembles that of snickerdoodles.

It’s a nice combo.

The cake pictured above is one of two half-size bundts (plus a shallow loaf)  that this recipe produced. It makes enough batter for a large bundt, or two loaf cakes. That’s just enough to keep a little at home, and share a little with friends.

And it smells so happy and warm when it’s baking – perfect for a drizzly fall afternoon.

So maybe it’s a good day to bake. . . and while you’re baking, maybe you’ll want to consider these nine little things that might just make life feel a little less stressful and a little more simple:

1. Make your bed. – If you are anyone who’s known me in real life, you know I’ve not always been a bed maker. I used to think it was a waste of my time and I was saving myself from stress by freeing up a few minutes of my day. But I’ve learned that I actually really love a made bed. It makes my bedroom into a peaceful little sanctuary. And if the rest of the house is chaotic, at least I can retreat to my tidy bedroom and take a breather. Plus – it’s pretty awesome to climb into perfectly smooth sheets at the end of the day!

2. Protect your time. – Your time is important. Try to remember to schedule you and your family on the calendar too. You are just as important as all those people you want to help and reach out to, and when you watch out for what you need, you’ll be much happier to help others too.

3. Talk to friends. – Sometimes a chat with friends is just what we need. Don’t chalk it up to time wasted. We’re more productive when we are happy and peaceful, and friends help keep us there!

4. Make a double batch. – If you’re cooking a freezable meal for dinner, make enough for two, and freeze one for later in the week or month. It’s such a relief to have a quick easy meal ready to cook when those busy weeknights or lazy Saturdays hit. Sometimes I’ll cook up to eight extra chicken breasts when I’m roasting, just so I can chop and freeze the leftovers for later use.

5. Turn off Technology. – It feels good to be unplugged. It just does.

6. Automate payments – If you’re the household bill-payer, you know what it’s like to wake up suddenly at 2 AM and wonder if you paid that bill – whatever it might be. Save yourself the sleep and automate whatever you can.

7. Institute a 5 minute wipe-down habit Bathroom cleaning is no fun. But a quick 5 minute wipe-down each day can really help tame the beast.

8. Don’t answer every phone call – Please don’t hate me for saying this – but I don’t answer every phone call. This goes right along with #2 and #5 – protecting your time, and turning off technology. It’s ok – you don’t have to be a slave to your phone. You can return any calls that come in when it works better for you and your sanity.

9. Keep your keys and phone in the same place every time. – If they’re always in the same place all the time, there won’t be any running around in a last minute panic trying to find them.

Snickerdoodle Zucchini Cake

Ingredients

  • For the Cinnamon Sugar Topping/Swirl:
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • For the cake:
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 6 oz fat free Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups shredded, fresh zucchini

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F

In a small bowl, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon for topping/swirl.

Liberally and thoroughly butter a 9-10 cup bundt pan, or two 9"x5" Loaf pans. Dust pan(s) with cinnamon-sugar mixture, and set aside.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter for one minute. Add white sugar and mix for 3 minutes. Add brown sugar and mix for 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add vanilla, mix.

Alternately add in flour mixture and Greek yogurt, starting and ending with the flour mixture.

Fold in shredded zucchini.

Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan(s).

sprinkle half of the cinnamon/sugar mixture over the first layer of batter.

Pour the remaining batter over the top of the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Top batter with remaining cinnamon/sugar.

At this point you can either leave the layers as they are, or you can take a spoon or spatula and sparingly stir the batter JUST A LITTLE BIT to swirl the cinnamon and sugar . You don't want to mix it so much that it just blends right into the batter. Just a couple strokes is enough.

Bake in the oven for 55-65 minutes for the bundt cake, or adjust accordingly for loaf pans - start checking around 40 minutes.

Source

Adapted from Just Baked

http://www.wherethecookiesare.com/2012/09/16/snickerdoodle-zucchini-cake-and-week-37-nine-little-things-that-might-make-life-a-little-less-stressful/

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