By Barbara Llewellyn Catering and Event Planning

Photo by Cheryl Koehler

Photo by Cheryl Koehler

12 tablespoons (1½ stick or ¾ cup) butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
2 cups grated raw zucchini
2¾ cups all purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
2½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup milk
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan for 20 cupcakes.

Cream the butter or shortening and slowly add the sugar, beating until smooth. Beat in the eggs and mix thoroughly. Stir in the vanilla, orange zest, and grated zucchini and blend well. (Batter may look curdled at this point. It will smooth out later.)

Stir together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda salt and cinnamon, and sift onto a piece of waxed paper. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the zucchini mixture along with the milk, and beat until thoroughly mixed. Stir in the walnuts.

Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cupcakes cool completely before icing and decorating with candied zucchini slices and crystalized squash blossoms.

Makes 20 cupcakes

Dark Chocolate Frosting

Candied Zucchini Slices and Candied Squash Blossoms

Barbara Llewellyn Catering & Event Planning
434 25th St., Oakland
(510) 832-1967