Waves of Frosting

I remember baking with my mother at a very young age. I'd help mix batter, dough, or frosting. If I was being particularly "helpful", I'd get to try my hand at frosting a cake or cupcakes. Back then, it was not unusual to end up with a very uneven result that needed more than a little help from Mom. However, these days, I'll still get into making my own sweet rendition of Starry Night draped across the top of moist zucchini bars:

Now, the foundation of this dessert involves one of my favorite treats: zucchini bars. A lot of people spend a lot of time complaining about too much zucchini. Not me. I use it in everything from creative stir-fries to dippable sides and more. But my favorite way to use it is in sweet recipes like the one below. I also happen to think that it's amazing when paired with chopped walnuts, but you could omit them if you aren't a fan.

But, for me, the art comes into this recipe when it comes time to frost those sweet bars. The cream cheese frosting is thick and easy to spread. I love to spread it across the bars in thick ribbons, like waves on an ocean. In the end, the swirls and ripples of frosting remind of a beautiful painting. But hey, I'm not at all above eating my art! After all, it's delicious!

Zucchini Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c. canola oil
  • 2 c. white sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 c. grated fresh zucchini
  • 2/3 c. chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 3 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 1/2 c. powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, sugar, and vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Mix in the grated zucchini and walnuts. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake for 30-45 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the bars to cool completely before frosting. To make the frosting, blend together the butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar until well combined and spreadable. Spread over the cooled bars.

  • Yields: 24 bars
  • Preparation Time:1 hour

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