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Aunt Mary’s Zucchini Cake

Oct 19, 2014 | Posted in: , , | 1 Comments



Lately, I’ve been craving this wonderful zucchini cake my Aunt Mary made once when I was up at her and my Uncle Mike’s house in New York State near Batavia. Up there, in farm country where highways are long and flat, and fields are green and lush with vegetation in spring and summer, fresh zucchini is in abundance, ripening in the sun and collected by the bushel. I am quite sure that my version will not rival Aunt Mary’s due to the lack of quality in my produce alone, but it doesn’t matter. For me, making this cake is about remembering some amazingly fun meals we had together in her ¬†kitchen and on the big sunny back porch at their house which looks out over what used to be the potato field (now overgrown) on the farm where my father and Uncle Mike grew up. It’s about remembering those dinners that stretched long into the summer night because the sun wouldn’t set until 9pm, and the conversations that were had around the kitchen table before and after.

My Babcha’s house was next door to Uncle Mike and Aunt Mary’s – the original farmhouse where my father, uncle and their two sisters grew up. When my Babcha still lived there it was easy for her to come over for dinner to my Uncle’s and I remember ¬†her razor sharp wit which she used to “zing” whoever came into her line of fire during the course of conversation. She was a regular firecracker, both kind and outspoken, and even when she was older, she could light up a room.


Ugh. It’s not just the cake. Honestly, the cake doesn’t even fit the real criteria for this project because I’m not sure how many generations it goes back. It’s just that for some reason, the taste, the smell, the recipe card with my Aunt’s familiar handwriting which has been on countless cards and notes of well-wishing over the years, all of it just pulls me into a wormhole that takes me straight to those warm summer nights in upstate New York, watching my parents, Aunt and Uncle and Babcha engage in conversational fireworks on the porch looking over the potato field. And I guess that’s what food like this is all about anyway.


Aunt Mary’s Zucchini Cake

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

3 lg eggs

2 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (I used more)

3 cups shredded zucchini

1 cup nuts (optional)


Bake at 350 degrees for 40 – 45 minutes.

13 x 9 greased pan


Sour Cream Frosting

2 1/2 cups 10x sugar (confectioners sugar)

1/3 cup sour cream

1/4 cup margarine

3/4 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp salt

Blend together mix well