Spring Fling Cake
From Denver, Colorado’s “The Market”
This is the recipe for a very special cake from a very special place… “The Market” (grocer/bakery/deli/coffee house) on Larimer Street in downtown Denver, Colorado. My family has enjoyed countless numbers of Spring Fling Cakes over the years: it was the cake my mom would order for most special occasions. We were lucky enough to live right down the street from the Greenbergs, who owned and operated The Market for 37 years, from where this incredibly delicious cake hails.
So, when we heard the upsetting news that this beloved Denver staple was closing its doors in the wake of the Covid19 pandemic, I immediately hunted down the Spring Fling cake recipe so I could bake one right away. While reminiscing about The Market with my mom and sister the other day, my mom remembered that she rarely had to go pick her cake order up downtown: Mark would just drop it off on his way home from work… a perk of living right down the street!
My sister will miss their chocolate chip pumpkin cookies, a favorite from our childhood. I will miss the smell of coffee, the creaking hardwood floors and the cozy, New York-deli-style ambiance. Needless to say, our hearts are heavy and we will miss The Market terribly.
While baking the cake at home is not the same as having it delivered in a box that your mom made you swear not to peak in before it was time to eat, I guess it will have to do. So without further ado, I give you The Famous Spring Fling Cake!
For the cake:
- 2 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 5 eggs
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
For the frosting:
- 3/4 cup cream cheese
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Fruits for filling and top:
- 1 pint strawberries, cleaned, stemmed and sliced
- 4 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced
- 2 mangoes, peeled and sliced
- 1 pint blueberries
Apricot glaze which is apricot jelly thinned out with a splash of warm water, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch cake pan.
To prepare the cake: Shred the zucchini in a food processor (or with a box grater). In a large mixing bowl, combine shredded zucchini, eggs, sugar, oil, sour cream and 1/2 tablespoon vanilla. When thoroughly mixed, combine all dry ingredients and add to bowl; mix well. Batter should be fairly wet and easy to pour.
Pour in the batter and bake for 50 to 70 minutes, testing with a toothpick in center. Cool finished cake on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove it from the pan and allow it to cool completely. (You can make the cake a day ahead and refrigerate.)
To prepare frosting, whip room-temperature cream cheese and butter until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing until well combined. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until stiff, and then fold it and the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla into the frosting. Do not overmix.
To assemble cake: Cut the cooled cake in half lengthwise, making two layers. (The Market cuts the cake into three layers, which you may do if desired.) Spread an even layer of frosting over the first layer, and then add a layer of the various fruit pieces (repeat if three layers).
Put on the top layer of cake and evenly frost. The sides of the cake are not frosted; use extra to fill in, as needed. Arrange the fruit in circles all over the top of cake, slightly overlapping fruit pieces.
To finish: Spread the apricot glaze over fruit on top of the cake with a pastry brush.