Gluten-Free Zucchini Cakes and ‘Will you miss me?’

You will all be pleased to know that Arabella is safely ensconced in study camp.  She left on Saturday and she’s gone for the whole week.  It’s a lovely Christian camp that’s in an isolated spot in Sydney and there’s nothing to do there except six hours of study per day, some daily devotions and a fellowship disco on the last night of the camp.

As Arabella was cramming her enormous pile of necessities into a regular sized suitcase she turned to me and asked, ‘Will you miss me, mum?’ And I looked at her and paused for a moment and said, ‘Well no, actually, I won’t.’  And she looked at me with a blank stare and then burst out laughing.  She yelled, ‘Dad, I’ve just asked mum if she’s going to miss me when I’m on camp and she says she’s won’t’.

Gluten-Free Zucchini and Walnut Cakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

So her father came running in and asked, ‘Did you really say that?’

And I said, ‘Well yes, I did.  After the week we’ve had I’ve been really looking forward to her going away.  She’ll be in good hands and she’ll enjoy it.  What’s the problem?’

And Carl said, ‘Well, you didn’t need to be honest.  You could have at least pretended you’ll miss her.’

‘No, she’ll appreciate my honesty.  And she knows I actually will miss her, it’s just while I’m missing her I’ll be at peace knowing she’s in good hands and is actually doing some study.

Individual cakes, great for picnics

And then Arabella’s lift arrived.  I did, for the record, help her out to the car with all her luggage.  And I did give her a hug and I did tell her I was happy she was going, and that I was sorry the moment didn’t tug on my heartstrings, it’s just that the prior week’s events had encouraged me to look forward to this moment immensely.

Arabella arrived at the camp safely.  She has texted me a few times, mostly to let me know what she managed to forget to bring.  I gloss over those messages.  The good news is she’s back on track with her studies, working hard and missing me!  Wants to go out for dinner with me on her return!  Me!  While she’s out in the bush, I didn’t tell her I was down on the beach enjoying a bar-be-cue with friends and a glass of wine while watching the moon rise over the ocean.

And that I’d cooked some individual gluten-free zucchini and walnut cakes with cream cheese frosting to enjoy while there.

We can save that news for another time.

I used White Wings Gluten-Free Flour

Zucchini Walnut Cakes

Makes:  12 cakes

Degree of Difficulty:  2/5

Cost:  This recipe requires just basic ingredients and I only needed to buy zucchini and cream cheese for the frosting.

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 cup oil
  • 125g walnut pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely grated zucchini (about 3 medium zucchini)
  • 3 cups gluten-free flour (or ordinary flour if you don’t require gluten-free)
  • 3 tpns baking powder (gluten free)

Preheat oven to 180C (375F).

Take 2 cake tins that make 8 individual cakes and grease 12 moulds.

Combine eggs, sugar and oil in a mix master and mix until mixture is changed in colour (this only takes a short time).  Stir in walnut pieces and zucchini, then sifted flour and baking powder.  Spread mixture into cake tin moulds and bake for 30 minutes or until cooked.  stand for a few minutes, turn onto wire rack to cool.  Frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 125g cream cheese
  • 30g butter
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tspns vanilla extract

Beat cream cheese and butter in a mixer until smooth.  Gradually beat in icing sugar and vanilla extract.  Spread over cakes.  Decorate with walnut pieces if desired.

This recipe has been adapted from the Australian Women’s Weekly Best Recipes from the Weekly cookbook.


Having dinner while watching the moon rise over the ocean

A beautiful Spring night in Sydney. Alfie and his friend playing by the water’s edge.

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  1. Teenaged daughters can be trying, I know I must have been but probably not nearly as selfish as Arabella. It’s not surprising you had been looking forward to a break; and it sounds like she might be getting the “message” too! My mom and I ended up to be great friends but it took some time to discover who I was as an adult (of course in those days we married so young, 23, so it might be quicker for Arabella)
    The zuchinni cakes look wonderful, and a perfect companion to a moonlit BBQ on the beach.
    I slept in my own bed last night and got a great night sleep, it’s incredible what that can do for you! I’m glad to be home,

  2. kitchenriffs says:

    After reading about how exhausting and hectic your life has been over the last week or so with all the activities, take a beach break sounds ideal! I can totally see why you’d want some commotion-free time. Oh, and those Zucchini Walnut Cakes look quite nice. Very good post – thank you.

  3. Yep, it’s true. I remember learning that my mum actually had a life, interests, and happinesses entirely separate from the existence of me, too. 😉


  4. Enjoy your time relaxing haahhaah the recipe looks great!!!!

  5. Victoria at Flavors of the Sun says:

    When our kids are taken aback with our honesty, it’s often quite cute, as in this case. Made me smile. Enjoy your space, your wine, your rest, your sunset–and those lovely cakes, and then by the time Arabella returns, you’ll be more than ready for that anticipated dinner with her.

  6. I agree with your honest reply though I might have added that I’m not as young as I used to be and need to recharge from all the craziness. At which point, you probably WILL miss her … at least a little. 🙂

  7. yummychunklet says:

    That cream cheese frosting looks sinful! Yum!

  8. Haha my family always goes for the honest approach – no sweat – and obviously no harm done she misses you 😀
    Best of luck for her studies and now, could you please pass the cake? 😉

    Choc Chip Uru

  9. Aaah peace at last! Enjoy it Charlie! I’m glad Arabella is getting some work done.. 🙂 Has Archie been sighted at all lately?

  10. I think all moms of teenage girls can relate!!! Enjoy your week…and wish I was close enough to crash your BBQ! YUMMY zucchini cakes!

  11. I love the photo of your moon rise, Charlie! Happy Spring to you…while we are hot as you know what! 🙂 I absolutely admire your honest response to your daughter and you’re so right…she completely gets it! Both of you will be ready for a loving reunion, but a lengthy separation is necessary for you to recover from the past few weeks’ demands. And the little zucchini cakes look just great. All of your creations are so pretty! 🙂

  12. What a lovely night and those little cakes would be quite nice on my plate tonight. I think it’s perfectly okay to let kids know you need a break.

  13. Juliet Batten says:

    Have a wonderful break! I guess you might miss her, but not her dramas! The moon and beach look very peaceful.

  14. Glad to read you finally have a chance to relax a bit, Charlie. Watching the moon rise while sipping wine is a perfect way to do it, too. I hope time slows for you so that this week lasts a bit longer than most. 🙂

  15. Hahhaha nah I love how you are so honest Charlie 🙂 and I’m sure Arabella know that you still nonetheless love her very much but at the same time need a break ~ hey they do say distance makes the heart fonder hahaha i know sometimes I really just need my own time!

    So glad you got the chance to go away and enjoy yourself at the beach you really deserved it! 😀 xoxo

  16. I think you deserve a break, you’ve been so busy! Those cakes look delicious and that sounds like a perfect night you had in Sydney watching the moon rise!

  17. I love your honesty! I got a good chuckle out of this post. Ha! 🙂

  18. LOL! I love your honesty!!! 🙂

  19. Claire @ Claire K Creations says:

    Well it looks like you’re enjoying your week ‘off.’ The moon looks wonderful! I saw it on Saturday night but Sunday was cloudy for us up here so I missed out. It would have been over the ocean too because I was up the beach 🙁

  20. Hahahaha, this cracked me up! I love your honesty…and I’m glad Arabella found it amusing as well 🙂 I’m sure the slightly emptier household with get to you…but hopefully you’ll get in lots of fun before she comes home.

  21. InTolerant Chef says:

    I’m sure the children are secure enough in your love to realise that a break now and then is a GOOD thing! Everyone needs a rest from drama from time to time as well, and nibbling sweeties and sipping wine at the beach is definitely theraputic indeed. Good for you Charlie! 🙂

  22. Nic@diningwithastud says:

    Absence makes the heart grow fonder 😉

  23. Just lovely – I could eat one right now!

  24. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    Hehe I think it’s important to be honest! 😀 Now what are you going to do with your time? 😉

  25. I love your honesty, Charlie … If you can’t be honest with family then who can you be honest with? I remember one time my mom told me that I was a b**** and hard to live with (back in my teenage days) … It stung for a few minutes but then we both laughed and I agreed with her 🙂

  26. Minnesota Prairie Roots says:

    Watching the moon rise over the ocean sounds so poetic.

  27. GourmetGetaway says:

    Oh you deserve this break so much!!! I think the little bit of “tough love” you showed Arabella by telling her the truth was probably needed. I love the gorgeous cakes, I have a gluten free friend so I will have to make these for her as a treat.

  28. LMAO Sometimes you just have to be honest dont you. Glad she is missing you though – absence, heart fonder, all that lol xx

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