Chocolate Zucchini Cake

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Chocolate Zucchini Cake

When I was a child, my mom was pretty cutting edge. Even in the late seventies my mom was growing her own urban organic garden- raising fruit and vegetables each summer to feed us kids. We used to grow zucchini the size of baseball bats and were always looking for ways to use them up. Being the lovely lady that my mom is she used to turn the vegetable into the most wonderful thing on a child’s radar: chocolate cake.

When I saw some lovely green zucchini in my produce box, I got nostalgic and decided to make a chocolate zucchini cake for Mothers Day.


I love a really dark chocolate cake, which is made moist by the zucchini and super rich and chocolaty from dark coco powder (a new favorite for it’s coal dark cocoa is Hersheys Dark Cocoa). It is very similar to the beet cake I made for Valentines day- but is a darker chocolate cake and the espresso in the frosting just makes it richer and more flavorful.

The zucchini lends more texture and moisture than flavor, but anytime I can sneak some vegetables into my family’s dessert- it is a no brainer! I also garnished with jonny jump ups, but violets or pansies would be lovely.


I also want to say Happy Mothers Day to all of the mommy’s out there. It is the most wonderful job in the world, and I feel like I get a gift a everyday…



Chocolate Zucchini Cake, serves 12
¾ cup butter, room temperature
1 ½ cups white sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla
3 eggs
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 ½ cups flour
1 ½ cups cocoa powder (I used Hersheys Dark)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
1 cup milk

Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting
1 cup salted butter, room temperature
1 cup dark cocoa powder ( I used Hersheys Dark )
3 cups powdered sugar
2 TBS espresso
½ cup milk

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Shred the zucchini on a box grater. Set aside.


In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy.


Add the vanilla and the eggs and beat to combine.



In a separate bowl add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices and sift them all together.


Add half of the flour mixture to the batter, and then half of the milk. Repeat.


Add the zucchini and mix well.



Prepare two 9” round cake pans with baking spray. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans.

Bake the cake rounds for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

So dark and chocolaty!

Remove the cakes from the heat and let them cool on a rack completely.


Butter Cream
Beat all of the frosting ingredients, whipping them until fluffy and uniform.






To assemble the cake, ice the first layer of the cake and then the top and sides.






Slice, serve and enjoy!




Leave a Reply


  1. This cake looks incredibly moist and delicious!

  2. Vicki B says:

    What a cake! It’s so decadent looking, really luscious and rich. Do you stick to alkalined chocolate when baking or does it matter? Such adorable daughters you have.

    • Vicki- I used plain old Hershey’s Dark Cocoa powder. (and for future reference it definitely matters wether you use Dutch processed or not. This does not call for that)

  3. Danielle says:

    Wow! Looks amazing!

  4. marla says:

    Happy Mother’s Day to you too Heather! Your kids are darling & this cake looks beyond delicious. I love zucchini in cakes. Have a wonderful weekend with your family.

  5. Vicki in GA says:

    Happy Mother’s Day to a very special lady.

    If I lived nearby, we could chat this morning over a piece of that beautiful chocolate cake and a cup of coffee.
    That is if you could get my attention away from your darling girls. They are so special. Makes me wish I’d had girls – altho, I wouldn’t trade my grown-up little boy for nuttin’.

    • thank you everyone for all of the beautiful mothers day wishes. Right back at all of you wonderful mothers!!

    • Vicki- I wish you were my neighbor!!

  6. Oh my – that is one gorgeous and decadent cake. Perfect for a Mother’s Day celebration. Happy Mother’s Day to you. Hopefully you get lots of hugs from those adorable kids of yours.

  7. omg amazing!! This looks great! Happy Mother”s Day

  8. Now that is my kind of cake. It just looks fantastic and so moist. Dark chocolate is my fav!

  9. What a fabulously dark cake! Hard to believe there’s zucchini in there, that’s amazing. I love the little edible flower touch. :-) Happy Mother’s Day to you!

  10. Katrina says:

    Yum! I love the deep chocolate look to this. The zucchini just sneaks right in :)

  11. This cake looks so good! I’ve actually never had a zucchini cake before!

  12. This is wonderful – will you bring a piece for me to Atlanta?

  13. This looks amazing. I love dark chocolate and this looks as dark as I’ve ever seen in a cake. Love it!

  14. Kira says:

    I am making this cake for my son’s first birthday party today! Super excited to try it!

  15. Chloe-Emma Beasley-Hart says:

    I love the look of this cake – going to make it for my husband today , as it’s valentines day :D also love the idea of hiding zucchini in it – ;D

  16. Jennifer says:

    Looks delicious! Leaving out the espresso and making for my daughter’s second birthday tomorrow! :)

  17. Veronica says:

    Oh my god! I made this cake for dessert when I had company. Absolutely delicious! Will be using this recipe from now on. Thanks for posting it.