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…
So this is how you do it! (Printable instructions below)
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.
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!
Recipe: Chocolate Zucchini Cake
- Chocolate Cake
- ¾ cup butter, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups white sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups shredded zucchini
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 1 ½ cups cocoa powder (I used Hersheys Dark)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup milk
- Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting
- 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup dark cocoa powder (I used Hersheys Dark Cocoa Powder)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons 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.
- 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!
Preparation time: 20 minute(s)
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 12
Leave a Comment
This cake looks incredibly moist and delicious!
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)
Wow! Looks amazing!
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.
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!!
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.
omg amazing!! This looks great! Happy Mother”s Day
Now that is my kind of cake. It just looks fantastic and so moist. Dark chocolate is my fav!
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!
Yum! I love the deep chocolate look to this. The zucchini just sneaks right in 🙂
This cake looks so good! I’ve actually never had a zucchini cake before!
well worth trying!
This is wonderful – will you bring a piece for me to Atlanta?
This looks amazing. I love dark chocolate and this looks as dark as I’ve ever seen in a cake. Love it!
I am making this cake for my son’s first birthday party today! Super excited to try it!
Great! I hope he loves it Kira!
I love the look of this cake – going to make it for my husband today , as it’s valentines day 😀 also love the idea of hiding zucchini in it – ;D
Looks delicious! Leaving out the espresso and making for my daughter’s second birthday tomorrow! 🙂
Oh good Jennifer! I hope you love it!
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.
oh good!! thanks Veronica!
This recipe (Chocolate Zucchini Cake) looked so good that I am making it for my girlfriend’s birthday today. Just one thing, you don’t mention at which point you add the cocoa so I just added it with the dry ingredients, hope that is right!
yes!!! thank you- I will change that!
Can you add chocolate chips to this recipe?
Crystal- as far as I am concerned- you can add chocolate chips to anything!
This cake looks delicious i will bake it this weekend 😀
Do you think I could make it in a 9×13 pan? I don’t have round cake pans.
Heather, this cake sounds wonderful but I want to double check the amount of cocoa you call for in the cake mix,1.5 cups? is that right? It just seems like an awfully large amount of cocoa. I love chocolate zucchini cake and I’d like to try your recipe.
yes Barbara! It is the key to the super chocolatey cake!
I want to thank you for allowing me to become a member of this website. I am trying new recipes that are much healthier for me and my friends. I know I’ll get them here.
Awesome Robert!!! I have lots of ideas as we have totally changed our health here in my house and I write about all the time and post lots of healthy recipes!
Hello, was just trying to print a copy of the chocolate zucchini cake (2 layer w/espresso) but no amount of effort has gotten the pages to print – only one page prints – can you send a pdf of the photos and instructions?
I updated the post and printing function- sorry it is from about 5 years ago so the printing was not up to date!!
Good recipe. I used coffee instead of milk. It enhances the chocolate flavor. Very dense cake but delicious.
Can this cake be made in a 9×13 pan too?
Sure Nancy- just watch the bake time!
I have tried twice to print your luscious looking chocolate zucchini cake, but both times just get a photo. I would really like to have the recipe!
Thanks, Alice Johnson
Hi ALice! I updated the post and printing function- sorry it is from about 5 years ago so the printing was not up to date!!
Looks superb, can’t wait to try
looks yummy can’t wait to try it.
I haven’t made this in years but now seeing your pictures I am craving it.
OMG this looks divine…so if I want to make this cake as cupcakes…what would the baking time be??? Thanks so much for this recipe!
Hi Jennifer- I would check them at about 18 minutes? I haven;t made them as cupcakes, so be sure to start checking after 15 minutes.
Ok so I baked some of the cupcakes for 22 minutes and some for about 25 and there really wasn’t much of a difference…OMG this is a STELLAR recipe! I did cut the fat and sugar a bit in the cake, and I only made 1/4 of the frosting and that was plenty. And I made them vegan! Used ground flax for the eggs (and of course Earth Balance for the fat) and even some whole wheat pastry flour along with the plain white flour. YUMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!! 😀
I’m thinking about cupcakes too! How many do you think the recipe will make?
Erin- I would guess 18 🙂
Thanks Heather! I’ll let you know how they turn out 🙂
Hey anyone who can help with this: my batter was SO thick it was like cookie dough before I even got the 2nd half of the flour in it. It could not be stirred at this consistency. (I was using a hand mixer, not a stand mixer.) Is it supposed to be like that? I thinned the batter with a bit of buttermilk, and the cake turned out fine, but did not taste as good as when my neighbor made this recipe. Help on the thickness of batter!
mide wasn’t thick. Are you sure the batter wasn’t cold? Cold makes the butter harden.
Hi, I tried your recipe with my last garden zucchinis. Ths taste is good (very rich in cocoa, although sweet enough). but the texture is quite disappointing: it is very dense at the bottom, not sponge-like as I expected (from your pictures). i followed all your instructions, so I don’t know what went wrong. Would you have any idea? I precise I live in Europe, so ingredients might be a bit different? Thanks in advance!
I’ve made other zucchini cakes, and by far this is the best!
Love your recipe, but you forgot to add the cocoa to the written instructions. Luckily we figured it out from the pictures!