Chocolate Zucchini Cake – Sugar Spun Run

This chocolate zucchini cake is so chocolatey, so moist, and so flavorful, you’ll by no means style the zucchini (significantly!). I high mine with an indulgent chocolate cream cheese frosting that’s easy and not-too-sweet. Recipe features a how-to video!

Square slice of frosted chocolate zucchini cake missing a bite.

Unbelievable Chocolate Zucchini Cake

“Your chocolate zucchini cake wants tweaking.” My mother mentioned to me, scraping the previous few fudgy crumbs from her plate onto her fork.

“What? What’s fallacious with it!?” All of my different taste-testers had raved about this recipe and I’d already marked it down as being perfected. I used to be in love with the wealthy fudginess, the deep, decadent chocolate style and completely balanced moisture, the ✨completely✨ complementary chocolate cream cheese frosting, and actually I used to be simply shocked that she wasn’t.

“Oh, it’s scrumptious, it’s so good.” She lower one other slice. “However I can’t style the zucchini at all. Not even slightly bit.” A wave of reduction washed over me instantly.

Whereas my mom may disagree, you might be not supposed to style the zucchini in a zucchini dessert (or zucchini bread for that matter)! No, its function is to impart moisture, create a beautiful texture, deplete a surplus of (usually ridiculously massive and prolific) backyard squash, and, positive, even to sneak a wholesome element to an in any other case indulgent deal with. This recipe ticks all of the bins and I’d be mendacity if I mentioned I wasn’t patting myself on the again after making an attempt my first chunk.

Overhead view of a frosted chocolate cake that's been cut into squares in a pan.

Why you’ll like it:

  • Superb crumb: Moist, with out being moist or spongey (typically a difficult feat when including shredded veggies to cake). The crumb is deliriously chocolatey, tender, melt-in-your mouth and so gentle.
  • Simple: No peeling the zucchini, no mixer wanted for the cake, and no stacking, layering, or fussy adorning required.
  • Unbelievable chocolate taste: Blooming the cocoa by mixing it in steaming scorching water (or scorching espresso) intensifies the chocolate taste (so useful when making chocolate cake!).
  • Good frosting: Up to now, each single one who has tried this cake has proceeded to rave in regards to the frosting! It’s subtly tangy, clean and creamy. I initially thought-about doing a easy ganache topping, however the chocolate cream cheese frosting enhances the zucchini significantly better.

I’m so pleased with how this cake turned out. It’s tailored from my chocolate zucchini muffins and double chocolate muffins, and the flavour is unimaginable. I promise nobody will know there’s zucchini inside (which is the entire level of the recipe–extra on this beneath!).

What You Want

There are fairly just a few substances pictured beneath, however all however just a few are pantry staples most bakers will have already got available. Let’s speak a bit about just a few of them.

Overhead view of ingredients including zucchini, brown sugar, sour cream, cocoa powder, and more.
  • Zucchini. There isn’t any must peel your zucchini earlier than shredding it–yay! Ensure you do blot it after shredding although–we wish to keep away from including an excessive amount of moisture to our cake.
  • Bitter cream. A key supply of moisture, taste, and tenderness! Bitter cream is one among my favourite substances to bake with. Full-fat plain greek yogurt would additionally work simply advantageous right here.
  • Cocoa powder. Follow pure cocoa powder right here, as dutch course of cocoa might trigger leavening points since we’re utilizing solely baking soda. If you wish to study extra in regards to the science behind this, try my posts on pure vs. dutch course of cocoa and baking powder vs. baking soda.
  • Scorching water. Your water ought to be so scorching it’s steaming (or boiling!). That is essential for blooming the cocoa powder and bringing out its taste, just like steeping tea or brewing espresso.
  • Mini chocolate chips. A sprinkle of mini chocolate chips on high of the frosting provides a pleasant texture. You possibly can additionally throw some chocolate chips within the batter (as much as a cup), however there’s sufficient chocolate occurring right here that it’s not actually mandatory.

SAM’S TIP: In the event you’d actually prefer to deepen the chocolate taste, add a pinch of instantaneous espresso or espresso to your cocoa powder and scorching water combination! This received’t make your cake style like espresso, however it can intensify the chocolate taste.

Keep in mind, that is simply an summary of the substances I used and why. For the total recipe please scroll right down to the underside of the publish!

Find out how to Make Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Prep the Zucchini

Two photos showing zucchini being shredded and blotted.
  1. Shred the zucchini utilizing the shred blade of a meals processor, then (non-compulsory, see beneath) very briefly pulse to cut the shreds into extra manageable bits.
  2. Blot the zucchini with paper towels to take away extra moisture. I do that step after measuring/weighing the zucchini. Whereas not all recipes require the zucchini to be blotted, I discover that not blotting it made this cake too moist.

SAM’S TIP: Whilst you might use a field grater, I personally like utilizing my meals processor to shred my zucchini. Very similar to the carrots in my carrot cake, I first use the shred blade, then swap to a traditional blade to briefly pulse the zucchini into smaller bits. In the event you do that too, watch out to not pulse an excessive amount of, or you would make the zucchini watery. In fact, you would additionally skip this further step and simply use the hand grater, simply notice you could have extra discernible items of zucchini in your cake.

Make the Cake Batter

Four photos showing chocolate cake batter being prepared and combined with shredded zucchini.
  1. Whisk collectively all dry substances besides the cocoa powder, then put aside.
  2. Add the cocoa powder to the very popular water and whisk till clean, then stir this combination into your melted butter.
  3. Add the bitter cream, eggs, and vanilla to the butter combination and stir effectively to mix.
  4. Gently fold the dry substances into the moist substances till midway mixed, then add the zucchini. Fold within the zucchini till absolutely integrated.
Two photos showing a chocolate cake in a pan before and after baking.
  1. Pour the batter right into a greased 9×13 pan and bake for 33-35 minutes at 350F.
  2. Check for doneness with a toothpick, then take away from the oven and let cool fully earlier than frosting.


Two photos showing frosting being spread over a chocolate sheet cake before adding mini chocolate chips.
  1. Put together the frosting and unfold it evenly over the cooled cake.
  2. High with mini chocolate chips, if desired, then slice and luxuriate in!

SAM’S TIP: Whereas you should use a mixer for the frosting, don’t use it for the cake batter! In the event you do, you would find yourself over-mixing the batter, which may result in a dense, rubbery cake.

Metal pan of chocolate zucchini cake missing a few slices.

Regularly Requested Questions

Does chocolate zucchini cake style like zucchini?

Nope! The purpose of a zucchini baked good recipe is to not style the zucchini; it’s to make use of up backyard produce in a sensible approach. Baked items are an effective way to do that as a result of the zucchini provides a ton of moisture however is neutrally flavored, so it doesn’t make your dessert style such as you’re consuming greens.

Does chocolate zucchini cake have to be refrigerated?

In the event you want it to last more than a day or two, sure. I like to recommend refrigerating after 24 hours and having fun with inside 5 days of baking. Be sure that to retailer in an hermetic container so it doesn’t dry out within the fridge.

Slice of frosted chocolate zucchini cake on a white plate.

Would you prefer to see some other zucchini recipes? I’ve obtained yet one more coming later this month that I’m very excited to share!

Get pleasure from!

Let’s bake collectively! I’ll be strolling you thru all of the steps in my written recipe and video beneath! Discover over 500 of my baking movies for FREE on YouTube.

Square slice of frosted chocolate zucchini cake missing a bite.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

This chocolate zucchini cake is so chocolatey, so moist, and so flavorful, you will by no means style the zucchini! I high mine with a chocolate cream cheese frosting that is easy and not-too-sweet. Recipe features a how-to video!


Course: Cake, Dessert

Delicacies: American

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook dinner Time: 32 minutes

Complete Time: 57 minutes

Servings: 12 servings

Energy: 604kcal

Stop your display screen from going darkish


For Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and evenly grease a 9×13 baking dish with butter.

  • In a big mixing bowl, whisk collectively flour, sugars, baking soda, and salt till well-combined.

    2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour, 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar, 1 cup (200 g) mild brown sugar, 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda, ½ teaspoon desk salt

  • Pour cocoa powder right into a separate, heatproof mixing bowl after which pour scorching/boiling water overtop. Whisk till clean.

    ½ cup (50 g) pure cocoa powder, ½ cup (118 ml) steaming scorching or boiling water

  • Add butter and whisk till mixed.

    10 Tablespoons (141 g) melted butter

  • Add bitter cream, egg, and vanilla extract and whisk effectively.

    1 cup (240 g) bitter cream, 2 massive eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • Add dry substances to the moist and use a spatula to softly fold substances collectively till about midway mixed. Add zucchini and proceed to stir till substances are effectively integrated and batter is uniform – don’t overmix or cake will likely be dense and dry.

    1 ½ cups (200 g) shredded zucchini

  • Unfold batter evenly into ready pan and switch to heart rack of 350F (175C) oven and bake for 33-35 minutes and till a toothpick inserted in heart comes out clear or with moist crumbs. Permit cake to chill fully earlier than masking with frosting.

For Frosting

  • Mix cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl and stir till clean and creamy. Progressively add powdered sugar and stir till mixed.

    8 oz (226 g) cream cheese, ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, 2 ½ cups (315 g) powdered sugar

  • Stir in cocoa powder.

    ⅓ cup (35 g) cocoa powder

  • Add vanilla extract and salt and stir till clean and effectively mixed.

    ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract, ⅛ teaspoon desk salt

  • Unfold frosting evenly over cooled cake (I ice it instantly within the pan) then sprinkle with mini chocolate chips for adornment. Slice and luxuriate in.

    2 Tablespoons mini chocolate chips for topping



Cowl with foil or plastic wrap and retailer at room temperature for as much as 24 hours or within the fridge for as much as 5 days. Cake may be frozen for a number of months.


Serving: 1serving | Energy: 604kcal | Carbohydrates: 83g | Protein: 6g | Fats: 30g | Saturated Fats: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fats: 1g | Monounsaturated Fats: 8g | Trans Fats: 1g | Ldl cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 421mg | Potassium: 244mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 62g | Vitamin A: 977IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 2mg

Dietary info relies on third-party calculations and ought to be thought-about an estimate solely. Precise dietary content material will differ based mostly upon manufacturers used, measuring strategies, cooking methodology, portion sizes, and extra.