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Moist Chocolate Zucchini Cake

90 Reviews

This chocolate zucchini cake is so moist and chocolatey you won’t believe it is made with zucchini. And, the frosting is chocolate cream cheese perfection!

This cake is my answer for all the zucchini squash sitting on my counter! It is the most moist and rich cake, and adding zucchini to it makes it pretty much healthy, right?

Ok, not at all, but it sure is a good excuse for eating multiple pieces. Shhhhh…don’t judge!

A slice of chocolate zucchini cake on a wooden dessert plate. The cake is frosted with creamy chocolate cream cheese frosting.

I keep seeing people post about all their excess zucchinis in our neighborhood Facebook group. It needs to be put into this cake or our chocolate chip zucchini banana bread. Or if you are craving savory, try our BBQ zucchini nachos or our Mexican zucchini boats! Zucchini is so versatile!

 

(Mom, you are seriously the cutest and please oh please let my hair turn out like your’s)

This chocolate zucchini snack cake is actually the perfect picture of my life. Well, it’s the perfect picture of how my life goes. I go to Idaho and tell my mom I made the MOST DELICIOUS dark chocolate zucchini bundt cake in the history of the world. 

Mom applauds me and gives me all sorts of praise.

Mom makes an even better chocolate zucchini cake and serves it for Sunday dinner and I beg her for the recipe. 

I’d get all whomp, whomp on you, but I actually love when she beats me in the kitchen and proves herself to be the true cook in the family. Her food is always the best. 

What Ingredients Do You Need for Chocolate Zucchini Cake?

No shocker here, but you need zucchini and cocoa! Mind blown, I know! Then everything else is pretty much your typical cake ingredients. The details are down below in the recipe card, but here is your basic list:

Cake

  • Eggs
  • Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Canola Oil
  • Vanilla
  • Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Cocoa
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Zucchini

Frosting

  • Cocoa
  • Cream Cheese
  • Butter
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Chocolate Milk
A pan of chocolate zucchini cake that has been cut into pieces and one piece has been removed. It is frosted with smooth, creamy chocolate frosting.

How to Make Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Who has ever went to devour a piece of chocolate cake only to find it totally dry and almost inedible? Oh, it’s the worst! You will not have that issue with this dreamboat of a chocolate cake! The recipe card has all the detailed instructions, but here are the basic steps:

Cake

  • Preheat oven and spray a 9×13 cake pan with cooking spray
  • Beat the eggs
  • Add the other wet ingredients (oil, sugar, and vanilla) and blend everything together
  • Mix all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, cinnamon and salt) together in another bowl
  • Add the dry ingredients and the grated zucchini to the wet ingredients and mix until it all just comes together
  • Bake the cake
  • Allow cake to cool completely before adding the frosting

Frosting

  • Beat together the cream cheese and butter until creamy
  • Add the vanilla
  • Sift in powdered sugar and cocoa
  • Add the salt
  • Mixing on low, add a little milk until it is your desired consistency

A top view of a moist chocolate zucchini cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting. The cake has been cut but not served.

Why is Zucchini Added to Desserts?

Zucchini adds moisture to baked goods and keeps cake and breads moist and tender.

Can this Recipe Be Made into a Bundt Cake?

Absolutely! Pour the batter into a well-greased 10 cup bundt pan and bake for 50-60 minutes.

Can this Recipe Be Made into Cupcakes?

Yes!! I would use cupcake liners and they will bake for about 18-20 minutes. It will make about 20-24 cupcakes.

A slice of chocolate zucchini cake with creamy chocolate cream cheese frosting. The piece of cake is on a wooden dessert plate.

Do You Peel Zucchini For Cake?

Zucchini does not need to be peeled for cake.  

Just wash it, cut the ends off, and grate it. I like to grate it on the smallest grate, and then it isn’t even noticeable in the cake.

This is how I get my kids to eat it without knowing!

Is Zucchini Good for You?

Zucchini is rich in vitamins and minerals.

 Zucchini possesses many valuable minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and plenty of potassium.

A slice of chocolate zucchini cake on a wooden plate with a fork beside it. The cake is rich, moist chocolate and there are a couple of other dessert plates with cake on them.

Can Chocolate Zucchini Cake Be Frozen?

You can freeze chocolate zucchini cake for up to 3 months. It is best to freeze before frosting it and then add the frosting shortly before serving it.

How Long Will Zucchini Cake Keep?

Stored at room temperature, it will keep for 2 days.

Cake will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator.

Can I Make Zucchini Cake Ahead of Time?

 

This cake is great to make ahead and freeze adding the frosting before serving.

A slice of moist chocolate zucchini cake on a wooden dessert plate. The cake is frosted with chocolate cream cheese frosting.

Grate up that zucchini and add it to this chocolate zucchini cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting! The chocolate lovers in your life will love you forever and ever!

More Zucchini Recipes You’re Sure to Love:

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A slice of chocolate zucchini cake on a wooden dessert plate. The cake is frosted with creamy chocolate cream cheese frosting.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

3.48 from 90 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 20

Ingredients

  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Canola plus 3 tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Cup Cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Cups Zucchini grated, doesn't need to be peeled, about 2 zucchini

For The Frosting

  • 8 oz Cream Cheese room temperature
  • 1/4 Cup Butter unsalted, softened
  • 3 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Cocoa unsweetened
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon Milk Chocolate milk is a game changer if you have it

Instructions

For The Cake

  • Beat eggs until smooth and lemon in color
  • Add the oil sugars, and vanilla.
  • Blend well.
  • In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, cinnamon and salt.
  • Mix dry ingredients and zucchini into the wet ingredients.
  • Pour into a 9X13 inch cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Insert a toothpick at 30 minutes, if it comes out clean it is done.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely which can take a good 1-3 hours depending on how warm your house is. Then frost the cake and serve.
  • Cover leftovers and store for up to 1 week.

For the Frosting

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer using paddle attachment (or using an electric hand mixer with a large bowl), beat together 8 oz cream cheese with butter on medium/high speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add vanilla.
  • Sift in 3 cups powdered sugar with 1/2 cup cocoa powder to ensure there are no lumps then add 1/4 tsp salt. Mix on low speed adding the splash of milk as it comes together. Add an additional tablespoon of milk if needed.

Notes

Chocolate zucchini cake can be baked in a bundt pan for 50-60 minutes.
This cake is great to make ahead and freeze adding the frosting before serving.
 
Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 422 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Fat 23g35%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Cholesterol 74mg25%
Sodium 373mg16%
Potassium 209mg6%
Carbohydrates 53g18%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 39g43%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 638IU13%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 59mg6%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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A top view of a moist chocolate zucchini cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting. The cake has been cut but not served.

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Secrets to Cooking on a Smoker like a Pro!

About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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Recipe Rating




6 comments

  • This cake is delicious. I will be making it again.

    • Reply
    • Yay! Love to hear this! Thank you so much!

      • Reply
  • What kind of cocoa powder did you use? It looks extra dark! I have to make this!!

    • Reply
    • Hi Brittany! I used Ghirardelli unprocessed Dutch cocoa. Yum!

      • Reply
  • Do you squeeze out excess moisture from the zucchini before adding it or just go immediately from grating into the mixture?

    • Reply
    • Hi Tara! You shouldn’t need to, but you can if you are worried about too much moisture. All zucchinis are different as far as moisture content.

      • Reply

Secrets to Cooking on a Smoker like a Pro!