Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Last month I saw a cake on my blogging buddy Em’s site. This cake caught my eye not only because of its amazingly moist and rich appearance, but also because it contained zucchini. I have never made a dessert that contained zucchini besides the typical zucchini bread, so I decided to make it that weekend.

When I started to assemble my ingredients, I realized I was completely out of Dutch-Process Cocoa. What to do…what to do? I contacted Em and she directed me to the King Arthur Flour site to ask them the question directly. They have a live help chat which is exactly what I did and had my answer in about one minute!

Here is the deal on the conversion: For every 3 TBS of natural cocoa you need to add an additional 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda… pretty simple, right? Math is not a strong area of mine, so this definitely took me a hot minute to figure out, but no worries, because I have included the conversion below for this recipe!

This cake was far beyond my expectations and once it chilled in the fridge overnight, it became one of the moistest and most decadent chocolate cakes to ever cross my lips! I followed Em’s recommendation for the ganache which pushed this cake into the realm of pure bliss! If you have a bunch of zucchini in your garden, make this recipe and if you don’t, run to the market to grab some!!!

Have a great day and thanks so much for stopping by!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Yield: 24 servings


For the Cake

1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) butter
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups (12 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (4 ounces) sour cream or yogurt
2 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3/4 cup (2 1/4 ounce) Dutch-Process Cocoa
2 teaspoons espresso powder, optional but tasty (I left this out)
2 cups shredded zucchini (about one 10" zucchini, about 12 ounces)
1/2 cup (3 ounces) chocolate chips

For the Chocolate Ganache

6 ounces of heavy cream
9 ounces of chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)


For the Cake

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan.

2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, oil, sugar, vanilla, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Beat in the eggs. Stir in the sour cream or yogurt alternately with the flour. Then add the cocoa and espresso powder, mixing till smooth. Finally, fold in the zucchini and 1/2 cup chocolate chips.

3. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes, till the top springs back lightly when touched, and it seems set. Cool on a rack.

For the Chocolate Ganache

1. To prepare the frosting, heat the heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat until simmering.

2. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate chips. Wait 3-5 minutes then stir to combine.

3. It may take a few minutes of stirring for the ganache to come together… but it will :) It will thicken as it cools…

4. When warm (but not hot) pour over cake and smooth with offset spatula. Allow frosting to set for about 30 minutes before serving.


- If you are using regular natural cocoa powder, add an additional 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda!

- adapted from King Arthur Flour


43 Responses to “Chocolate Zucchini Cake”

  1. Maria — September 1, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Wow, that looks rich! Great way to get your veggies, right? :)


  2. TeaLady — September 1, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    That looks incrediby delicious and rich and chocolately. YUMMY!!!


  3. southern daze — September 1, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    This looks amazing!


  4. Bethie — September 1, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    I need to try this again!


  5. Michelle — September 1, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    I just got done picking about 20 lbs. of zuchinni from my garden this afternoon- I'll definitely give this recipe a try!


  6. Close to home — September 1, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    Looks great, I also recently blogged about a chocolate chip zucchini bread recipe that the kids go gaga over and never know it has veggies. I serve it as a breakfast treat!!


  7. Em — September 1, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    I'm so pleased that so many food bloggers have made this after I posted it a few weeks ago. I'm even MORE pleased that it's worked out so well.

    Glad you liked it – and glad you utilized the KAF Baker's Hotline. I tell ya, those folks are THE BEST!

    Your cake looks just perfect :)


  8. The Food Librarian — September 1, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    I made this recently too and it is very yum! Thanks for letting me know about the KAF live chat. Too cool!


  9. k.a.r.e.n — September 1, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    That looks so luscious!


  10. Jennifer — September 1, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    That has to be the most incredible piece of cake Ive seen with zucchini! YUM!!


  11. Lori — September 1, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    I can totally see why this cake is so captivating.


  12. Ingrid — September 1, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    That is one decadent looking cake!


  13. Katrina — September 1, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    I made this, too, after finding Em's cake and it really was an amazing chocolate cake. I thought it was great the next day, too, AND the ganache–awesome!


  14. Katrina — September 1, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    By the way, I forgot to say, YOUR cake looks fabulous as well! Love the photo!


  15. Eliana — September 2, 2009 at 10:29 am

    I have never baked with zucchini before but this sounds (and looks) intriguing. Thanks so much for sharing.


  16. bakers — September 2, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Glad we were able to support you in adapting this recipe. Check in anytime. Frank @ KAF, baker/blogger.


  17. Pamela — September 2, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    Awesome pictures of a fantastically enticing cake!


  18. webbsway — September 2, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    O Yes, I have died and gone to food heaven.
    thank you so much


  19. Deeba @Passionate About Baking — September 3, 2009 at 6:39 am

    This is one awesome cake.I usually hide the fact that the cake has zucchini within from my kids. This they would gobble up even if I yelled 'IT'S GOT ZUCCHINI INSIDE'! It's gorgeous & so are your pictures!


  20. Parita — September 3, 2009 at 7:47 am

    Looks sinfully delicious!


  21. Palidor — September 3, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    That looks soooooo super chocolatey and sinful!


  22. Lori — September 3, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    Guess what I am eating at this very moment? Oh yeah- that cake. I need to buy more zucchini and freeze a few cakes. Goodness!


  23. Jamie — September 4, 2009 at 6:44 am

    Zucchini does really add a fabulous moistness to cake. This is one gorgeous cake! And that frosting! Wow! I so want a slice of this. Just stunning!


  24. Tracey — September 8, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    I made this cake recently too and oh man, was it ever delicious! I never would have known there was zucchini in it. Yours looks perfect!


  25. joan — September 16, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    FABULOUS and I did a couple things differently….

    I used coconut oil for the vegetable oil and instead of zucchini I used grated and drained APPLE. It was great!


  26. Katie — October 6, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    I also make this from KA flour. Like Joan I use coconut oil instead of veggie and I only had half stick of butter so I added extra yogurt, it was fine. I also use 2 packed heaping cups of zucchini- it’s soooo moist and wonderful. I made it 3 times this summer. We have a thing for cream cheese frosting so I did that, then I did a yogurt (using Fage) frosting that was great.


  27. Megan — September 6, 2012 at 1:18 am

    Looks great, I’m baking it now. However……….
    Please revisit the measurements and clarify:
    – How is 1/2 cup of veg oil 3-1/2 ounces? My half cup is 4 ounces
    – How is 3/4 cup Dutch cocoa equal to 2-1/4 ounces? In my kitchen, 3/4 cup is 6 ounces!
    – and, 1/2 cup chocolate chips is 3 ounces?
    Your conversion of measurements is confusing!! Please address this?


  28. Joanna — May 27, 2013 at 12:48 am

    HI! Is it possible to substitute gluten free flour in this?


    • Jamie — September 13, 2013 at 8:10 pm

      Hi Joanna,
      I am not a gluten free baker, so I honestly have no idea. I would assume it would work okay, but it might be worth asking a gluten free blogger about the recipe.
      – Jamie

  29. Sandra — July 31, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Just what I was looking for! Thanks for the conversion, too!


  30. Veronica — August 5, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Is it possible to sub the eggs out with applesauce or banana?


    • Jamie — August 12, 2014 at 10:45 am

      I think 1/4 cup of applesauce can be substituted for each egg. Thanks for stopping by.


  31. Candace @ Cabot — August 20, 2014 at 10:48 am

    We’re all for anything that is this rich and chocolatey and sneaks in some veggies too. Great recipe!


    • Jamie — August 21, 2014 at 9:20 am

      Thanks so much! I really appreciate you stopping by.


  32. Gina — August 21, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    I just made this same cake last week for book club, but sent it over the top with German Chocolate Frosting. We stopped talking about the book once the cake was served!

    My recipe came from an old church cookbook, but was almost identical, called for sour milk instead of sour cream, but I substituted the sour cream.
    Can’t wait to try with the ganache.


    • Jamie — August 21, 2014 at 11:09 pm

      I’m glad the recipe was such a hit with your book club. Thanks for stopping by!


  33. Gina — August 21, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    My son loved this cake (and he hates zucchini). hee hee hee.


    • Jamie — August 21, 2014 at 11:10 pm

      Kids would never suspect the zucchini! Thanks for stopping by.


  34. jeannie — August 21, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    I put this cake in an 8 inch round wilton cake pan, it’s been in the oven for well over 50 minutes. Am I doing something wrong!?


    • Jamie — August 24, 2014 at 10:54 pm

      This recipe calls for a 9×13 inch pan, not an 8-inch round pan. The area of the pan you used in much smaller than a 9×13. I hope this helps you problem solve the overflowing cake.


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