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Zucchini Cake

Zucchini Cake is a picture-perfect bundt cake! This moist and flavorful cake is packed with pineapple, zucchini, coconut and topped with tangy cream cheese frosting for a cake that will be an absolute hit.

Sliced zucchini bundt cake on a piece of parchment paper

It seems like every season I make a dessert recipe that moves straight to the top of my favorites list. And let me tell you – this Zucchini Cake might just rank as my #1 summer recipe of 2021.

I honestly can’t tell you how many times I’ve whipped this cake together this summer. I honestly think I pretty much have the entire recipe memorized and that’s saying something considering how many recipes I test each month.

It’s simple to make, flavorful and perfectly moist! It’s great for breakfast with cup of tea or for dessert. The cream cheese frosting takes it over the top in best way possible. I could seriously eat the frosting with a spoon!

Ingredients for zucchini bundt cake arranged on a gray countertop

MY ZUCCHINI BUNDT CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

I’m on a zucchini recipe kick and I can’t be stopped.

Earlier this week I shared with you my Zucchini Banana Bread recipe and I have one more zucchini recipe to share before I’m ready to transition to apple recipes and pumpkin recipes. I promise we’ll go all in on fall soon! 

Have you ever had one of those cakes from Nothing Bundt Cakes? People go crazy for their cakes, so this Zucchini Cake was my way of making a Nothing Bundt Cakes-style cake at home. Even though they don’t have a Zucchini option – I think they totally should.

Whisk stirring together the dry ingredients for zucchini cake

I started with a super moist cake that is packed with zucchini, pineapple, and coconut. 

If you’ve made my Pineapple Cake or J. Alexander’s Carrot Cake, you know that crushed pineapple is amazing in a cake like this. It adds sweetness and flavor and helps keep the cake moist.

Then I topped the cake with a tangy cream cheese frosting that pairs perfectly with the sweet cake. I used a piping bag to frost the cake in lines like they do at Nothing Bundt Cakes. It’s a super simple way to frost a bundt cake that still looks really nice.

Hand stirring zucchini cake batter in a white mixing bowl with a gray spatula

WHY ADD ZUCCHINI TO CAKE RECIPES?

Adding zucchini to cake and quick bread recipes is something we do without really thinking about it. But what does it actually do for the recipe?

When you bake with zucchini, it acts a lot like bananas or applesauce does. It adds tons of texture and keeps the cake or bread moist. 

And even though I still wouldn’t call this Zucchini Cake or Lemon Zucchini Bread healthy, adding grated zucchini does add a bit of a nutritional boost to your recipes, too.

Batter for zucchini cake in a greased bundt pan, ready to bake

HOW TO MAKE THIS ZUCCHINI CAKE

Start by whisking together the dry ingredients: flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set this aside. 

In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, vanilla, and sugar with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes. Add in the vegetable oil and beat for one more minute.

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined. 

Cream cheese frosting being mixed together with a hand mixer in a white mixing bowl

Use a rubber spatula to fold in the crushed pineapple, grated zucchini and shredded coconut until thoroughly incorporated.

Add the batter to a greased 12-cup bundt pan and bake for 65-70 minutes. Let the cake cool for 30-40 minutes before removing it from the pan. Make sure to let the cake cool completely before you frost it.

Frosted zucchini bundt cake set on a piece of parchment paper

The cream cheese frosting is super simple to throw together. All you need is:

  • Cream cheese
  • Butter 
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla

To frost the cake in the same style that I did, put the frosting in a piping bag and pipe it in thick lines across the cake. 

Fork cutting into a slice of zucchini bundt cake set on a piece of parchment paper, with more slices of cake in the background

HOW TO STORE AND FREEZE THIS CAKE

Because this Zucchini Cake is topped with cream cheese frosting, I recommend storing it in the refrigerator. 

If you choose to make the cake without the frosting, you could store it at room temperature but keeping it in the refrigerator will help it stay fresh longer. 

If you’d like to freeze this cake, I would recommend freezing it before frosting it. After thawing, add the frosting and serve.

If you have leftover cake you’d like to freeze, cut it into slices and wrap the slices individually in plastic wrap and store them in a zip-top freezer bag. Then you can take out as many slices as you like for a snack or bite of dessert when a craving hits!

Overhead view of sliced zucchini bundt cake on a slice of parchment paper
Sliced zucchini bundt cake on a piece of parchment paper

Zucchini Cake

Yield: Serves 12-14
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Zucchini Cake is a picture-perfect bundt cake! This moist and flavorful cake is packed with pineapple, zucchini, coconut and topped with tangy cream cheese frosting for a cake that will be an absolute hit.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • ½ cup shredded sweetened coconut, optional

For the Frosting

  • 4 ounces package of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 12-cup bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray - preferably one for baking. This will help ensure a clean release of the bundt cake from the pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In another large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat eggs, vanilla, and sugar until well combined - about 3 minutes. Add in vegetable oil and beat for an additional minute.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined. 
  5. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the crushed pineapple, grated zucchini and shredded coconut until thoroughly incorporated.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 65-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack for 30-40 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. Once the cake has cooled completely, prepare the cream cheese frosting.

For the Frosting

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together cream cheese, and butter until well combined and whipped in texture, about 5 minutes.
  2. With the mixer on low, gradually add the powdered sugar until thoroughly incorporated and smooth. 
  3. Add vanilla and mix to combine. Turn mixer to medium speed and mix for approximately 5 more minutes.

Notes

Adapted from allrecipes.com

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Did you make this recipe?

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Kathy

Tuesday 7th of September 2021

I made this yesterday to use up some zucchini. I didn't bother with the frosting. Have just tried the cake and it's excellent! And this is the first time I've ever commented on a recipe online (I have tried many!). Such a good, simple cake that will certainly become a regular.

Anita DiCello

Sunday 5th of September 2021

I made this zucchini cake this weekend according to your recipe (including the coconut). Ironically, I have the allrecipes.com version in my recipe box (yes, I still have a recipe box). I went ahead and added 1 cup of chopped walnuts. I also opted not to make the cream cheese frosting. Instead I used an old recipe from our local newspaper for a cream cheese sauce: 2 3 oz. packages of cream cheese; 2 tablespoons softened butter; 1 teaspoon vanilla; 1 cup unsifted powdered sugar. Beat cheese, butter and vanilla together thoroughly. Add sugar gradually, beating until creamy. (Add milk if necessary for creamy consistency.) Makes 1 1/3 cups.

This gives my the option of freezing the cake if I want. Just serve the sliced cake with a generous dollop of the sauce. Delish!!

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