Chocolate Zucchini Cake is a moist, fudgy cake with deep chocolate flavor making it a chocolate lovers favorite! Adding fresh zucchini makes it a rich chocolate cake and no one will know there is zucchini in it!
This easy Chocolate Zucchini Cake will rival any chocolate cake recipe for great flavor. It’s a great way to use up zucchini squash during zucchini season and ensures you’ll never have a dry cake.
The cake batter is thick and easy to make. This puts zucchini to good use and the final product makes the best cake for the tender crumb, moist cake and best chocolate cake flavor. It will be a go-to recipe during zucchini season.
Try our Zucchini Cake with Blueberries and Zucchini Muffins too!
Does it taste like squash?!
No, it doesn’t! Adding zucchini to cake or bread adds more moisture. Magically the texture disappears and so does the zucchini flavor.
It’s a great way to use excess zucchini as a home gardener and no one will guess you did! It’s a great recipe.
Recipe Ingredients Notes
The ingredients are easy to find.
All-purpose flour. Regular or gluten-free measure-for-measure flour blend can be used. We use and recommend Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour for gluten-free baking and if making a gluten-free chocolate zucchini cake.
Cocoa powder. Use unsweetened cocoa powder for baking not the type that is sweetened for hot chocolate.
Baking powder. This is the rising agent that allows the cake to rise.
Kosher salt. This version of salt is less salty tasting and is the best to use in cooking.
Granulated Sugar. Sweetens the cake.
Cinnamon. Just a little bit intensifies the chocolate flavor of this moist chocolate cake. It won’t taste like cinnamon. This is a baking trick to remember!
Vegetable oil. Adds moisture to the cake. You’ll use 3/4 cup of oil.
Eggs. You’ll use 3 large eggs.
Milk. We used whole dairy milk but any fat content dairy milk should work.
Vanilla extract. Adds some homey vanilla flavor.
Finely shredded Zucchini. Smaller shorter pieces of grated zucchini work best in this cake.Store bought or garden zucchini can be used. You’ll need 2 cups of zucchini. Tips below on grating.
Unsalted butter. This is used in the chocolate frosting glaze and will melt with the chocolate chips.
Semi-sweet chocolate chips. Will be melted to make the rich fudgy chocolate glaze.
Confectioner’s (powdered) sugar. Used in the glaze. You’ll need 1 cup.
Hot Coffee. Another baker’s trick and a secret ingredient. A bit of coffee intensifies chocolate flavor without making the glaze taste like coffee! Some recipes call for espresso powder but we are using actual coffee to add the moisture to the glaze.
How to Grate Zucchini
Smaller pieces of grated zucchini are the key to success for this easy cake recipe. You don’t want ribbons of squash in the cake.
My Preferred Method
I like using the grating blade for my food processor. It’s fast and creates the perfect size of grated zucchini.
A Trick for Hand Grating Zucchini
If you don’t have a food processor, there is a trick for manual zucchini grating.
Place the end of the zucchini at a 90-degree angle to the large holes of a box grater.
Rather than grating at an angle the smallest surface of the zucchini will be grated making shorter pieces.
Squeezing out excess moisture
After grating you’ll wrap the zucchini in a clean kitchen towel or some paper towels and squeeze out any extra moisture. This is an important step before staring the chocolate zucchini cake recipe.
How to Make Chocolate Zucchini Cake
For a detailed printable recipe refer to the recipe card at the end of the blog post.
STEP 1. Preparation
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously spray a 10-12 cup Bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray.
STEP 2. Make the batter
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, sugar and cinnamon (photo 1).
Create a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add the wet ingredients: oil, eggs, milk, and vanilla extract (photos 2 and 3). Whisk together until combined. Batter will be thick.
Stir in shredded zucchini (photo 4).
STEP 3. Bake
Pour batter into the prepared pan (see photo below). Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a knife or cake tester is inserted in the center and comes out clean.
STEP 4. Cool
Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert pan onto a cooling wire rack. Allow cake to naturally release from pan. Cool completely on cooling rack before adding the chocolate glaze.
STEP 5. Make the glaze
Combine butter and chocolate chips and microwave until melted and can be whisked together.
Once melted, whisk in powdered sugar and hot coffee until smooth.
STEP 6. Glaze the cake
This method keeps the cake from sitting in a pool of glaze which can make the cake soft and sticky.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place a cooling rack with the cake over the prepared baking sheet.
Drizzle the glaze over the cake. Allow the cake to sit until the glaze has hardened.
Extra glaze will drip through to the baking sheet underneath. When the glaze has set on the cake, move the cooling rack with the cake off the baking sheet.
Remove the foil with extra glaze and discard.
Best Bundt pan
Nordic Ware pans are thicker for more even baking. The coating releases cakes very easily.
Several shapes are available too so they aren’t only a traditional Bundt cake shape.
The mold shown in the photos is the Heritage Bundt Pan.
My most used pan is the Platinum Collection Anniversary Bundt Pan. It can accommodate up to 15 cups of batter.
There are many decorative and seasonal versions of these wonderful pans too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. It’s easiest to freeze individual slices. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and place into a freezer safe container or airtight freezer bag. Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator.
How to Store it
The completed cake can be stored, covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days.
It can also be stored tightly covered or put into an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5 days.
NOTE: refrigerating cakes can dry them out. Be sure to keep in an airtight container if chilling.
More recipes you’ll love!
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
- 2 ½ cups All-purpose flour regular or gluten-free measure-for-measure flour blend
- ½ cup Cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon Baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 2 cups granulated Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 3/4 cup Vegetable oil
- 3 large Eggs
- ½ cup Milk
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 2 cups finely shredded Zucchini Wrap the shredded zucchini in a thin, clean kitchen towel, or 2 layers of paper towels and squeeze out any excess moisture.
- 2 tablespoons Unsalted butter
- ¼ cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup Powdered sugar
- 1-2+ tablespoons prepared Hot Coffee
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously spray a 10-12 cup bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, sugar and cinnamon.
- Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and add oil, eggs, milk, and vanilla extract.
- Whisk together until combined. NOTE: Batter will be thick.
- Stir in shredded zucchini.
- Spoon batter into prepared bundt cake pan. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a knife is inserted in the center and comes out clean.
- Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert pan onto a cooling rack and allow cake to naturally release from pan. Cool completely.
- In a microwave safe bowl combine the butter and chocolate chips. Microwave in 15 second increments until melted and can be whisked smooth.
- Once melted, whisk in powdered sugar and coffee until smooth. NOTE: start with 1 tablespoon hot coffee and add up to 1 1/2 additional tablespoons for drizzling consistency.
- Pour glaze over bundt cake and allow to set for 15-20 minutes.
Originally published: July 25, 2019
I have never tried to make a zucchini cake before this! It’s was SO good and you are right no one knew there was zucchini in it.
I loved this zucchini cake. I’ve only made zucchini bread before this but this cake was something my family loved.
I was looking for a recipe like this, thank you for sharing! It was very moist and fudgy. Great way to use up summer squash.