Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Our zucchini plant starting sprouting big giant gorgeous yellow flowers, almost tropical looking. We’ve been growing squash every season for about 4-5 years now, and it wasn’t until this year that I noticed those flowers are the beginnings of the actual squash.

I mean, I had noticed them wilting on the ends of the regular-sized squash and realized the flower was part of the veggie, but I just noticed this year how teensy tiny the zukes are on the other end of these enormous flowers. I also noticed that many blossoms are waiting their turn to burst into bloom–and burst is certainly how these flowers look. I love walking out to check on the garden in the early morning light right before I head off to work and finding those gorgeous flowers smiling at me.

Last week I picked our first zucchini. I chopped it up and tossed it into our salad. I aimed for the healthy route.

This week I picked our second zucchini and decided to make one heck of a yummy dessert recipe: Chocolate Zucchini Cake.

Yes, you read that right. Zucchini in a cake. And it actually tastes pretty darn good. You can’t even tell veggies are hiding out in there. They help keep the cake super moist and tender.

I was skeptical when a friend first shared the recipe with me, claiming its fame. “Uh huh, right,” I thought. But this is someone whose opinion I trust, so I tried it. And I liked it. Actually, I loved it. The cake, like I said, is tender and moist. The chocolate chips on top along with the walnuts add extra sweetness and crunch.

I usually bake this in a 9×13 pan, but this time I baked half the recipe in a round cake pan and the rest in cupcake form. Happy to report that it works in all forms and looks more elegant in round form for party serving while the cupcakes make a handy-dandy portable size–perfect for the lunch box.

So, if you like chocolate, try this recipe.

If you have squash galore growing in your garden, try this.

If you want to be adventurous and experience something different, try this.

I dare you to not like this Chocolate Zucchini Cake!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

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  • 1/2 cup margarine or unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (substitute options: 1 cup milk + 1 tbsp. lemon juice, vinegar, or cream of tartar, then let stand for 10 minutes; will have similar sour/acid content of buttermilk but not as thick)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp. cocoa
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups peeled and grated zucchini (I don’t peel mine)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup chocolate chips


  1. Cream together butter, oil, and sugar.
  2. Add eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk; beat well.
  3. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; add to butter mixture.
  4. Stir in grated zucchini.
  5. Pour into 9”x13” pan; top with nuts and chips. Pat those chips and nuts down into the batter a bit or else they come loose when the cake is done baking.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees F for 40-45 minutes (30-35 min. if baking in cake pan; 20-25 min. for cupcake pan).

Cake freezes well…just wrap in plastic wrap and then foil.

SOURCE: Ann R., family friend

P.S. If you need more zucchini recipes to help you work through your garden’s abundant production of squash, check out these, which helped me use up last year’s harvest:

Zucchini and Carrot Slaw with Asian Dressing

Grilled Zucchini Greek Salad

Stuffed Zucchini in Tomato Sauce

Zucchini Melt

Lemon Rosemary Zucchini Muffins

Zucchini Cheese Bread

Savory Zucchini Fries

3 thoughts on “Chocolate Zucchini Cake

  1. Pingback: Courgette Challenge! « Mix It Up & Make It Nice

  2. Pingback: Chocolate Heaven! « Mix It Up & Make It Nice

  3. Pingback: Zucchini Recipe Roundup | Scrumptious and Sumptuous

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