This traditional Chocolate Zucchini Cake recipe is so delicious and easy to make! Made with 1 whole cup of shredded Zucchini and Greek Yogurt, it is healthier compared to other chocolate cake recipes. This one is topped with chocolate frosting but you can substitute chocolate chips or even coconut flakes for an even healthier dessert.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
When it comes to pastries or baked goods, there are a TON of different ways to make them. One fun and inventive way is to use fresh fruits or even vegetables in your baking recipes. We’ve all heard of Banana Bread or even Carrot Cake (I actually love these soft, zesty Carrot Cookies!), right!?! But you can get even more inventive! For instance, this bright and sweet Pineapple Sunshine Cake makes the perfect summer dessert recipe or these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins are an awesome Fall Treat.
I honestly wouldn’t have thought to start putting vegetables in my dessert recipes if I hadn’t grown up with my Mother’s famous Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe. I swear, it tastes just like regular Chocolate Cake. The Zucchini just adds some flavor, texture and moisture. I’d love to share the recipe with you today!
Why Put Zucchini In A Cake?
Every year for my birthday I would request my mom make me a chocolate zucchini cake, I absolutely loved it! Zucchini? In a cake? Yep!
If you have never tried one, the zucchini makes the cake moist and gives it such a wonderful flavor. And yes, it adds some nutrients and vitamins in there too! When I made this for my kids, I didn’t tell them what was in it, and they gobbled it up! No, this isn’t health food, we aren’t trying to convince you of that. But if you can sneak some veggies into your kids diet without a fuss, that’s a win, right?
Ingredients For Chocolate Zucchini Cake?
I’m not going to mislead you, this is a DESSERT recipe, not healthy food. And this is a comfort food recipe site. But what I love about this recipe is that it does add some ingredients in to make this a tad bit healthier for you, like the Zucchini and the Greek Yogurt. And, I’ve got some tips to shave off a few extra calories if you want to as well!
Chocolate Zucchini Cake Ingredients:
- Cocoa Powder
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Vegetable Oil
- Greek Vanilla Yogurt
- Chocolate Frosting
Storage and Freezing
You can store the cake at room temperature in an Airtight Container. We like to bake our cakes in this pan, which comes with it’s own fitted, airtight lid. It should keep for 4-5 days.
Can you freeze Chocolate Zucchini Cake? Yep, if you need to make this ahead of time and freeze it before you need it, there should be no problem doing this. Like all cakes, you really don’t want to freeze it AFTER you have decorated it. You want to apply the frosting to the cake as close as possible to when you are going to serve it.
In order to freeze the cake portion, simply:
- Allow it to completely cool.
- Wrap it in Saran Wrap or Press’n Seal
- Store in a freezer safe container.
You can thaw the cake by simply leaving it in the refrigerator overnight or a couple of hours at room temperature.
The Best Way To Shred Zucchini
Make sure you get the seeds out of the zucchini before you shred it. The easiest way to do that is to cut the ends off each side. Then cut it lengthwise into 4ths. Then just use a knife to cut down along the seeds to get them off.
After that, you can either use a grater or a food processor to shred the zucchini. A food processor is, obviously, faster. But will create more dishes to do later! Or you could just grate the zucchini by hand with a box grater.
Chocolate Zucchini Cake: Notes and Variations
- CHOCOHOLIC? Add an extra burst of chocolate by folding chocolate chips into the batter. Any sort of chocolate chip should work, but I think semi-sweet or dark chocolate is best. You can even use the mini-chocolate chips if you want!
- NON-CHOCOHOLIC? If you want to dial back on the frosting (and calories) you can do what my mom did. Instead of frosting the cake, she would sprinkle some chocolate chips on top while it was still warm. They would melt into a nice, thin layer of chocolate. Or some coconut flakes or powdered sugar would be great!
- CUPCAKES! This can easily be converted into a cupcake recipe! Just put the batter into a lined cupcake pan and bake at the same temperature for 16-18 minutes. Just give it the “toothpick test” to make sure they are done before taking them out. This recipe should make about 18-20 cupcakes.
- NO GREEK YOGURT? NO WORRIES! Don’t have Greek Yogurt on hand? You can substitute Sour Cream if needed.
- CUT SOME CALORIES? You can also cut some more calories by substituting some of the oil for unsweetened Applesauce. I wouldn’t replace ALL of the oil though.
- ROOM TEMPERATURE EGGS With baking, it’s often the little things that really help out. Having eggs at room makes for a lighter and fluffier recipe. You can simply put them in a bowl of warm water for about 10 minutes while you are preparing everything else!
- DON’T OVERMIX – To help keep this cake light, soft and airy, don’t overmix the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated. This goes the same with mixing in the zucchini.
Tools To Help With This Recipe
- 2 8×8 CAKE PANS WITH LIDS
- MIXING BOWLS-SET OF 7 DIFFERENT SIZES
- STAND MIXER
- MEASURING CUPS AND SPOONS
- FOOD PROCESSOR
- CHEESE GRATER
I hope you enjoy this Chocolate Zucchini Cake recipe! Who knew that Zucchini and Chocolate Cake could get along so well together. Rich chocolate, moist texture and a dose of veggies for the win! Please let me know how this turned out for you in the comments. Happy baking!
FOR MORE DECADENT DESSERTS, CHECK OUT:
- CHOCOLATE COCONUT BROWNIES
- EASY CRACK CAKE RECIPE
- GLUTEN FREE RED VELVET CUPCAKES
- EASY BREAD PUDDING RECIPE
- CHOCOLATE BOURBON BALLS
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg room temperature
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/3 cup Greek vanilla yogurt
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- 1/2 tub chocolate frosting
- Preheat oven to 350 and grease a square 8x8 or 9x9 baking pan. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix well.
- In a separate, and larger mixing bowl, add sugar, egg, oil, and vanilla and mix well. Stir in yogurt.
- Add dry flour mixture and stir well.
- Fold in Zucchini.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth with the back of a spoon so it's even in the pan.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let cool completely before frosting and cutting into 9 squares.