This Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe is SO easy. You will never know the zucchini is there because the texture is so light. Uses basic pantry ingredients.
The idea of hiding vegetables in baked goods is, in my opinion, brilliant. This chocolate zucchini cake recipe has the most incredible, rich taste, and you cannot taste the zucchini…at all. Not even one little bit. Your kids will love it! Not that tasting the zucchini would be a bad thing, but I’m not sure I’d like it in my chocolate cake. It’s not overly sweet, so the chocolate flavor shines through.
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Chocolate Zucchini Cake Ingredients
- Canola or Vegetable Oil: makes this cake very moist.
- Sugar: adds sweetness and texture.
- Vanilla: a flavor enhancer. Use pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste.
- Zucchini: the secret ingredient! The thing about zucchini is that no two are alike. They come in a million different sizes, and they hold a varied amount of moisture.
- Flour: holds everything together and thickens the batter.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: provides the perfect chocolate taste.
- Baking soda: necessary for the cake to rise.
- Salt: another flavor enhancer and helps balance ingredients.
- Egg: an optional ingredient. Binds the batter and adds moistness.
- Chocolate chips: a great substitute for frosting.
Tips for Delicious Chocolate Zucchini Cake
- This is one of those cake recipes where you really do need to keep the dry ingredients separate from the wet ingredients. Don’t try dumping everything into your mixing bowl all at once. I confess that occasionally I try the “dump” method, but more often than not, it’s a failure.
- Before the zucchini is added, the batter is dry and a bit crumbly. Once the zucchini goes in, the batter becomes very moist. This chocolate zucchini cake batter actually pours right out of the bowl into the baking pan.
- I shredded my zucchini first, and let it sit in the measuring cup while I gathered the other ingredients. There was a nice amount of liquid present when I added it to the cake batter. Three small or two medium sized zucchinis equals two cups of shredded zucchini.
- If you are using frozen shredded zucchini, once thawed, there will be extra liquid. It’s fine to add this to the batter, or you can drain some of it off. A little extra liquid will just add more moistness to the cake.
- For more information on shredding and freezing zucchini, click HERE.
- The egg is considered optional, but except for the first time I made this cake, I have added it. It helps moisten and thicken the batter.
- Don’t overbake this cake. Keep a close eye on it towards the end of the baking time. Check it at 25 minutes to see if it’s done.
- I don’t frost this chocolate zucchini cake, but you could. Any sort of chocolate frosting or chocolate glaze would be delicious. Serving it with ice cream or whipped cream would, of course, be amazing too. Another very pretty option is to dust the individual slices with powdered sugar before serving.
Can I bake this in a bundt pan?
Yes! The baking time may need to be adjusted, but feel free to make a bundt cake. Just be sure to prepare the pan properly with Baker’s Joy or butter & flour. A prepared pan is a must!
Can I substitute butter for the oil?
I have never tried it, but I looked online at other recipes, and many use unsalted butter. There are also chocolate zucchini cake recipes that use both unsalted butter and oil. Please leave a comment if you’ve used butter, so we know if it works with this set of ingredients. I would also like to know if your batter comes out crumbly or moist. Thank you!
More recipes with zucchini!
Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe
- 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups shredded zucchini
- 1 large egg (optional)
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the wire whip attached, combine oil, sugar and vanilla. (Alternately use a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer.)
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
- On medium speed, in 3 batches, add flour mixture to oil/sugar mixture. Beat well between batches and scrape sides of the bowl.
- (Batter will be crumbly at this point, but will moisten when zucchini is added.)
- Switch to the flat beater attachment. With the mixer on low speed, add zucchini and mix well.
- Pour batter into prepared Pyrex or glass pan that measures 9 in. x 13 in.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Top with chocolate chips.
- Bake 10 – 15 minutes more. A knife or toothpick inserted in center should come out clean. Do not overbake!
- Cool on a wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar before serving if desired.
If you make this chocolate zucchini cake, and love it, please consider coming back to leave a comment and a 5-star review. I would appreciate it very much, and it would really help me!