Dessert Recipes | Recipes

Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe

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.

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. Not that tasting the zucchini would be a bad thing but I’m not sure I’d like it in my chocolate cake!

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.

This is one of those cake recipes where you really do need to keep the dry ingredients separate from the others. 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. 

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.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe Tip:

When I was researching this recipe, I found a couple of versions that said the batter would be dry when it was all mixed. I found that not to be true. It was a bit crumbly, but as soon as I added the zucchini it became very moist.  The chocolate zucchini cake batter actually poured right out of the bowl into the baking pan. It could have been that my zucchini had extra liquid for some reason. I shredded my zucchini and let it sit in the measuring cup while I measured out everything else. There was a nice amount of liquid present when I added it to the cake batter. 

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.

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.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe

This Chocolate Zucchini Cake recipe is SO easy. You will never know the zucchini is there. The texture is light and moist. Uses basic pantry ingredients.
5 from 2 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate zucchini cake
Servings: 12 pieces
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes


  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine oil, sugar and vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  • In 3 batches, add flour mixture to oil/sugar mixture beating well between batches and scraping sides of the bowl.
  • (Batter will be crumbly at this point but will moisten when zucchini is added.)
  • With mixer on the lowest speed, add zucchini and mix well.
  • Pour batter into prepared 9 x 13 pan.
  • Bake 30 minutes. Knife inserted in center should come out clean.
  • Cool. Dust with powdered sugar before serving if desired.


I prepare my baking pans with Baker's Joy.
This recipe does not include eggs...but if you want to add one or two, it helps with the moisture issue. If you want an egg-free cake, it's wonderful without the eggs!
Like this recipe?Follow me at @onsuttonplace

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.

I didn’t frost this chocolate zucchini cake but you could. Any sort of glaze or butter frosting would be delicious. I try to save calories when I bake something if I can. Sometimes it’s impossible, but this cake was delicious even without frosting. Serving it with ice cream or whipped cream would, of course, be amazing too. It’s doubtful you would save any calories that way but sometimes you just have to go with it!

Let me know if you try out this chocolate zucchini cake…I’d love to hear if your batter was crumbly or smooth. Thanks for stopping by…have the best day ever.

More with zucchini!

How to Freeze Zucchini
Zucchini Nut Bread
Zucchini Bundt Cake

*Affiliate links included. Click for my full disclosure HERE.

My favorite cake pan: Goldtouch 9 x 13
Kitchenaid Mixer

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  1. Annette D. says:

    5 stars
    Chocolate Zucchini Cake — So Good! Did not add eggs. Will definitely make again. Topped with vanilla frozen yogurt. Look forward to trying more of your recipes.

  2. Just made with last year’s zucchini and it is wonderful!
    Gonna dust half and ice half.

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious. I frosted. Love this 5 star recipe and I will make again soon.

  4. My CZC recipe has a teaspoon of cinnamon in it which I like! I also enjoy it chilled, the entire loaf cut in 3 or 4 layers, each layer spread with whipped cream or Cool whip, the reassembled. Looks like an $8 restaurant dessert! It’s not too shabby given a few seconds in the microwave with a nice layer of cream cheese spread on it for breakfast either! I’ve also been known to bake mine in a Bundt pan, slice it into 2 layers, “frost” that middle layer with whoopie pie filling, then douse the whole thing with a can of cherry pie filling; shades of Black Forest Cake! Guaranteed to get compliments. Can you tell I like recipes that look like I worked hard–but didn’t?

  5. Denise Lawhead says:

    Just finished making your zucchini bread and it was delicious.
    Going to try the chocolate zucchini cake and noticed eggs were not listed as an ingredient.
    Is that right?

  6. Deborah Oldiges says:

    My garden is booming with zucchini right now so I decided to try your recipe for chocolate zucchini cake. It is marvelous! Can’t believe how good turned out to be. After mixing in the shredded zucchini into the batter it was still so… dry and lumpy. I even showed my husband and asked him what he thought. We were both very skeptical. I told him that I did substitute the canola oil with coconut oil, and I didn’t melt it. The oil was room temperature and very soft though. Anyway, I thought I’d try baking it and I’m glad I did. The raw batter looked like chunks of dirt, but while baking it and watching it through the oven window it melted down pretty nicely. I also made a little bit of butter cream frosting to hid the not so smooth surface, and sprinkled some mini chocolate chips on top. Yum-Yum. I shared it with my neighbors. Very good! I want to make another one and take it to work. Thank you. PS I did decrease the sugar to 1 1/4 cups.

  7. Palma Lindsay says:

    Thank you for the wonderful zucchini chocolate cake recipe. We all loved it and it was the perfect way to use up some of the zucchini we have been growing in our garden. The added bonus is that the cake is vegan, so everyone in our family got to enjoy it. We loved it with a sprinkle of powdered sugar dusted over a paper doily. We will definitely be making this one again! :)

  8. Thank you Ann! Bumper crop of zucchini that I trying to use and this is perfect! I absolutely love it! It has been two days and it still is soft and tasty. A ++ recipe!

  9. Rose Anne says:

    I can’t wait to try this recipe! I love chocolate cake, and this recipe looks delicious and healthy!

  10. Reva Trenton says:

    This cake sounds very good! Just wanted to verify if you use plain or self rising flour in this cake. Thanks so much ~ I love your blog!

  11. Takes me right back to the 70s and Zucchini Crazed days! i had forgotten it. Just perfect for August and I still have to hide the ingredients from my husband…but he loves the cake!!

  12. Looks delicious – has anyone tried decreasing the amount of sugar in it? I’d be interested to hear.

  13. Deborah Fletcher says:

    Made this today and it was so delicious and very moist. I have one zucchini plant in the backyard and I get two zucchini’s everyday. This was a great way to use it. Also will try your freezing method. I hope it will work for me! Anyway, my batter was dry even after I added the zucchini. Guess mine were so fresh maybe the liquid was not as much….I don’t know. I was leery since the batter was so thick….I was tempted to add some liquid. I didn’t and it turned out great. Thank you for a great and fast receipe👍

  14. Ann,
    I love, love your site. This recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Cake is one my Grandmother passed down to me. It was always the go-to cake I think because of all the zucchini in her garden. It’s a no-failure. I made this in university (and was always asked to bring it to a party) and still do – never tire of it. However, I kept it a secret then probably because it made me popular. Duh! I’ve grown up since then and share many recipes and I think my Grandmother would approve.
    It is so great, Ann, that you share this recipe so everyone can enjoy. Keep them coming.

  15. Patricia Robertson says:

    This cake is delicious. Very easy to make. I’m taking this cake to a meeting today, but of course I had to sample it . It has a deep chocolate flavor and a nice texture. This recipe is a keeper. Thank you Ann.

  16. Sounds good and quite easy, but all the recipes I’ve ever tried using zucchini says to drain it well, usually by squeezing out the liquid. So, did you add all the liquid from your zucchini?

    1. Nadine Mysker says:

      I did not drain the zucchini because the recipe said it was not necessary. The cake was spectacular! Do leave in the liquid otherwise you may end up with a dry cake!

  17. Gail Martin says:

    Ann, I cannot wait to make these zucchini recipes. My son will not even taste zucchini. He will be shocked IF I tell him. LOL

  18. Kelly DeVol says:

    Ann, I love that you always make your site so EASY for us to use! Just printed both Zucchini recipes, with just the click of your printer button. Oh, and also printed the fall pictures. Love them! Again, always such a please to receive your blog in my inbox! I’m such a fan!

  19. Ok! I made this cake for my birthday today. We aren’t big cake eaters anymore, because we are older and overweight :(. But it’s my birthday tomorrow so I wanted a cake! I have a gluten free person in the family so I just said “if this doesn’t turn out we’ll run down to the store and get a small cake”! I did everything exactly as Ann said to (I’m not a patient person so I usually ignore the specific directions and pour it all in together, but I mixed as directed this time. I used exactly the same amount of flour (2C) of store purchased gluten free flour and because my batter was a little dry after mixing (zuccini can have different amounts of water in it depending on the variety and how much it’s getting watered) so I just added a smidge (3-5 tbls.) of water to the batter and it smoothed right out. I put it in the pan and baked it in my convection oven for 30 minutes exactly and I checked it at 15 because I could smell it and was worried it was getting done too quick (convection ovens) but I did the knife test and it wasn’t done, at 30 minutes I was worried again because it smelled strong and when I opened the oven it did seem like it was smoking a little, so I pulled it out and immediately turned it out onto a cake rack and I just pulled a sliver off one corner to see if it tasted burned but it’s delicious! I’ve been so afraid to try gluten free baking, but this turned out exactly with your recipe so I’m encouraged! I’m waiting for it to cool and I’m going to sprinkle a little confectioner’s sugar over a stencil to wish myself a happy birthday and Bob’s your uncle! If you don’t recognize that saying, look it up I had to after a woman at work kept saying it, and then I heard it in a book I was listening to, so I was curious. Thanks for the recipe Ann and keep them coming!

  20. Delicious cake! I was a little worried when I realized that there wasn’t any extra liquid in the recipe, but after I beat the cake for quite awhile the zucchini released its liquid and the batter became smooth. The batter came out like brownie batter rather than cake batter, so expect it to be thick.

    Great recipe. Thanks for sharing????

  21. Been a long time since I’ve had zucchini cake. I noticed you didn’t peel the zucchini before you processed it. I’ll try it that way this time.

  22. I rarely eat cake anymore, but this is so tempting that I’m going to try it this weekend. I have plenty of garden zucchini and I like the idea of an unfrosted cake. I’ll let you know how I like it.

  23. Can I use a large cookies sheet instead of a baking dish, for the choc zucchini cake?

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Lynda…I tried to answer you by email but it bounced back and I could not get it to go through. I’m answering here in the off chance you might check back. If you mean a jelly roll pan with sides I think that would work. Just decrease the baking time because it won’t be as thick. If you try it let me know…thanks!

  24. Cheryl Bissler says:

    Hi Ann,
    Tried your Chocolate Zucchini Cake recipe and you asked for feedback. I am not usually one to share my opinion, but this recipe deserves a big, ” whoop- whoop”! It is truly amazing and although the ingredients are pantry items, the end result is truly something special. I believe I have a new go-to recipe!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Yay!! I’m so glad you liked it. Thank you so much for letting me know. <3

  25. Can you freeze this cake?

  26. Pamela @ says:

    I was teasing called “the original earth mother” by my friends when my kids were little and I used to make cupcakes with my extensive amount of zucchini I grew. My kids never knew and since I would put a dollop of cream cheese in the center of the cupcake batter before cooking they thought the name Surprise Cupcakes (my nickname for them) was because of the cream cheese not because I was sneaking in the squash. :) Ya, I was a sneaky mom .

  27. I made this for card club last week and it was a huge hit. The hubster suggested using chocolate powdered sugar for the top…oh my…delish!

  28. This cake is so delicious that I will definitely make it again. The powdered sugar is a perfect topping but I would also like to add chopped walnuts next time because it reminds me of brownies. Thank you for sharing with us and great website!

  29. Lynda Young says:

    Made the Chocolate Zucchini cake for a weekend picnic and outdoor concert. You were so right the grated zucchini made the cake so moist! I did dust it with
    powdered sugar but several folks said that it would be even better frosted. Do you have any recipes for frosting that would be good on this cake? My husband had a piece the next day with whipped cream and really enjoyed it but said frosting would make it “divine”!!! Also could you freeze this cake (unfrosted) and
    then frost it when you are ready to serve it. It makes a huge cake that is wonderfully rich!!!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Lynda!
      I’m not sure about freezing the cake but I don’t see why you could not. The only thing I can think of is it might be a bit soggy when it thaws out. It would be worth a try though. An easy chocolate glaze frosting is 2 Tablespoons melted butter, 3 Tablespoons cocoa, 1 cup powdered sugar and 2-3 Tablespoons hot water. Just mix the 4 ingredients until it’s smooth. If you want it thicker, add more pwd. sugar. If you want it thinner, add a bit more water. Good luck!

      1. Thank you. I’ve made your recipe in the past and my crew LOVE it!! I was just wondering if I can make some for that quick company that loves to show up on

  30. Not about zucchini Ann, just wanted to thank you for our new front door color ! My front door and shutters on the house have needed painting for awhile now. I could not find a color I liked that went with our brick work. Then I remembered your front door and the problem was solved ! I showed my husband a picture from your blog, and he liked the Naval by Sherwin Williams on your front door as much as I did. The painter came today, and we are loving it , Thanks for the inspiration !

  31. Hello~

    Was so excited to see a different zucchini recipe to help use my surplus-tried it, it’s great! I was a little worried when there were no eggs in the recipe, but looked at some other comments and found the one you had responded to re no eggs and reassuring it was correct. So rich and delicious-thank you, Ann!

  32. debbiedoos says:

    My kids, and husband I bet would have no clue Ann! This looks so delish.

  33. I’m going to give this a try – I have a great chocolate zucchini bread recipe – this one looks good too.

  34. Oh, and I love the pretty dish! Where is that from?

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Linda! The little plate was my grandmother’s. It was on a shelf she had in her kitchen. It looks to be hand painted but of course I’m not sure. Thanks for stopping by!

  35. Hi Ann,

    I love your easy cake recipes and since I love zucchini bread and chocolate this will be a must try for me. As soon as it gets a bit cooler and I can turn on the oven, I will!


  36. Ricki Jill Treleaven says:

    This looks fantastic! I’ll give it a try in the ext couple of weeks and let you know what we think about it.

  37. Oh yes! Chocolate & zucchini…anything that involves chocolate and veggies, has to be good for you:D Thanks for the recipe, Ann:)

  38. Looks delicious. Just wondering…… eggs in the recipe? Most cakes call for at least 2.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      I know! I thought the exact same thing but there are no eggs. This recipe can be easily adjusted to be gluten free.

  39. JimmieDean Briley says:

    This is almost the same recipe as my carrot cake (just finished baking) with only a few adjustments…….will try it soon….

  40. Marlene Stephenson says:

    Thanks Ann i have been wanting one of these recipes for a while,looked it up but never found any i truly liked. You always have good ones.

  41. Janet Dsuban says:

    Thank you for this recipe. My neighbour just gave me fresh zucchini out of her garden so guess what I’ll be baking tonight… best combination ever……..chocolate and zucchini…I don’t even feel guilty!!!

  42. Catherine says:

    I’ll be making this tomorrow afternoon. I can’t wait,it look so good !

  43. I am definitely going to try this!

  44. Penny @ The Comforts of Home says:

    That looks delicious! I just began a low carb diet and I want to cheat now lol.

  45. This looks so good and your photography is great.

  46. As a zucchini bread lover I have been growing zucchini and making bread for a number of years. One thing I have learned is I squeeze out the excess liquid from my shredded zucchini. This seems to be more important once zucchini is frozen and unthawed. My recipes tend to be less running and still very moist. I’m excited to try your recipe!

  47. I made a chocolate zucchini cake this past weekend for family birthdays, and it was delicious, but your recipe is easier! My recipe was topped with 6 ounces of chocolate chips and 3/4 c. chopped walnuts sprinkled on top before baking–another option for “frosting.” I will definitely make your recipe next time, though!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Actually the chocolate chips on top before baking is a great idea. So much easier than real frosting!

  48. Adri Geppert says:

    Thanks Ann! This looks delicious. I have had a zucchini staring at me for a week and when I opened my email and found this recipe I was thrilled. I’m not a cook nor baker but even I can do this one. My husband will be surprised. Ok. Shocked is more like it.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Yes you can definitely do this…hope your husband doesn’t have too big of a shock. lol.

  49. This summer my family has fallen in love with zucchini blueberry cake. The recipe calls for placing grated zucchini in a dish towel, rolling it up, and squeezing out the moisture. Looking forward to trying your chocolate version!

  50. Dorene@Seasonal Chapters says:

    This looks delicious and is certainly something I will try. A great way to make sure all the zucchinni from the garden doesn’t go to waste, as we just can’t have that can we. I have other zucchini cake and bread recipes but haven’t tried a chocolate version yet so this one will be the first.

  51. I often wonder what old timer thought up all these recipes using zucchini, Im sure it was out of not wanting to waste anything and look at all the deliciousness that was created.

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