Chocolate bundt cake with fudge glaze on red plate.
Cakes,  Desserts,  Recipes

Easy Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe

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Zucchini is synonymous with summer, at least for me. As a child, it wasn’t summer unless we had zucchini overflowing in our garden. My mom made delicious recipes to use it all up and one of my favorites was Chocolate Zucchini Cake!

Close up of slice of chocolate bundt cake on white plate with chocolate bundt cake in background.

If you haven’t had it, the flavor combination may sound weird. But you can’t taste the zucchini. Instead, it adds moisture and makes for a unique texture. The fudge drizzle on top adds to the delicious chocolate flavor and takes this cake to another level.

Ingredients You Will Need

Chocolate zucchini cake ingredients in bowls on white table.
Ingredients for chocolate zucchini cake.

Eggs act as a binding agent, helping hold the cake together and giving it structure.

Vanilla extract enhances the flavor of the chocolate and other ingredients.

Sugar sweetens the cake and helps with browning during baking.

Vegetable oil adds moisture and fat to the cake, contributing to a tender crumb.

Flour provides the main structure for the cake.

Cocoa powder gives the cake its chocolate flavor.

Baking powder & baking soda are leavening agents that make the cake rise.

Cinnamon adds a warm, subtle spice flavor to the cake.

Salt balances the sweetness and enhances the overall flavor.

Buttermilk adds moisture and a slight tanginess to the cake.

Zucchini adds moisture.

Walnuts provide a crunchy texture and nutty flavor.

Why You’ll Love Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Batter for chocolate zucchini cake in silver bowl.
Batter.

Moist, tender crumb: The combination of buttermilk, zucchini, and vegetable oil creates a moist cake that stays fresh for days.

Use up summer bounty: Zucchini gets used up in a delicious way.

Simple ingredients: Common pantry staples come together to create a delicious cake.

Hidden Veggies: Sneaking zucchini into a dessert is a great way to get a little more veggie goodness, especially for picky eaters.

Frequently Asked Questions

Chocolate zucchini cake in bundt pan.
Fresh out of the oven.

Do I peel the zucchini? No, peeling is not necessary. The skin adds nutrients and blends in with the cake. Just grate the zucchini and discard the ends.

Can I taste the zucchini? No, the zucchini adds moisture without a noticeable flavor. It’s a sneaky way to add some extra veggies to your dessert.

What is the best way to store leftovers? The cake will stay fresh for a day or two at room temperature. After that, it’s best to store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze leftover cake for up to 3 months.

Substitutions and Variations

Chocolate zucchini cake on cooling rack.
Cake cooling.

Oil: You can substitute melted coconut oil, ghee, or applesauce for vegetable oil. Applesauce will make the cake a bit denser.

Buttermilk: If you don’t have buttermilk, make your own by adding 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk and letting it sit for 5 minutes. You can also use plain yogurt thinned with some milk.

Chocolate Boost: For a richer chocolate flavor, use strong brewed coffee instead of water to activate the cocoa powder.

Mix-ins: Add chocolate chips, chopped dried fruit, or even peanut butter swirls to the batter for extra flavor and texture.

What to Serve with Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Close up of slice of chocolate bundt cake on white plate.

Whipped Cream with Fresh Mint: Simple whipped cream adds a touch of coolness and complements the chocolate. A sprig of fresh mint adds a pop of color and freshness.

Vanilla Ice Cream: A classic pairing with chocolate cake. You can even drizzle some chocolate sauce or caramel sauce over the ice cream for an extra decadent touch.

Iced Coffee: The coffee’s bitterness balances the cake’s sweetness, and the caffeine provides a nice pick-me-up after a slice of cake.

Cold Milk: A nice, cold glass of milk is a timeless pairing for chocolate cake. The coolness cuts through the richness of the cake, and the milk’s sweetness complements the chocolate without overpowering it.

Other Recipes You May Enjoy

If you like my Chocolate Zucchini Cake, you might also like my Coconut Cake or my Tomato Soup Cake. This Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake and this Pecan Zucchini Bread are also delicious.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’ve heard of it or not, Chocolate Zucchini Cake is a classic. It’s a great way to use up all that extra zucchini and sneak some veggies into your kids’ diets. Whenever I make it, it’s a hit and people are surprised it has zucchini in it. It’s a great summer dessert!

Chocolate bundt cake with fudge glaze on red plate.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Heidi Bruaw
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • Cups Sugar
  • ½ Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Cups Flour unsifted
  • Cup Cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • ¾ Cup Buttermilk
  • 2 Cups Zucchini shredded
  • 1 Cup Walnuts chopped
  • Fudge Glaze

Fudge Glaze

  • 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Cocoa
  • 2 Tablespoon Butter softened
  • 2 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons Water

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease a 10-12 cup bundt pan and set aside.
  • Beat the eggs and vanilla together until light and fluffy.
  • Add sugar gradually and beat until thick.
  • Beat in the vegetable oil.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
  • Alternate between dry ingredients and buttermilk while adding to the egg mixture. Beat well after each addition.
  • Gently fold in the zucchini and nuts.
  • Pour into the greased bundt pan.
  • Bake at 350℉ for 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool 10 minutes on wire rack then remove from the pan and finish cooling on the wire rack before drizzling with the fudge glaze.

Fudge Glaze

  • In a small bowl, mix the powdered sugar, cocoa, butter, vanilla, and water.
  • Drizzle over cooled cake before serving.
Keyword Chocolate Zucchini Cake
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