Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

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Chocolate Zucchini Cake is a beloved favorite in my family, especially during the summer when zucchini is abundant in our garden. I first discovered this delightful recipe during a visit to my grandmother’s house. She always had a knack for sneaking vegetables into desserts, ensuring we kids got our greens without even realizing it. This cake, with its rich chocolate flavor and moist texture, became an instant hit. The secret ingredient, zucchini, adds a surprising depth and keeps the cake incredibly moist without altering the decadent chocolate taste.

What I love most about this recipe is its versatility. You can swap the vegetable oil for melted coconut oil if you’re looking for a slightly different flavor profile. I’ve even tried adding a handful of chocolate chips to the batter for extra chocolatey goodness, and it was a hit! The fluffy chocolate frosting is the perfect complement, bringing a creamy, rich finish to each bite.

For a fun twist, consider adding a teaspoon of espresso powder to the batter. It enhances the chocolate flavor without making the cake taste like coffee. Another great variation is using almond extract instead of vanilla for a subtle, nutty undertone. If you’re feeling adventurous, sprinkle some sea salt on top of the frosting for a sweet and salty treat.

This cake has become a staple at family gatherings and celebrations. It’s perfect for birthdays, potlucks, or simply as a delightful treat to enjoy with a cup of coffee. Every time I bake it, I’m reminded of those summer days at my grandmother’s house, surrounded by family and the comforting aroma of chocolate cake baking in the oven. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a novice in the kitchen, this Chocolate Zucchini Cake is sure to impress and become a cherished addition to your recipe collection.

Making the Chocolate Zucchini Cake


  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups sifted unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini, packed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 large eggs and 2 egg yolks at room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, very soft
  • 6 ounces melted semi-sweet chocolate, cooled
  • 1 cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (more if needed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Zucchini Cake Misinx


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line three 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and spray them generously with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine granulated sugar, light brown sugar, all-purpose flour, sifted cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon. Mix on low speed until well combined, breaking up any lumps as necessary.
  3. In another bowl, mix eggs, egg yolks, shredded zucchini, Greek yogurt, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture, mixing on low until just combined. Pour in the hot water and mix for about 1 minute until fully incorporated. The batter will be thin.
  5. Evenly divide the batter among the prepared pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
  6. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Allow them to cool completely before frosting.
  7. For the frosting, beat the very soft butter on medium speed for about 3 minutes until smooth. Gradually add the sifted confectioners’ sugar, mixing on low speed until combined.
  8. Add the melted chocolate, vanilla extract, salt, and heavy cream to the frosting mixture. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, then increase to medium-high for another minute. Adjust the consistency by adding more confectioners’ sugar if too thin or additional heavy cream if too thick.
  9. To assemble, trim the tops of the cakes with a serrated knife to create a flat surface. Place one layer on a plate or cake stand and spread a thick layer of frosting on top. Repeat with the second layer and frosting.
  10. Add the final cake layer, then refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes to set. Once set, frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.
  11. Slice and serve immediately, or store the cake in the refrigerator for up to one week.


Can I use a different type of oil instead of vegetable oil in the Chocolate Zucchini Cake?

Yes, you can substitute vegetable oil with melted coconut oil, canola oil, or even olive oil. Just make sure to use the same quantity for the best results.

Do I need to peel the zucchini before shredding it for the cake?

No, there’s no need to peel the zucchini. The skin is soft and will blend well into the cake, adding moisture and nutrients without affecting the texture.

What can I use as a substitute for Greek yogurt in this recipe?

If you don’t have Greek yogurt, you can use sour cream or regular plain yogurt. Both options will provide the necessary moisture and tanginess.

How can I store the Chocolate Zucchini Cake to keep it fresh?

To keep the cake fresh, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to a week. You can also freeze the cake for up to three months if wrapped properly.

Can I bake this cake in a different pan size?

Yes, you can use different pan sizes, but you will need to adjust the baking time accordingly. For example, using a 9×13-inch pan may require about 40-45 minutes of baking time. Always check for doneness with a toothpick.

Is it possible to make this cake gluten-free?

Absolutely! You can substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend. Make sure to use a blend that includes xanthan gum or add it separately to ensure the cake has the right texture.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

This Chocolate Zucchini Cake recipe is a must-try, featuring a fluffy chocolate frosting and a hidden veggie twist.
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Cake
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder sifted
  • 3 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs + 2 large egg yolks at room temperature
  • 2 cups coarsely shredded zucchini packed and not drained
  • 1 cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil or melted coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1 cup unsalted butter very soft
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar sifted
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate melted and cooled for 10 minutes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream more if needed


For the chocolate cake:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Cut out three 9-inch round segments of parchment paper to line your cake pans. Spray each pan generously with nonstick baking spray, then place the parchment paper cutouts in the bottom of the pans and spray again. Make sure every bit of the pan and paper are sprayed to prevent sticking. Set the pans aside.
  • In a large bowl, using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a handheld electric mixer, combine both sugars, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are thoroughly combined. Break up any large clumps with your hands if needed.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, egg yolks, zucchini, Greek yogurt, oil, and vanilla extract. Mix until completely combined.
  • Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and beat on low until just incorporated. Pour in the hot water and continue mixing until completely combined, about 1 minute. The batter will be thin.
  • Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs attached.
  • Cool the cakes for 10 minutes in the pans before removing them and transferring them to a cooling rack. Cool the cakes completely before frosting. If you don't have enough room to bake all 3 cakes on the same rack in an even line, bake 2 at a time.

For the fluffy chocolate frosting:

  • In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or using a handheld electric beater, cream the softened butter on medium speed until completely smooth, about 3 minutes.
  • Turn off the mixer and sift the confectioners' sugar into the mixing bowl. Turn the mixer to the lowest speed and mix until the sugar is absorbed by the butter, about 2 minutes.
  • Increase the mixer speed to medium. Add the melted chocolate, vanilla extract, salt, and heavy cream. Beat for 2 minutes, then increase the speed to medium-high and continue beating for another minute. If your frosting appears too thin, add a little more confectioners' sugar. If it appears too thick, add additional heavy cream, 1 teaspoon at a time.


  • Using a serrated knife, carefully trim the raised top of each cake to make an even, level surface.
  • Transfer one cake layer to a large plate or cake stand. Spread a thick layer of frosting on top, then top with another cake layer and repeat, adding another thick layer of frosting.
  • Top with the final cake layer and place the cake in the fridge to set for 30 minutes. Once set, finish frosting the top and sides of the cake.
  • Slice and serve, or keep refrigerated for up to a week.
Keyword Chocolate, Zucchini

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