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Chocolate Zucchini Cake

This one-bowl Chocolate Zucchini Cake is moist, fluffy, and has double the chocolate – chocolate cake topped with chocolate chips. It’s one of the best ways to use up some of that summer garden zucchini!

I’m back with another zucchini recipe, and this time I’ve got a fabulous chocolate cake!

Whoever came up with the idea of putting zucchini in cake was a total genius. It makes the cake wonderfully moist. Plus, now you have veggies hidden in your cake (and you would never even know it if you didn’t bake it yourself)!

I have a lot of zucchini recipes, and this cake is tops on my list of favorites and the one I make the most. It’s sooo good! And even though it’s a moist cake, it’s not dense and heavy at all. It’s actually pretty light and fluffy.

One reason I love this chocolate zucchini cake is because it’s super easy to make. You only need one bowl AND you mix everything together by hand, so no lugging out and cleaning the mixer (woo-hoo)!

Another reason I love this cake is it doesn’t even need any frosting! Although you can frost it if you want, the chocolate chips melt into the top of the cake and make a mighty fine substitute. I think it’s perfect as is – so simple and absolutely delicious!

Of course, a little bit of whipped cream on top is always welcome – especially when the cake is still just a little bit warm. Heaven!

piece of chocolate zucchini cake on a white plate with whipped cream on top and chocolate chips scattered on the plate

Now, I will say that if you’re looking for a super sweet and decadent chocolate cake, this is not that – BUT that, in my opinion, is why it’s so awesome! It’s sweet and chocolaty, but not overly sweet.

I love sweet just as much as the next person, but sometimes I want something that doesn’t give me a toothache just by looking at it, and this cake is perfect!

And maybe it’s the hidden veggies, or maybe it’s that subtle sweetness and lack of frosting, or maybe it’s the light and fluffy texture, but somehow I always feel less guilty eating this cake than I do other cakes (even when I’ve had two pieces!).

INGREDIENTS YOU NEED:

  • Cooking spray
  • Milk
  • White vinegar
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Vegetable oil
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Flour (all-purpose)
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Zucchini
  • Chocolate chips

HERE’S A QUICK LOOK AT HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKE:

three images showing steps to make chocolate zucchini cake
three images showing steps to make chocolate zucchini cake
three images showing steps to make chocolate zucchini cake

TIPS AND TIDBITS:

  • You don’t need to peel the zucchini – keep those vitamins and fiber in there! Just be sure to grate it finely. You don’t want big pieces of zucchini in your cake. When it’s finely grated, it disappears into the cake.
  • Don’t squeeze out and/or throw away the liquid from the zucchini. Grate the zucchini into a bowl and put the zucchini AND any of its liquid into the cake batter. This is what makes the cake nice and moist!
  • You can substitute ½ cup buttermilk for the milk and vinegar.
  • I use milk chocolate chips on top of my cake because they’re my favorite, but semisweet or dark chocolate chips would also work fine and would be delicious!
  • To make sure your cake does not get over-baked and is nice and moist, I suggest checking it for doneness starting at 35 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the center. The cake is done when it comes out clean or mostly clean (a few moist crumbs are okay – you just don’t want any wet batter). If it isn’t ready, keep checking in 5-minute increments.
  • Store leftover cake covered either at room temperature (it should last for several days) or in the refrigerator (for a few extra days).
chocolate zucchini cake in pan sliced into pieces with one piece missing from the pan

Oh, and by the way…although this cake is absolutely fantastic the day you make it, I swear it actually gets better as it sits. I have no idea why. It just does!

I hope you try this recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Cake and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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a piece of chocolate zucchini cake on a white plate

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

This one-bowl Chocolate Zucchini Cake is moist, fluffy, and has double the chocolate – chocolate cake topped with chocolate chips. It's one of the best ways to use up some of that summer garden zucchini!
5 from 1 vote
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 12
Estimated Calories: 440

Ingredients

  • cooking spray
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • cups sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups finely grated zucchini (with liquid)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I use milk chocolate)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, combine the milk and vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Add in the butter, sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract; beat until well combined.
  • Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder; stir just until combined (don't over-mix).
  • Fold in the zucchini and its liquid.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spread out evenly, and sprinkle with the chocolate chips.
  • Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (a few moist crumbs are okay). Note: To make sure the cake is not overdone and stays nice and moist, start checking it at 35 minutes. If it's not done, keep checking in 5-minute increments.
  • Place the pan on a wire cooling rack and allow the cake to cool completely (or you can serve it while it's still slightly warm!).

Notes

  • You can use ½ cup buttermilk in place of the milk and vinegar.
  • This cake is excellent when served while still slightly warm with a dollop of whipped cream!
  • Store leftover cake covered at room temperature (it should last for several days) or in the refrigerator (for a few extra days). 
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!

Recipe slightly adapted from allrecipes.

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Recipe Rating




Rose turber

Saturday 25th of September 2021

Live this recipe it's in the oven now the coco I used was GHIRARDELLI

Michelle

Saturday 25th of September 2021

Hi, Rose! I'm so happy you like the cake! Thank you for taking the time to comment and rate the recipe!