Chocolate Zucchini Cake

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This moist Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Chocolate frosting is easy to make and a family favorite dessert! You will never know there is zucchini in this chocolate cake because it is SO good!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Chocolate Zucchini Cake? YES!

You guys are obsessed with my Chocolate Zucchini Bread and that makes me SO happy! I am so glad you like it as much as we do. I love seeing all of your comments, messages, emails, and photos about the bread. It has been such a hit! Yay!

Some of you have asked me to make a chocolate zucchini cake and I am always happy to make your recipe requests, especially when chocolate is involved. And some of you might be thinking zucchini doesn’t belong in chocolate cake, but I am here to tell you IT DOES! Over the weekend, I used our freshly picked garden zucchini to make a chocolate zucchini cake and I have to say thanks to all of you for requesting this recipe because I really enjoyed eating the cake. It is SO SO good! If you like our chocolate zucchini bread recipe you will LOVE this chocolate zucchini cake too!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Zucchini, the Secret Ingredient!

For all of you that love my chocolate zucchini bread, you know that zucchini does wonders in baked goods, even when chocolate is involved. The zucchini is the secret ingredient and makes this cake SO moist and delicious. You will never know this cake is made with a vegetable. And if you do know, then go ahead and eat two pieces, you know to get more veggies into your diet:)

Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe

Triple the Chocolate

You might not notice the zucchini because this cake is made with cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and chocolate frosting. Triple the chocolate, triple the fun! This really is the ultimate chocolate cake, the zucchini is just an added bonus. I know everyone is always trying to use up their garden zucchini in the summer, so why not go the chocolate route? And if you are going to have chocolate cake go ALL out! The silky, smooth, rich chocolate frosting really is the icing on the cake!

Easy Chocolate Zucchini Cake

You all know I like no fuss cakes and this chocolate zucchini cake is right up my alley. I make it in a 9×13-inch pan so decorating is easy and so it will feed a lot of people. The ingredients are all standard, you should have all of them on hand, as long as you have zucchini. If it is summer time, you shouldn’t have a problem finding any. Look in your garden or knock on your neighbor’s door. I am sure they would love to share a zucchini with you.

Tips for Making Chocolate Zucchini Cake

  • You need 2 cups grated zucchini for this recipe, about 1 very large zucchini or 2 medium.
  • You don’t need to peel the zucchini before shredding it. I use a box grater with a medium grate.
  • If your zucchini is full of moisture, squeeze it out a little bit, but don’t squeeze it dry. Large garden zucchini tends to have more moisture and smaller store bought zucchini. You don’t want to get rid of all of the moisture or you will have a dry cake. Just give it a gently squeeze before adding it to the cake.
  • I use all brown sugar in this zucchini cake recipe because it keeps the cake super moist and adds nice flavor.
  • The cake is made with oil and butter, I like the combo. I also add in buttermilk for moisture.
  • Make sure your buttermilk and eggs are at room temperature. Melt the butter and let it cool down a little before adding it to the other liquid ingredients.
  • Don’t over mix the cake. Once you add in the zucchini and chocolate chips, stir just until combined.
  • I bake this cake in a 9×13-inch pan. If you want to make a layered cake, you can pour the batter into two round cake pans.
  • Make sure the cake is cooled completely before frosting it with the chocolate frosting.
  • The cake will keep on the counter, covered, for up to 4 days. I actually think it is better the second day.

Family Favorite Cake, Even the Kids Love This One!

Put your summer zucchini to good use and make this Chocolate Zucchini Cake. Our family LOVES this cake, it is so rich and divine. You will never know it is made with zucchini! Our boys licked their plates clean and had happy chocolate faces after eating this chocolate cake. It is super rich and moist and worth every bite, I mean it is zucchini so eat up! I can’t even tell you how divine it is, you just have to trust me and make it TODAY! The zucchini is magical!

And if you are looking for other delicious zucchini recipes, check out our favorites HERE! There are over 35 to choose from!

How to Make Chocolate Zucchini Cake

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Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe with Chocolate Frosting

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

You will love this easy Chocolate Zucchini Cake! It is so moist and delicious and a great way to use up garden zucchini!
4.89 from 18 votes
Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Total Time
50 minutes


For the chocolate zucchini cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil or canola oil
  • 1/4 cup melted butter cooled to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

For the chocolate frosting:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 35o degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sifted cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, oil, melted butter, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk until combined.
  4. Stir in the dry ingredients until barley combined, it is ok if there is still some flour not mixed in. Gently squeeze out some of the moisture in the zucchini. You want the zucchini to still have some moisture, but not full of liquid. Add the zucchini and chocolate chips and stir until just combined. Don't over mix.
  5. Pour the cake batter in the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula. Bake for 25-32 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center or the cake.
  6. Let the cake cool completely. While the cake is cooling, make the chocolate frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until smooth, about 1 minute. In a large bowl, sift together the confectioner's sugar and the cocoa powder. Add the mixture to the butter and beat, slowly adding in the milk. Add the vanilla extract and salt. Stop and scrape down the sides. Beat until frosting is smooth and fluffy.
  7. Frost the cooled chocolate zucchini cake with chocolate frosting. Cut the cake into squares and serve.
  8. Note-cover the cake and store on the counter for up to 3 days.
Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 485 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Fat 23g35%
Saturated Fat 16g80%
Cholesterol 56mg19%
Sodium 270mg11%
Potassium 244mg7%
Carbohydrates 68g23%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 50g56%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 380IU8%
Vitamin C 2.8mg3%
Calcium 64mg6%
Iron 2.5mg14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

chocolate cake, chocolate zucchini cake

Put your summer zucchini to good use and make this Chocolate Zucchini Cake! This moist chocolate cake with chocolate frosting is easy to make and a family favorite dessert! You will never know there is zucchini in this chocolate cake because it is so good!

Maria Lichty

I’m Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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CommentsLeave a reply

  1. 5 stars
    Made this yesterday …. delish in everyway!!!
    Easy bread to make and so yummy!
    Will make it again… and again!

  2. can’t use up my zucchini easily, so thank you for this recipe, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, chocolate frosting also masks the zucchini nicely for any (kids) who might object!

  3. Made this last night and it was SO GOOD! The texture and flavor is perfect (and that frosting!) I will definitely be making again. Fair warning though, it is very rich 🙂

  4. I have tried chocolate and zucchini before with no luck. I LOVE the addition of chocolate chips! It really adds richness to the cake. I topped mine with simple powdered sugar. It was delicious!

    1. YEs, you can make any cake batter into muffins ( or cupcakes), just reduce the baking time. They will probably take about 20 minutes for large ones.

  5. 5 stars
    I haven’t made a chocolate zucchini cake in a long time. I made this one just now and it was a great success with my kids! We all loved it. I’ll be making this recipe again soon.

  6. Will the consistency work without the cocoa powder & chocolate chips? I want to do this as cupcakes for my daughter’s birthday party but I’d like to do half plain, half chocolate, without using two completely different recipies. What do you think?

  7. 5 stars
    Damn good cake… It’s rare that I make cakes with sugar, oil, white flour, etc. but no regrets for this delicious one! Changes that did work: used 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa, replaced half oil with apple pure, skipped buttermilk.
    I had to bake cake for 45min and then let it cool in an open owen.
    Ps. Mixed butter with Philadelphia, cocoa p. and peanut butter (also used powdered brow sugar) and turned out fabulous 😉
    Thanks a lot for inspiring!

  8. 5 stars
    I didn’t make the cake only because I googled and made different recipe before I saw this one. However, I did make the frosting which was delicious! Probably the best chocolate frosting I have ever made. Thanks for the recipe. I will be keeping this and will try your cake recipe next time as well.

  9. 5 stars
    Super late on commenting, but better late than never!  Made this into a layer cake this summer and got rave reviews and multiple requests for the recipe.  I subbed buttermilk for the milk in the frosting and the slight tartness was incredible!  It’s my go-to chocolate frosting now.   That’s actually what brought me back to this—using the frosting on cupcakes for my son’s birthday this weekend!

  10. 5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe about 6 times and I JUST realized I never put butter in them but they are sooooo good and perfect anyway! I’m probably addicted to these…

  11. Hi twopeasandtheirpod,

    I am thinkinh if I can half the rceipe and either bake it in one 9×5 loaf pan or 2 x 6inch rounds baking tins?
    What would be the suggested timing and temperature.

    I am excitedly waiting your reply.

    Thanks so much.

  12. 5 stars
    Really good cake, thank you for the recipe. I didn’t have chocolate chips so I used coarsely grated/ chopped white chocolate instead and it turned out delicious. Very good frosting too; I don’t like frosting that’s overly sweet but this one’s a keeper! I used kefir instead of milk to give it that slight bit of extra tartness.

  13. 5 stars
    I made this cake. I watched myself put the zucchini in the cake batter. Then I tried it and I’m fairly certain some mystical power inside my oven removed the zucchini and left me with the most rich, moist, chocolatey cake ever. The zucchini is completely undetectable.

  14. I’m wondering if I did something wrong coz I made this step by step and it very very crumbly and very bitter however the frosting is deliciousssss

  15. Going to try this tomorrow! I looked at several recipes and since yours has a full cup of cocoa it’s sure be just what I want; dark, rich and moist with intense chocolate flavor! Mine will go into a bundt pan 🙂

  16. Hi, I loved your recipe. I am vegetarian.
    Egg substitute in the recipe. Pls revert.
    Can I make this glutenfree. So what changes in that ..round pan 8×8 will do.

  17. I made this cake a couple weeks ago it was such a great hit I had to make another one for my father’s 93 birthday party he loves chocolate and this chocolate zucchini cake recipe is the best I’ve tried several none can come close and the frosting really makes it delicious mmm

  18. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious. Just made it tonight. The cake is light and moist and you would never guess it had zucchini in it. Best zucchini cake recipe I have ever made. Excellent directions.

  19. I have made this awesome cake twice in the last few weeks, it was perfect both times!!!
    It is wonderful to have another recipe for the “ever giving” zucchini plants 🙂


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