The Best Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Chocolate zucchini cake is not something to mess around with. You need the best chocolate zucchini cake recipe…and this is it!

The Best Chocolate Zucchini Cake

We rolled into town last night after the kids and I spent a week in Montana with my parents (giving me the chance to attend a casual 20-year high school celebration with some old, wonderful friends and simultaneously laugh harder than I have in years and also feel really, really old).

The week was awesome! Driving all day and coming back to unpack and get back to real life…not awesome.

Among all the chores we are tackling today (whilst trying to manage positive attitudes…me included), the garden needed some serious TLC. Oooh boy, it isn’t pretty out there. Things are looking a little overgrown and although I had friends coming by to take whatever they wanted of the growing produce while we were gone, we still uncovered a few zucchini squashes the size of baseball bats.

When the plants are so enormously huge, even spreading apart the prickly stems and peering inside, it’s easy to miss those camouflaged beauties.

The Best Chocolate Zucchini Cake

It’s total coincidence that I was planning on sharing with you the best ever zucchini chocolate cake today, but now that I have several giant-sized vegetables staring at me from my kitchen counter, it looks like I’ll be making this chocolate zucchini cake several times over before the week is done.

Good thing I’m bringing dinner to some friends because as much as I love me a good chocolate cake (and this is one of the best), even I get a little twitchy at the idea of trying to resist pans and pans of chocolate zucchini cake calling to me day after day.

Yeah, yeah. I know there are a million other things I can do with my zucchini (not the least of which are these healthier muffins and of course my go-to zucchini bread), but seriously, chocolate cake. Who can resist? Clearly not me.

This cake is a tried-and-true family favorite and has been for years and years. It’s from my Aunt Marilyn, and it is easily my Uncle Dan’s favorite chocolate cake of all time (and trust me, the guy loves chocolate cake even more than I do, which is pretty remarkable in and of itself).

There are at least 28 of my extended family members that love and swear by this cake. It’s a bit of a legend.

The Best Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Amazingly light and fluffy, this zucchini cake is so moist and chocolatey. It’s what every cake should aspire to be like. I actually kind of feel bad for other cakes when I eat this chocolate zucchini cake. Can you blame them for wanting to be this?

One bowl, no mixer needed – simple as simple as can be! There’s nothing complicated about this cake and it still manages to be the best chocolate zucchini cake of all time. Take that fussy white layer cake that requires me to beat egg whites separately and make me want to beat my head against the kitchen counter (and yet I still can’t stop trying to perfect it).

My absolute favorite way to serve this cake is to nix classic chocolate frosting and use lightly sweetened chocolate whipped cream. Oh, baby. That pillowy, ethereal whipped cream is the perfect companion for this best ever chocolate zucchini cake.

The good news is that this cake is equally delicious eaten straight out of the pan with no extra adornments. I mean, not that I’d ever showcase that kind of lack of self-control. Digging in while the cake was warm and all that. No never, not me.

One Year Ago: Triple Chocolate Zucchini Cookies
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The Best Chocolate Zucchini Cake

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Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (11.25 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (homemade version here)
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil, avocado oil, canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 cup shredded zucchini (10 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cup (7.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) natural, unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch pan with cooking spray and set aside. I always use an aluminum/metal baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, sugar, buttermilk and oil.
  3. Stir in the shredded zucchini.
  4. Add the flour, cocoa powder, salt, soda and baking powder.
  5. Stir until just combined and no dry streaks remain.
  6. Spread the batter evenly in the pan and bake for 25-35 minutes until the top springs back lightly to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
  7. Let cool completely.
  8. Serve alone, with chocolate frosting or a dollop of lightly sweetened chocolate whipped cream (see note above).

Notes:

I don’t squeeze any excess liquid out of the zucchini for this recipe; however, previously frozen, shredded zucchini tends to be a bit more liquidy so if using thawed zucchini that’s been frozen, you might drain slightly.

This cake is delicious all by itself! But it’s also super tasty with chocolate frosting or my favorite, lightly sweetened chocolate whipped cream. For the cream, combine 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, 1/3 cup powdered sugar, 1/3 cup cocoa powder (Dutch-process cocoa powder is delicious here but you can use natural, unsweetened too), 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Whip until thick and creamy.

My Aunt Marilyn says this recipe works great in a bundt pan – bake for about 45-50 minutes.

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Recipe Source: adapted slightly from my Aunt Marilyn (I reduce the sugar from 2 cups to 1 1/2 cups, as well as reducing the oil a bit, and use buttermilk instead of milk)

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