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Chocolate zucchini cake
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5 from 2 votes

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

You'd never know there's zucchini hidden in this rich and decadent chocolate zucchini cake! It just tastes like the most delicious chocolate cake ever.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Servings: 12
Calories: 418kcal
Author: Alison Hope


  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour Measured Correctly*
  • ¾ cup Cocoa Powder Unsweetened
  • 1 and ½ cups White Granulated Sugar
  • ½ cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Instant Espresso Powder Optional
  • ¾ tsp Salt
  • 2 cups Shredded Zucchini Packed cups (280g)
  • 1 cup Canola Oil or Vegetable Oil
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • cup Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract

For the Frosting


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray two 9-inch cake pans with non-stick spray and line the bottoms with circles of parchment paper.
  • Sift the all purpose flour and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl and add the white and brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, espresso powder and salt. Mix together.
  • Add shredded zucchini, oil, eggs, Greek yogurt and vanilla extract.
  • Mix into a thick batter. If it doesn't want to come together, leave the bowl for a minute and then come back and mix again. The zucchini will release extra moisture into the batter and make it easier to mix.
  • Transfer the batter to your prepared 9-inch baking pans and smooth down.
  • Bake for 30 minutes and then do the toothpick test - insert a toothpick into the center of one of the cakes and it should come out clean.
  • Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for a few minutes and then transfer them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.



  1. Measure the flour correctly using the spoon and level method. Spoon the flour into the measuring cup and then level off the top with a knife. Don't scoop it and don't pack it into the cup. Alternatively weigh it on a food scale. Click 'metric' below our list of ingredients to get the ingredient weights in grams. 
  2. The espresso powder is optional. It just enhances the chocolate flavor in the cake and doesn't make it taste like coffee at all. 
  3. Don't squeeze or blot the zucchini. It's not necessary to squeeze excess water out of the shredded zucchini and it's also not necessary to blot it with a paper towel. Just shred it using a box grater or a food processor (we usually prefer the food processor) and then use it as is. If there is any water that pools at the bottom of the food processor then leave that behind. But there is no need to squeeze or blot the shredded zucchini that you use. There is also no need to peel the zucchini.
  4. You can use either Greek yogurt or sour cream in this recipe. We usually use Greek yogurt as that's what we have on hand more often. This just provides extra richness and moisture in this cake without needing to use more oil.
  5. Adapt for 8-inch cake pans. This cake can be made in either 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans. If you're making it in 8-inch pans then the bake time will be slightly longer, usually 35 minutes. Check for doneness using the toothpick test after 35 minutes.
  6. Storage: Keep the cake covered at room temperature for 2-3 days or covered in the fridge for 5 days. It's also freezer friendly if you'd like to freeze it. 
  7. Nutritional information is for cake only and excludes frosting. The nutritional information for the chocolate buttercream frosting can be found on that separate linked recipe. 


Serving: 1Slice | Calories: 418kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 387mg | Potassium: 246mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 131IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 2mg