Ok, zucchini cake sceptics, I see you and I raise you one chocolate zucchini cake you’re absolutely going to love. Promise! I’m not traditionally a zucchini lover and my hubby literally hates cooked fruit or vegetables in cakes and his exact words were “this is my favourite thing you’ve ever baked”. Proof that this cake will convert you. To those of you who love zucchini in cakes – I get it now.
- It’s rich, moist and so chocolatey.
- Loaded with chocolate chips.
- Incredibly simple to make – no creaming of butter and sugar.
- You won’t taste the zucchini – not one little bit.
- You only need one zucchini – perfect for using up that last one.
- It tastes incredible but it’s worth repeating.
Chocolate zucchini cake recipes all talk about how moist the zucchini makes them. Problem is, some call for so much zucchini that the flavour is too evident for me in the finished product and I find it actually overpowers the chocolate flavour. Not this one. I’ve developed this with people like myself in mind, who want a super moist and richly textured cake without being able to taste vegetable. Voila!
It’s here, it’s beautiful and I’d love for you to try it and tell me what you think.
If you love this try this chocolate bread recipe too.
Table of contents
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Ingredients you’ll need
Even with chocolate in two forms and the magical zucchini to keep this chocolate chip zucchini bread moist, there really aren’t a huge number of ingredients in this recipe.
Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.
- Flour: You’ll just want plain flour (all purpose flour).
- Cocoa: This cake uses dutch cocoa powder which adds a rich chocolate flavour.
- Sugar: Just one sugar, brown sugar, adds moisture to this cake.
- Baking powder & baking soda: This cake uses a combination of baking powder and baking soda. You need both to get it perfect so don’t try to just use one.
- Eggs: I use large, free-range eggs.
- Milk: I use dairy whole milk for this recipe. A light version will work but won’t add as much richness to the cake due to the lower fat levels.
- Oil: There is no butter in this cake, just oil and it still packs a flavour punch. Use a neutral-flavoured vegetable oil.
- Vanilla extract: Using pure vanilla extract adds a balance to the flavours.
- Zucchini: One medium zucchini is all you need. Finely grated, it will add all the moisture you need. It’s completely undetectable in the baked cake meaning you get pure chocolate flavour.
- Chocolate chips: I use a combination of dark chocolate chips (semi-sweet) and milk chocolate chips in this cake.
While you could add a chocolate frosting, ganache or chocolate glaze, this gorgeous chocolate dessert cake needs no topping.
How to make chocolate zucchini cake (step-by-step)
Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.
- Dry ingredients: First sift, then whisk together the dry ingredients. Set them aside.
- Wet ingredients: In a separate mixing bowl, combine the wet ingredients then stir in the finely grated zucchini.
- Combine: Now add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients bowl and stir gently until almost combined. Finally, add the chocolate chips and mix in until just combined.
- Bake: Pour it all into a loaf tin and bake for 55-60 minutes.
Tadaa! Told you it was easy. This cake is absolutely glorious eaten while still just warm and the chocolate chips inside are still gooey but it stays moist for a good 3-4 days if stored properly.
Tips and tricks
This moist chocolate zucchini cake (or you may call it a chocolate courgette cake) really is so very easy to make, but here’s a few tips to guarantee success.
- Weigh ingredients: Baking is a science and a little too much flour or cocoa can change the texture of any cake drastically. For this reason, I always suggest investing in some kitchen scales and weighing your ingredients. You’ll get the best result this way. If you can’t, spoon the ingredient into your cup measures and level off the top with a knife.
- All ovens vary: All ovens are different and the thermostat rarely reads the correct temperature. I recommend keeping an oven thermometer on the middle shelf in your oven so you can easily see if it’s heating correctly and adjust accordingly. Check your bake 5 minutes before the recipe suggests.
- Don’t drain the zucchini: Definitely don’t squeeze any juice out of the zucchini. All of that adds to the moisture in the cake. Also, you must grate it finely – this stops the cake from having large chunks of zucchini still evident and also helps to distribute all that moisture better.
- Take it out while there are still crumbs: When you test it with a toothpick, it should come out with sticky crumbs on it. If it’s still wet batter, it’s not cooked and no crumbs means it’s overcooked. Sticky crumbs = ultra deliciousness.
Yield and storage
This recipe makes enough for 8 larger slices or 10 reasonable slices. It’s nice and rich in flavour anyway, so I find getting 10 out of it is fine. The ends of any loaf cake can be a little drier so cut those away thinly first. Slice only as much as you need and leave the rest unsliced until you need to.
This easy chocolate zucchini cake stores well at room temperature in a tightly sealed airtight container or wrapped well in plastic wrap for up to 4 days. It can be frozen too. Store in the freezer, wrapped 3 times in plastic wrap or in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
More loaf cake recipes you’ll love
- Coffee and walnut loaf
- Chocolate chip loaf cake
- Marble loaf cake
- Blood orange loaf cake
- Ginger loaf cake
- Quick chocolate bread
- Coconut and raspberry cake
Did you try this recipe for chocolate zucchini cake?
Leaving a rating and comment below the recipe is so helpful!
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
- 165 g plain flour (all purp flour) (1 ¼ cups / 5.8oz)
- 90 g dutch-process cocoa powder (¾ cup / 2oz)
- 150 g dark brown sugar (¾ cup / 5.3oz)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda (bicarb soda)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup whole milk (125ml)
- ½ cup neutral-flavoured vegetable oil (125ml)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup finely shredded zucchini (from 1 medium zucchini) (170g / 6oz, finely grated)
- 1 ⅓ cups dark chocolate chips (260g / 9.2oz)
For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided
- Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan) / 350F. Grease and line a 6 cup capacity loaf pan (roughly 8×4 inch)
- In a medium bowl sift the cocoa, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the sugar and whisk it all together making sure there are no lumps of sugar.
- In a separate, large mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla until well mixed. Add the zucchini and mix well to combine.
- Add half the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir together with a spatula. Add the remaining flour mixture and stir that in until just combined.
- Reserve a small handful of chocolate chips and add the rest to the batter. Mix until just combined.
- Tip the batter into the prepared loaf tin, level out the top and scatter over the remaining chocolate chips.
- Bake for 55-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out with just some sticky crumbs (not glossy wet batter and try to miss the choc chips).
- Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack too cool completely. Serve while still a little warm (for gooey chocolate chips) or at room temperature once the chocolate has set again..
- Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.
- For best results, you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
- All ovens vary – always test for doneness 5-7 minutes before the recipe suggests.
- Loaf tin measures: My loaf tin measures 20x10cm (8×4 inches) on the base and 22x12cm (9×5 inches) at the top lip.
- Baking time will also depend on what you bake it in. Glass or ceramic will take longer.
- Loaf cakes retain a lot of heat due to the shape of the tin so don’t let it overbake. It will carry-on bake after you remove it from the oven.
- Cooling the cake: Loaf cakes can take a couple of hours to cool. To speed it up, let it cool at room temperature for half an hour, then transfer to the fridge.
- This cake is best eaten at room temperature and can be stored in a cool place like the pantry. You can store in the fridge but make sure to take it out in time to come to room temperature before serving.
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