A quick and easy recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Cake. It’s a moist, chocolaty cake that is studded with fresh zucchini – a delicious summertime dessert!
On Sunday I was going to go hike a 14er, but for a variety of reasons and factors I ended up not doing it. This meant that I had an entire free day to myself. No people to see. No things to do. No commitments. It ended up being quite luxurious.
After some strength training at the gym, a walk to the farmer’s market, and a little reading outside on the patio I decided to dig out The Duesterhoeft Café cookbook and whip up something from my family’s collection of recipes.
Since it’s the time of year when my fridge is stocked with zucchini I landed on the chocolate zucchini cake. Also, chocolate cake on a Sunday (or any other day, really) is never a bad idea. Ever.
The cake comes together very quickly. First, cream together the butter, oil, egg, sugar, and vanilla. Next, stir in the zucchini and finally, mix in the dry ingredients. The batter is a little bit looser compared normal cake batter, due to the moisture from all the zucchini.
Pour the batter into a 9×9 baking dish and sprinkle it with chocolate chips and brown sugar. The chocolate chips and brown sugar melt together in the oven and form a sort of caramely, crispy layer on top.
I hope that doesn’t sound gross/weird. I just don’t know how else to explain it!
The cake has a nice, light crumb and the perfect amount of chocolaty flavor.
Cut a generous slice and top it with a dollop of ice cream. Grab a glass of wine and a good book. Then take everything outside to enjoy.
If that’s not a lovely summer evening, I don’t know what is!
- 1 medium zucchini
- ¼ cup canola oil
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
- heaping ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ¼ cup flour
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 ½ tablespoons cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup chocolate chips
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Grate zucchini and set aside in a strainer to drain excess water. You will need one cup.
- In the large bowl of an electric mixer, add the oil, butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Beat on high for 2-3 minutes.
- Mix in the zucchini.
- Add in the buttermilk, baking soda, flour, and cinnamon and mix on low until everything is combined.
- Pour batter into an ungreased 9x9 cake pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and brown sugar.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting.
If you don’t have buttermilk on hand (do people normally?) replace it with ¼ cup milk (dairy, almond, soy, whatever) mixed with 1 ½ teaspoon lemon juice. Stir it up and let it sit for a minute or two before using.
Adding ¼ cup chopped walnuts on top with the chocolate chips and brown sugar would be a delicious idea.
This recipe can be easily doubled and baked in a 9x13 pan.
My mom likes to store it in the fridge, but it's delicious stored at room temperature as well!
My mom’s personal notes on the recipe in the cookbook: “I love zucchini from the garden; raw, sauteed, roasted, baked into breads and muffins, and especially baked into this cake recipe. My mom would make this often in the summer. I like to keep it in the fridge… no reason, I just like it that way. This recipe is in honor of my mother’s good friend Marlys Stockman from Plato.”