Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Chocolate Zucchini Cake...a rich , dense chocolate cake made with shredded zucchini. It's topped with a poured chocolate frosting that melts right into the cake!

This Chocolate Zucchini Cake is a rich, dense chocolate cake made with shredded zucchini from the garden. It’s topped with a poured chocolate frosting that melts right into the cake!

Today might as well be opposite day. Hello, I talking about zucchini…

Actually zucchini and cake, so yeah…maybe only half-opposite day.

But really, do vegetables belong in cake? Why can’t foods sit at their own designated table in the lunchroom?


All this co-mingling is messing with the universe’s natural balance.

I mean there is the exception to the rule in Carrot Cake…we ALL know “a carrot cake”… but overall everyone doesn’t have to be friends, do they?

Well, this cake is basically the John Hughes film of desserts. It’s the slow clap at the end of a big dramatic lunchroom speech.

It’s freaking ZUCCHINI CAKE! Proving we all CAN just get along.

So yeah, we’ve basically just solved all the world’s problems. Boom.

Zucchini Cake...a dense rich chocolate cake with a poured frosting..almost like a brownie, but all cake!

Grab a zucchini. Or if you have garden-y type friends, I am sure they have given you zucchini. Because everyone who grows zucchini is always trying to get rid of the zucchini.

Riddle me THAT!


Also another secret ingredient in this cake is sour cream…

Sounds like I’m making a stuffed baked potato, doesn’t it?

Sour Cream in the Zucchini Cake

Anyway, grate up that zucchini…

Shredded Zucchini

You’re going to add that right into the batter.

Also chocolate chips…

Chocolate Chips for the zucchini cake

Spread the batter into a pan…

Zucchini Cake ready to go in the oven...

And when it’s baked it will look like this. Certainly you could stop there.


Baked Zucchini Cake before the frosting!

Or give this cake a chance. With poured frosting. Just like the one I use on my Sunday Chocolate Cake Recipe.

I think the frosting is why this cake is not stuck at the nerd table.

Frosting helps in all aspects of life.

poured icing

Let the frosting soak into the cake and set up…

Letting the poured frosting set on the zucchini cake

Then have a slice or 3.

I’m pretty sure it counts as a serving of vegetables!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake. A dense rich chocolate cake with a poured frosting that melts right in to the cake!



Chocolate Zucchini Cake

  • Author: Cookies & Cups


serves 12



  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 cups grated zucchini
  • 3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Pourable frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 4 cups powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 325°
  2. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. In bowl of stand mixer beat butter, vegetable oil and sugar together until smooth. Add in vanilla, baking soda, baking powder, salt and eggs and continue mixing until smooth and combined, scraping sides as needed.
  4. Add in sour cream alternately with the flour, mixing after each addition until smooth.
  5. Next mix in cocoa powder until evenly combined.
  6. Finally fold in zucchini and chocolate chips.
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat melt butter, milk, and cocoa powder together, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar until there are no more lumps.
  2. Pour frosting over your cake while it’s still warm.
  3. Allow the cake to cool completely before serving.


cake recipe lightly adapted from King Arthur Flour

33 Responses

  1. Love this recipe, Shelly! Baking with zucchini (and sour cream) makes for such a soft and moist cake! YUM! And the pour-over while while still warm frosting…that’s the best kind of icing! Fast and not fussy!

  2. We had grilled zucchini with dinner tonight and I have zucchini lasagna in the fridge, ready to bake tomorrow. And I still have 7 zucchini on the counter… Looks like I have a great excuse to make your cake and call it a vegetable:)

  3. Krista

    Mine turned out too tall to fit the icing on!! I guess I’ll just have to put it on top once I cut the pieces… looks good though…taking it with me to work tomorrow

  4. I just have to comment again. This turned out awesome! The kids and I made it this afternoon and we all loved it. I just had to cook mine for way longer than 30 minutes… it was more like 45. My oven is wonky though 🙂 Looking forward to making it again soon!

  5. Amy

    I made this today and it is very yummy and moist! A fun way to use our zucchini, which melted away into chocolaty goodness. It did take way longer than 30 minutes for me,too. It was almost liquid at that point.Also there is no place in the instructions where you mention adding the salt. Although it was a different way of putting together a batter, it really rose well and we are loving the end result! thanks!

  6. Kate

    Just took this out of the oven! I didn’t have the right size pan so I made some cupcakes, too. They were done after 30 minutes but the cake I left the cake in for another 8 or so. I may have had 2 cupcakes for lunch, but it’s basically salad, right? Right.

  7. terri

    i just put the frosting on…can’t wait to try it…i did sub safflower oil for veg., and greek yogurt for the sour cream….thanks!

  8. Michelle

    UGH. PLEASE note that this will take MUCH LONGER to cook than 30min. Maybe if you have a convection oven, which I don’t. I’m struggling to keep the frosting liquid as I *thought* I timed it perfectly. Not so. Either turn up the heat to 350 f or plan on at LEAST 40 min or longer to cook for a clean toothpick. This does look delicious and I’m praying for the frosting to still go on.

    1. Shelly

      Hope it worked out well for you.. yes, all ovens are different, so it could certainly take longer in your oven. As for the frosting, you could simply reheat it a bit if it cools…that should be fine!

  9. Karen

    Hi Shelly, loving the site. I was wondering where you got your oval cup measures as I can’t find any here in the UK? I would loved to find some on line if you know of anywhere please. Many thanks Karen.

    1. Shelly

      You know, my husband bought them for me at a local Kitchen Supply store! I will have to look and see if they sell them online!

  10. Cheryl

    I’m making this tonight! It would be nice to also have the measurements by weight (grams or ounces). The amount of zucchini could vary greatly, depending on how much one stuffs into a cup 🙂

  11. Becky

    I had a surplus of zucchini on my counter and finally made this today. Oh my word. Shelly. SHELLY! This is by far the best zucchini cake I have ever ever made. And my poor husband is away for work all week. So sadly (haha ya right!) I’ll have to manage this on my own! Thanks for this one, it’s a keeper!

  12. Annette

    Made this today! Could see when pouring it into the 9×13 there was going to be enough to also make an 8×8 for husband to take to work. My frosting never did set up, but still very yummy!! Will make again for sure!

  13. Jodi Hargis

    Just wondering if there is supposed to be any liquid? Mine is in the oven but it was so thick I could hardly get my kitchen aid to spin? Just 1/2 cup oil and eggs no other liquid?

  14. Carley

    I love baking with zucchini. It always disappears in the batter and leaves a bakery-quality product! This cake is delicious, and I will definitely make again. My mom didn’t even let me frost it before digging in. Thank you for a great recipe!

  15. Pat

    I made this today and applesauce for butter and Greek yogurt for the sour cream. So so sooooooo good!!!!! It is our new favorite. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Renee

    Beautiful!!! Had to cook mine 45 min and it is too tall to frost. Good thing because I didn’t follow the directions step by step and the frosting is lumpy. Oh well I think it will be great without it!

Leave a Reply