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Chocolate Zucchini 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!

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!

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!
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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

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45 comments on “Chocolate Zucchini Cake”

  1. 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 🙂

  2. 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. 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!

  3. 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. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. Melissa @ Bless this Mess

    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!

  8. Heather @ My Overflowing Cup

    I make this cake every summer with the bountiful zucchini, but this recipe looks so much better than the one I use. This will have to be my new one. Pinning it now – thanks! And, yes, it counts as a serving of veggies.

  9. 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

  10. Melissa @ Bless this Mess

    Love that your serving size is 12! Because no one really gets 24 servings out of a 9X13. Ever.

  11. Emily @ Life on Food

    This cake is on my summer bucket list. I cannot wait to make it. I am just starting to have a ton of zucchini.

  12. Heather @Shards of Lavender

    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:)

  13. Averie @ Averie Cooks

    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!

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