Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe

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The best chocolate zucchini cake ever! It’s so moist and full of flavor. You would have no idea there was a vegetable in it! It’s topped with chocolate buttercream and every bite is perfection!

Chocolate cake with sprinkles

This Chocolate Zucchini Cake recipe is hands down one of our favorites! It’s right up there with our Devil’s Food Cake, but this is denser.

It seems weird to put shredded zucchini in a cake, right?! But the cake is incredibly moist (oil, butter, and sour cream will do that too!) and the flavor is rich and perfectly chocolatey!

Chocolate buttercream frosting with sprinkles.

You can’t really taste the zucchini, but it makes the cake even moister and you’re eating veggies… who would’ve thought?! Truly, this chocolate zucchini cake is a 5-star recipe that you have to try!

This is also a chocolate zucchini cake with chocolate chips. However, you can leave the chocolate chips out but it does make for a very chocolatey cake!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with chocolate buttercream frosting and sprinkles cut into squares

I made the cake into a sheet cake with sprinkles, making it the quintessential birthday cake! I’m really into sheet cakes lately because they’re easy, no fuss and I love serving that perfect square piece of cake with a side of ice cream.

It’s classic and conjures up nostalgic memories of my childhood. The frosting is whipped chocolate buttercream and has a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with chocolate buttercream frosting and sprinkles on a pink plate.

It’s a recipe I’ve used and trusted for a long time. I have a feeling this cake is going to be requested for many, many years and I have no problem making it for my “zucchini loving” kids! Enjoy!!

Slice of Chocolate Cake with chocolate buttercream frosting and sprinkles.

How to Make Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Ingredients

It’s a lot of ingredients, which is unusual for our recipes. However, they’re simple ingredients you can find at any grocery store and most you will already have at home, like vanilla, baking powder, and baking soda, vegetable oil, eggs and butter.

  • Shredded / grated zucchini
  •  Butter, room temperature
  • Vegetable oil
  • Eggs
  • Sugar
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder, (like Hershey’s)
  • Vanilla extract
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Sour cream
  • Espresso
  • All-purpose flour
  • Milk chocolate chips

Quick Tip – Measure and prepare all of the ingredients before you start baking! It helps so much to have everything laid out.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with chocolate buttercream frosting and sprinkles.

Directions

  • Beat the butter, sugar, and oil on high until fully mixed
  • Add in eggs one at a time and mix until combined
  • Next, add in sour cream and mix
  • Add in baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract, espresso and salt
  • Sift together flour, cocoa powder and beat on low until incorporated
  • Stir in shredded zucchini and chocolate chips
  • Lastly, pour into a sheet pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes
  • Let it cool before frosting
Chocolate Cake with chocolate buttercream frosting and sprinkles.

How many zucchini do you need for 2 1/2 cups shredded?

You will need about 4 zucchini’s to yield 2 1/2 cups grated.

How do you Grate zucchini for a cake?

The best and easiest way is to use a box grater. Trim the ends of the zucchini and then grate! Zucchini technically melts as it bakes too.

Do I peel zucchini for cake?

Yes! Leave the skin on. The peel is very tender and will bake right into the cake.

Chocolate sheet cake with sprinkles, pink plate and striped napkins.

Striped napkins are from Anthropologie and my favorite gold and white silverware are from here! The plates are Russel Wright and I found them for a steal at a vintage shop!

More Cake Recipes You’ll Love!

Cast Iron Peach Cake

Ice Cream Sundae Cake

Brown Sugar Cake with Creme Fraiche

Devil’s Food Cake

Neapolitan Sheet Cake

Lemon Elderflower Cake

Momofuku Milk Bar Cake

Coca Cola Cake Recipe

If you need a good gluten-free chocolate dessert, try our gluten-free brownies!

Also, this would be the perfect dessert to serve with our delicious homemade chili!

Let us know if you make our Chocolate Zucchini Cake by leaving a comment and review below. We would love to know what you think!

the best buttercream chocolate frosting

Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe

The chocolate cake with hidden veggies!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 16
Calories: 548kcal
Author: Eden

Ingredients

Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe

  • 2 1/2 cups shredded / grated zucchini
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, (like Hershey's)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 shot espresso, (or 1 tablespoon espresso powder)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 16 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon brewed coffee

Instructions

Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe

  • Beat the butter, sugar and oil on high until fully mixed
  • Add in eggs one at a time and mix until combined
  • Add in sour cream and mix
  • Add in baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract, espresso and salt
  • Sift together flour, cocoa powder and beat on low until incorporated
  • Stir in shredded zucchini and chocolate chips
  • Pour into a sheet pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes
  • Let it cool before frosting

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • In an electric mixer, with the paddle attachment, whip the butter and sugar and cocoa powder together until light and fluffy
  • Add in the vanilla and espresso and continue whipping
  • Slowly add in the whole milk until fully whipped
  • Whip on high for a few minutes until light and fluffy

Nutrition

Calories: 548kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 320mg | Potassium: 279mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 49g | Vitamin A: 705IU | Vitamin C: 6.7mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 2.2mg
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13 thoughts on “Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe”

  1. Hi Eden,

    I love those sprinkles that you put on your cake can you please share the brand and where I could purchase those. Also I just love edible flowers on cakes where is the most economical place grocery store to but it from? Do you buy chance have any recipes for taking fresh flowers and making them sugared like sugared violets or sugared pink mini rose petals?

    Thank you

    Reply
  2. I’m so glad I found this recipe, Eden! With all the homegrown Zucchini I’ve been getting from my brother, I have a new recipe to try. I won’t even tell him or his family it has zucchini in it nor my husband and son. 🙂 Thank you! Hope you and all your lads are doing well.

    Reply
  3. When does the sour cream go in? I made the cake following just the directions and then noticed after that sour cream was in the ingredients list. I forgot about it. I am serving the cake tomorrow and I hope it will still be good. It also took longer than 30 min to bake for me.

    Reply
  4. Hi Eden, your chocolate zucchini cake looks amazing!! Can you just double check the recipe – I think the cocoa is missing? I’d love to try make this! Thank you for a lovely site! Simone

    Reply

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