Chocolate Zucchini Cake is a revelation. Moist and redolent with cinnamon and zucchini, this chocolate cake makes great use of that prolific summer squash.
Do you have friends who ding-dong-ditch bags of zucchini on your doorstep? Have a father who lets them lie too long on the vine until the squash outsize a small child? Got a produce box rife with zucchini?
Then now’s the time to bake with them!
One of our family’s favorite ways to use up wayward zucchini is to bake with them. In fact, in my earliest homemaking years, when there were just two or three of us in the family, I would spend a couple days each summer baking All the Zucchini Things and stashing them away for winter in the freezer.
All the Zucchini Things would include:
- Zucchini Muffins with Streusel Top
- Zucchini Bread
- Spiced Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cinnamon Zucchini Waffles (URS: Zucchini)
and, of course, this Chocolate Zucchini Cake. It’s great to slice up the whole cake and freeze in serving-sized packages. They’re perfect for slipping into lunch boxes as they thaw just in time for lunch.
This recipe is courtesy of my mother-in-law, Ruth. She passed away in 2008. I love it that I still have the recipe card she gave me, written in her handwriting.
Early in our marriage, Ruth warned me that her son, my husband, did not like vegetables. He denied it vehemently. She wasn’t entirely wrong. Her son doesn’t like all vegetables.
But, he does like chocolate bundt cake – with just a touch of powdered sugar. Ruth gave me this recipe years ago, saying it was a great way to sneak some vegetables into his diet. She was a woman who always thought of these kinds of things, long before they were trendy. There’s nothing new under the sun, is there?
Whether your people are zucchini fans or not, they will LOVE this Chocolate Zucchini Cake. It’s super moist, very flavorful, and just the perfect amount of chocolate flavor.
You’ll notice that Ruth’s recipe card includes pecans as well as a glaze. Since FishChick8 is allergic to several nuts, I err on the side of caution and omit the nuts, thus making them optional for this recipe. Since my husband prefers a powdered sugar dusting over a glaze, I go that route. It makes it easier to freeze without the glaze as well.
Chocolate zucchini cake ingredients:
- Cocoa powder
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Pecans (optional)
How to make this chocolate zucchini cake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt cake pan.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set this aside.
In a second mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time. Beat well. Stir in the zucchini and vanilla.
Stir in, alternately, the dry ingredients and the milk, in two additions each. Add nuts, if using.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour.
Cool for 10 minutes on a rack before removing the cake from the pan. Cool the cake completely. Sift over with powdered sugar.
My favorite tools for making this recipe:
- stainless steel mixing bowls
- hand mixer
- rubber spatula for scraping
- box grater
- bundt pan
- cooling rack
- a tea infuser – in case you don’t want to drag the sifter back out for the powdered sugar. 😉
Can I add a frosting to this chocolate zucchini cake?
You absolutely can! Although I think it’s delicious on its own or a dusting of powdered sugar is also nice too. You can frost this cake too if you want.
HOW DO I STORE THIS CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKE?
This cake will be fine at room temperature for a few days. I like to keep mine covered in a cake keeper, to keep it fresh extra long. But you can also just simply keep it covered with some plastic wrap. I find storing my cake in the fridge dries them out, so I don’t recommend doing that.
You can also store any leftover cake in the freezer, well wrapped, for up to 6 weeks.
DO YOU NEED SPECIAL EQUIPMENT TO MAKE THIS CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKE?
This cake recipe really couldn’t be easier than it is, but having the right kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs.
Here are the tools that I use for this recipe:
- stainless steel mixing bowl – I’m not sure you have too many of these.
- hand mixer – My Hamilton Beach version is going on a decade and still kicking.
- stand mixer – You can also use a stand mixer if you prefer.
- silicone spatula/spoon – I have two or three of these – so convenient!
- bundt cake pan – Do yourself a favor and make sure you have a nonstick version.
- cake keeper – Perfect for keeping your cake fresh.
HOW I MAKE THIS A GOOD CHEAP EAT:
Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:
- Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. When I find regular kitchen staples on sale, I buy a lot. I’m currently using a price book to track prices and that’s saving me money.
- Buying in bulk – Buying them from the bulk bin of the health food store or finding them at a lower unit cost from a restaurant store may offset this cost.
- Make your own vanilla extract. Vanilla extract is super easy to make and is much more economical than buying commercially made extract.
Ruth's Chocolate Zucchini Cake
- 2 1/2 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup butter softened
- 2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 egg
- 1 zucchini shredded for 2 cups
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup pecans (chopped) optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt cake pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set this aside.
- In a second mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time. Beat well. Stir in the zucchini and vanilla.
- Stir in, alternately, the dry ingredients and the milk, in two additions each. Add nuts, if using.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour.
- Cool for 10 minutes on a rack before removing the cake from the pan. Cool the cake completely. Sift over with powdered sugar.