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A cross between cake and a supremely moist brownie, this Chocolate Zucchini Cake is completely irresistible! This single layered confection is made extra decadent by the addition of shredded zucchini – a hidden healthy ingredient you won’t even be able to taste through the rich chocolate!
We are super excited to be working with Eggland’s Best in 2018 to create a dozen delicious sponsored recipe posts to keep you drooling!
OMG GUYS. July really flew by, didn’t it?
I really hope you’ve all been enjoying your summer! I’ve been SUPER BUSY with just about everything unrelated to the blog, it seems. I’ve been kind of quiet the last few weeks, transitioning a few things here and trying to enjoy a bit of rest while doing so.
That said, I am SO ready to get back to doing what I love most – making you hungry! We’re gonna start with this Chocolate Zucchini Cake, celebrating the beauty that is one of summer’s favorite veggies…even though they’re on their way out of season!
Make your own Chocolate Zucchini Cake!
I’m a firm believer in cake with hidden veggies in it.
In the past, I’ve tried it with beets and avocado (in muffin form, but those are just topless cupcakes anyway), and every bite was as delish as it would be without the extra nutrition. Maybe even more so, since just knowing that I was actually eating something that wasn’t complete garbage made it taste even better.
But what do you do when your family (specifically your kids) hate vegetables?
That’s one of the best parts of this hidden zucchini cake – you literally can NOT taste the vegetables. You can barely even see them.
Case in point: I tested this cake on my coworkers at my little part time job. I never mentioned what was in it, but they each grabbed a slice and immediately echoed a positive noise through mouthfuls of rich chocolate cake.
Even one of the pickiest eaters I know enjoyed it, and he’s a 40-year old.
If I could fool someone who’s 40, you can do the same with your 4-year old.
So, I hear you.
“It’s still chocolate cake. It’s not healthy.”
OK, I’ll give it to you. Maybe it’s not, but it’s definitely better than getting an ice cream cone after dinner or a muffin at my beloved donut place.
What is zucchini?
Believe it or not, much like tomatoes, zucchini is actually a fruit! (Surely, this helps cloak its nutrition inside the cake.) Also known as a courgette, the zucchini originated in the Americas and shares a family tree with the pumpkin and butternut squash.
But is zucchini good for you?
Um, heck yeah. What else would you call a fruit/veggie with such low calories (~31 total in a medium sized) and carbs, high fiber, and no fat or cholesterol? Plus, by keeping the skin on and using the entire veggie (which is exactly what you do in this cake recipe!), your seriously amping up your vitamin intake.
Keep all those positive, healthy thoughts in your mind and now add Eggland’s Best eggs to the recipe.
While delicious on their own, Eggland’s Best eggs are (in my opinion, anyway) the best eggs out there for baking, and not just because they’re farm fresh.
Compared to ordinary eggs, their large eggs contain 10x more vitamin E (antioxidants), 6x more vitamin D (bone growth), and 3x more vitamin B12 (DNA makers!). Plus, each egg is only 60 calories and contain 25% less saturated fat.
Are you rethinking that unhealthy claim, yet? If not, you can replace all of the butter and oil in this zucchini cake recipe with yogurt and applesauce to ease your mind a bit more, but you might lose out of the fudgiest bite of your life!
(I mean, one serving of the cake is less than 500 calories – I’d say that’s pretty good!)
This Chocolate Zucchini Cake isn’t topped with icing of any kind – just sprinkled with chocolate chips and dusted with powdered sugar (which is also optional.) It’s meant be be a kind of snack cake, one to be enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea, or with a scoop of ice cream or dollop of whipped cream after dinner.
Even without icing, this baby is ridiculously moist, even a few days after baking.
How do I make my chocolate cake really moist?
- Proper measurement of dry ingredients. Baking is a science – chemistry, to be exact. Convenient as American measurements are, the rest of the world really has it together with the metric system. Owning a dependable kitchen scale and keeping a conversion chart of ingredients handy will always ensure that you don’t over-measure unsifted flour – which is the real killer of cakes. If you must use traditional cups, be sure to sift all of your dry ingredients before measuring
- Mixing Method. We’ve all seen those easy, one-bowl cake recipes. They ARE delicious, but believe it or not, the order in which you mix your ingredients affects how moist your cake turns out! Cakes containing butter require the creaming method for best results (mixing the butter with sugar, adding eggs, and slowly incorporating dry ingredients). Other cakes like Angel Food and Chiffon require folding fluffy whipped eggs (or whites) into a mixed batter. Also, do not overmix cake batter. All those years of box mixes may never have prepared you for just how tough a homemade cake can be when it’s mixed too long. If the recipe says “just combined”, that means as soon as the streaks of flour disappear – no longer!
- Moisture. Fats play a big part in the moisture of a cake, especially oils. Cakes that use oil will often be much more tender and keep longer than those without. Whether you supplement the fats with milk, buttermilk, sour cream, yogurt, or fruit (like zucchini!), don’t pass on it!
- Baking Time & Temperature. The best way to prevent an under- or overbaked cake is by making sure your oven is calibrated correctly (using an oven thermometer). Aside from that, baking your cake as close to the middle of the oven as possible and gently closing the oven door will keep it fluffy. Always check for doneness 5-8 minutes before the bake time in the recipe is up. This is mostly done using a toothpick (insert in the center – if it comes out clean, meaning crumb, not batter, it’s ready). You can also check by lightly pressing the center of the cake and watching for it to spring back, it’s done.
Essential Kitchen Tools For This Recipe:
What are some easy zucchini recipes to make at home?
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar packed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large Eggland's Best eggs room temperature
- 1/2 cup buttermilk room temperature
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips divided
- 2 medium zucchini shredded
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 cake pan with cooking spray or butter and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk to combine; set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, combine butter, oil, sugars, and vanilla. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to beat until well combined. Add eggs and beat well.
- Add the dry ingredients and buttermilk in 3 alternating additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips and shredded zucchini.
- Spread batter into an even layer in the prepared cake pan. Sprinkle top of cake with additional chocolate chips.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until cake is puffy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
- When ready to serve, dust cake with powdered sugar if desired.