Saturday, July 23, 2011

Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe

Today my six year old son and I hit a summer lull.  As the youngest of four children, he is used to a house filled with doors slamming, cell phones ringing, and kids talking.  Today, however, Daddy was heading home from a business trip, two siblings were at camp, and another was sick in bed.  The house was clean and quiet.  After tiring of fort building, game playing, and even TV watching, we headed to the kitchen to bake a Chocolate Zucchini Cake.

This recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Cake was shared with me  in the 1990's by an amazing early childhood teacher in Maryland.  While I was reading the big book Mrs. Wishy Washy to my class of Kindergartners, she was whipping up a Chocolate Zucchini Cake with her Pre-K class.  The chocolate and cinnamon aroma wafted throughout the halls and we were all grateful that she placed the leftovers in the staff lounge.  It was a moist and flavorful sheet cake that utilized the often prolific garden vegetable, zucchini.  She passed out the recipe to her little students and gave me a copy as well.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake is the perfect recipe to make with young children.  In addition to providing an ideal opportunity to introduce more vegetables into the child's diet and discuss gardening or the letter 'Z', this recipe also requires fun baking techniques such as whisking, egg cracking, grating, and the ever popular chocolate chip sampling.  Today I even let my six year old use the 'big knife' to chop off the ends of the zucchini.

Now when baking Chocolate Zucchini Cake you could go all Jessica Seinfeld and serve this chocolate sheet cake to your family not mentioning that it contains zucchini, but I would rather involve the kids in the cooking process and then allow them to decide if they like it or not.  When they come across a bite that contains a strand of something green they will know that it is zucchini and hopefully enjoy it all the same.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk or 1/2 cup milk plus 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 Tablespoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups zucchini, grated
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9x13 pan with baking spray or grease and flour.
  2. Mix together butter and sugar until well combined.
  3. Add oil, eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk.  Mix.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, and cinnamon.
  5. Combine the wet and dry ingredients gently until well combined.
  6. Fold in the grated zucchini.
  7. Pour batter into prepared 9x13 pan.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes.


  1. Made this today to take over to a friend's house and serve after dinner. It was a big hit! My hubby even had seconds. I only changed one ingredient. I omitted the cinnamon and added 2 Tablespoons of Instant Espresso. Thank you for a yummy recipe! This will be made a lot in our home.

  2. What a great idea! I'm going to try it with the Instant Espresso next time. Also, thinking about stirring a cup of chocolate chips into the batter and my daughter suggested adding Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting.

  3. Thanks for the awesome idea! It looks great...ironically, I was just writing about choc zuke cake on my blog this morning. This saves me from having to look up a recipe... :)
    Found you at Mouthwatering Monday!
    Carla at Mrs. No-No Knows

  4. Looks delicious Heidi! My zucchini plant is going crazy so I have been on the hunt for good zucchini recipes. Thanks so much for linking up to Tasty Tuesdays!


  5. I've made zucchini everything...except cake! I made a chocolate zucchini bread, that was really tasty, so I'm sure this would be delicious. I am finally down to my last few zucchini (of course, they are the size of my leg!) so maybe we'll make this soon! Popping over from Miz Helen's!

  6. I've made chocolate zucchini bread before but cake sounds even better.

  7. I did a zucchini brownie recipe on my blog, but the addition of the chocolate chips on yours makes it look extra delicious!

    Thanks for linking up with Fun for kids Friday @

  8. ooohhhh, I deffinately need to try this! I'm trying to introduce my kids to more veggies everday, maybe they will love this! Thanks for the kind works and follow. I am your new follower as well. :) I need all the help I can get in the kitchen. lol

  9. Thanks for all the kind words. Glad those zucchinis will go to good use. I was just chatting with the sweet gal who originally made this with her PreK class and she said it always cracked her up because every year despite the fact that the entire class had grated the zucchini and then added it to the batter at least one child would raise their hand and say, "Teacher, there's something green in my cake!" Love preschoolers!

  10. Yummo! I have a bunch of zucchinis from our CSA... I see them baking in my oven in the very near future!

  11. I love cakes with vegetables in them - it makes them so moist! These look great.

  12. I just made a chocolate zucchini cake the other day too!! It was so good and yours looks so good!! I love that you added chocolate chips. You should come and enter my cookbook giveaway!

  13. Hi Heidi,
    Your Chocolate Zucchini Cake looks so moist and delicious. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you again real soon. Hope you are having a great week!
    Miz Helen

  14. Awesome Posting for Recipes . Healthy Recipes and that's good look.

  15. i love zucchini in sweets! and this looks to be a truly amazing sweet. thanks for posting, as always i love your blog :)

  16. I will let my kids eat this kind of cake. Nutritious and very perfect for kid who doesn't want to eat veggies. My kids will be trick with this one. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Perfect! I just harvested a basket full of zucchinis and I think this will be a great recipe for my kids who doesn't want to eat zucchinis.