Rich, deeply darkly chocolatey, and almost fudgy - this zucchini chocolate cake is a most delicious way to use up that glut of zucchinis the garden offers up at this time of year. Simple to stir together, it can be made as a loaf or a cake. Cover it with a shiny chocolate ganache glaze for the ultimate chocolate lover's dream. (Skip to recipe.)
Quick! Take Cover!
It's the invasion of the Zucchini Monsters. Again!
They always seem to attack in the night. They arrive stealthily and drop off a whole pile of zucchinis under our poor unsuspecting plants.
Luckily this time they were a friendly lot - didn't leave those massive baby blimps, just an assortment of weird squash oddities.
Since these Zucchini Monsters came in peace, they got made into this delicious Zucchini Chocolate Cake. (There's got to be some kind of reward for a sweet beany smile like that.)
Our zucchini/summer squash crop was not too prolific this year - huge plants but only a few monsters lurking below. I planted four different varieties: regular green zucchinis, yellow straightneck squash, pattypan squash, and Italian trumpet zucchinis. The pattypan squashes didn't even produce, and the trumpet zucchinis (lovely firm flesh with no seeds) only provided a few curly trumpets.
But there were definitely enough squashes to make our favourite crustless zucchini pie, a batch of zucchini salsa and zucchini relish, and more than enough to make a couple of these most divinely chocolatey zucchini cakes. I usually bake this cake as a loaf and we eat it plain, in thick fudgy slabs, feeling virtuous because it contains vegetables whilst providing our chocolate fix.
But when I baked it in a round pan and en-robed it in a shiny chocolate ganache . . . well, all virtuous thoughts went out the window and I'm ashamed to admit that the two of us polished it off in as many days. Chocolate gluttons we, devouring it for breakfast, dessert, and midday snacks.
It's got vegetables, remember?
But it's also got this amazingly moist, light-but-dense chocolatey center with fudgy bites of melted chocolate. And then that soft, rich, decadent glaze.
This cake is not for faint-of-heart mild chocolate lovers. It is an intense chocolate experience . . . full-on chocolate. Not too sweet. Complex flavours brought out with a whisper of vanilla and cardamom - can't tell they're in there, but they help the chocolate blare its trumpet just a little louder. And those invisible shreds of the zucchini monster keeping everything moist and soft and utterly luscious.
That divine chocolate ganache glaze.
Just two ingredients (cream and chocolate), but it is rich and sumptuous, silky when it's first made and staying soft and fudgy even for the next couple days - not that the cake lasted long enough for us to test out the ganache's longevity. (Oh, well, I'll just have to make it again.)
Oh, yes. Chocolate Lovers - come one, come all. This is your pit stop on the road to chocolate heaven.
* * * * *
Kitchen Frau Notes: This Zucchini Chocolate Cake is stirred together like a muffin batter. All you need is s spoon and two bowls. It's got a moist, dense crumb that keeps well for several days at room temperature. It can be baked in a loaf pan, round pan (for something fancier), or square pan (to make snacking cake).
The chocolate ganache stays moist and fudgy, even the next day. Use leftover ganache to stir into coffee (make a mocha) or milk (make hot chocolate), or to spread on toast (with peanut butter, yum), sandwich between cookies, or eat with a spoon (it's just a chocolate truffle, really).
Zucchini Chocolate Cake (or Loaf) with Chocolate Ganache Glaze
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup oil (I like avocado oil)
- 1⅓ cups (200gms) coconut sugar or 1 cup (200gms) brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups (275gms) shredded zucchini,unpeeled, lightly packed
- 1¾ cup (250gm) flour or gluten free flour blend
- ½ cup (40gms) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- ½ cup (80gms) chocolate chips (dairy free if necessary)
for the chocolate ganache glaze (optional, but oh, so delicious)
- ¾ cup (180ml) heavy whipping cream (or full-fat canned coconut milk for dairy free)
- 1 cup (160gms) chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips, dairy free if necessary
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x5x3 inch (23x13x8 cm) loaf pan or an 8 inch (20cm) diameter springform pan or 8 inch round or square cake pan. If using a loaf pan, line it with a parchment paper sling sticking up on the two long sides. If using a round or square pan, line the bottom with parchment paper cut to fit.
In one bowl, beat the eggs, oil, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Stir in the shredded zucchini. Set aside.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom.
Dump the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir together just until they are combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
Bake for about 1 hour for a loaf pan or 40 to 50 minutes for a round or square pan, until the center of the cake springs back when touched or a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean (unless it hits a chocolate chip, then poke in another spot).
Let cool 5 minutes in the pan, then run a knife around the edges to loosen them, and remove the cake to a rack to finish cooling.
When cool, you can coat the cake with chocolate ganache glaze if desired.
Chocolate Ganache Glaze
Heat the cream in a small saucepan or in the microwave just until hot but not boiling. Pour the cream over the chocolate and leave it for 5 minutes to melt the chocolate. Stir or whisk until it is thick and dark and smooth (keep stirring - at first it will look curdled and like it's not mixing, then it will start to come together into a luxurious glaze). Allow the glaze to cool for about 20 minutes, until it starts to thicken up slightly. Set the cake onto a rack placed over a piece of parchment paper or a baking sheet. Pour the glaze onto the cake and allow it to drape over the sides. Help it along a bit by spreading it gently with a knife onto any bare spots. Gently remove the cake to a plate. Allow the glaze to set for about a half hour or until it is tacky to the touch, before slicing the cake. The glaze will remain soft and sliceable for days at room temperature.
You can scrape up any ganache drips and rewarm them to use again, or you can stir a spoonful of leftover ganache into coffee to make a delicious mocha, stir into milk for hot chocolate, drizzle onto ice cream, spread on cookies, or on toast, etc. Leftover ganache can also be frozen.
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Sorry to hear your patty pan squash did not work out this year. Tried them for the first time and LOVE them. Isn’t it awesome to enjoy the bounty of our gardens. I always get excited to see your posts and this zucchini cake looks amazing!
Thanks so much, Marilyn 🙂 I know, I love those pattypan squash, too. They're so comical looking when they grow large, and they're so tasty! This was the second year our garden was really strange - huge growth but not much produced - it's been unseasonably rainy AGAIN this year. The chicken coop run was a soupy mud hole for most of the summer - a total mess! But we were still able to enjoy enough of our garden to indulge in delicious fresh produce - the corn was amazing and the potatoes are great, too. Hope you enjoy the rest of your harvest this fall - you're right about how awesome it is to have these wonderful gardens to enjoy - nothing beats that pleasure of picking your own flavourful veggies and eating them fresh with the sunshine still shining inside them. Happy Harvesting!
Would you mind clarifying what type of cocoa you use in the recipe, raw or Dutch process? I am assuming Dutch process because the cake looks so deliciously dark!
Hi Erin, Yes, you're right, I did use Dutch process cocoa. But I have also used raw cacao before, and it tasted great (just wasn't as dark). The chocolate chops in there also help make it look (and taste) more chocolatey! Can never have too much chocolate, right?