Chocolate Zucchini Cake

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When I first encountered Clotilde Dusoulier’s fabulous Chocolate and Zucchini website, I thought to myself, “How wonderful, the ingredients of my favorite cake!”

My grandmother taught me how to bake when I was very young, and later when I was in high school she sent us a recipe pulled from Sunset Magazine for Chocolate and Zucchini Cake. Being adventurous, and knowing how good zucchini bread tastes, I tried it and it quickly became my favorite—the standard against which all future chocolate cakes were measured.

Over the years, I’ve modified this cake recipe slightly from the original. I use more zucchini, and a mix of white and brown sugars. The main distinction of chocolate zucchini cake is its moistness. The zucchini absorbes the cocoa while delivering the full flavor of chocolate, but without the heaviness of some other chocolate cakes.

Recipe updated Sept 15, 2012*

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe

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  • Yield: Makes 10-12 servings.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups regular all-purpose flour, unsifted
  • 1/2 cup natural, unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup soft butter
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 3 cups coarsely shredded zucchini (from about 1 pound of zucchini)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • Glaze (directions follow)

Glaze:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

1 Set the shredded zucchini to drain in a sieve over a bowl. If no moisture drains out and the zucchini feels dry, sprinkle some water over it and let the excess drain.

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2 Vigorously whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda, salt, and cinnamon in a bow, and set aside.

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3 With a mixer, beat together the butter and the sugars until smooth. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition. With a wooden spoon, stir in the vanilla, orange peel, and zucchini.

4 Alternately stir in the dry ingredients and the milk into the zucchini mixture, including the nuts with the last addition.

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5 Spray the inside of a 10-inch bundt pan or tube pan lightly with cooking spray (or grease with butter). Wipe off the excess. Pour in the batter and use a rubber spatula to level the top of the batter. Bake in the oven for about 50-55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean (test at 45 min). Cool in pan 15 minutes; turn out on wire rack to cool thoroughly.

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6 Make the glaze by mixing together the glaze ingredients. You can easily do this by hand with a whisk or a spoon. If the glaze is too runny, add some more powdered sugar. If too thick, add more milk. Drizzle glaze over cake.

Cut in thin slices to serve.

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* The original recipe in Sunset Magazine called for 2 cups of white sugar instead of half white half brown, and 2 cups of zucchini instead of 3.

Links:

Clotilde's Chocolate and Zucchini Cake recipe - a little bit different than mine.
Reid from Ono Kine Grindz's delicous variation of the chocolate and zucchini cake recipe.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake on Simply Recipes

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Showing 4 of 99 Comments

  • Sunny

    Is it unsweetened cocoa?

  • Lori

    I made it lowfat vegan – sub 3/4 cup butter with 1/2 cup applesauce and 1/4 coconut oil, sub 3 eggs with 3 flax eggs (3T flax meal mixed with 6T water, let sit for a bit or microwave for 30 seconds), And I used unsweetened cashew milk, in place of the regular milk. I skipped the nuts and glaze and dusted it with powdered sugar. Either way best chocolate cake ever.

  • Sabrina

    Excellent cake! The texture is perfect. The zucchini isn’t noticable, too!!!

  • Tiny Bubble

    Hi, I would like to make this cake for a birthday party tomorrow night. If I make it tonight, what should I do to keep it moist and fresh for tomorrow night?

  • Shane

    Great Cake. Put it on the menu for afternoon tea and went down a treat :)

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