Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Chocolate zucchini bread that's rich, moist, and with a tender crumb. Made with cocoa powder for extra chocolate intensity.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Elise Bauer

After last year's debacle, the year in which we planted 2 zucchini plants and 2 patty pans (to provide for three people), this year we thought we would approach the garden more intelligently, and plant only one zucchini and one patty pan.


Once again, we're kicking off the summer with a zucchini beast producing far more than we can eat. Fortunately, we have recipes like this one that use lots of zucchini, and we have friends and neighbors who happily accept the baked goods made from them.

This chocolate zucchini bread, for example, uses 4 whole cups of freshly grated zucchini, for two loaves. That's at least a day or two of produce from our plant.

Why four cups when most zucchini bead recipes call for three?

Because the result is even more moist. And if you are buried in garden zucchini, why not?

A few notes about this recipe. Grated zucchini, from zucchini picked fresh from the garden, should be rather wet, which is what makes this bread so wonderfully moist.

Fresh In-Season Zucchini Works Best

We recommend only making zucchini bread with zucchinis bought (or grown) in season, summer and early fall, otherwise the zucchini you buy from the store is likely shipped from far away and is too dry by the time it gets to you.

Best Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Elise Bauer

The zucchini from our garden is so heavy with moisture that we have to drain it over a sieve after grating it. If for some reason your grated zucchini is not moist, your zucchini bread will not be moist. In that case you may need to add some water to the recipe, or sprinkle some water over the grated zucchini until it feels moist.

Natural Unsweetened Versus Dutch Processed Cocoa

This recipe calls for regular, not Dutch-processed, unsweetened cocoa. This cocoa is slightly acidic (unlike the Dutch-processed which is neutral in acidity), and reacts with the alkaline baking soda in the recipe to provide some of the bread's leavening.

We used a Ghiradelli natural unsweetened cocoa powder for this recipe. The salt and the instant coffee are there to intensify the chocolate flavor.

We are using almond extract, but you can easily use vanilla extract instead, just use about 4 times as much, so instead of 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract, use 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.

If you want, you can toss some chocolate chips into the batter. I've done that and don't think it really adds anything to this zucchini bread, it's chocolatey enough on its own. But for some people, you can never have enough chocolate, right?

Look who scarfed down the first loaf! Neighbors Emily, Andrew, Caleb, and Matthew. Elise Bauer

Watch This Chocolate Zucchini Bread Recipe

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 70 mins
Total Time 80 mins
Servings 16 to 20 servings
Yield 2 loaves

This recipe can be baked in an 8x4-inch loaf pan (for taller loaves) or in a 9x5-inch loaf pan (for thinner loaves). This recipe also makes 2 loaves; you can easily divide the recipe in half to make just one loaf.

The recipe calls for 4 cups of grated zucchini, which will yield particularly moist loaves. I've made it with 3 cups, which was also very good, just not as sublime as with 4 cups.


  • 4 cups grated zucchini (from about 1 1/2 pounds zucchini)

  • 2 1/2 cups (340g) all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup (50g) unsweetened cocoa (use natural unsweetened cocoa, not Dutch processed)

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 3/4 cup (169g) unsalted butter, melted

  • 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules

  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract


  1. Drain excess moisture from grated zucchini:

    Place the freshly grated zucchini in a sieve over a bowl to catch any excess moisture as it drains, while you work on prepping the other ingredients and preparing the recipe.

    If for some reason your zucchini is on the dry side, hydrate the shredded zucchini by soaking it in water first, and then place in sieve.

    Elise Bauer
  2. Preheat oven, prepare loaf pans:

    Preheat oven to 350°F, with a rack in the middle. Grease two 9x5-inch loaf pans with baking spray or butter.

  3. Whisk together dry ingredients:

    Vigorously whisk together the flour, unsweetened cocoa, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Whisk until there are no more clumps and the ingredients are well combined.

    Elise Bauer
  4. Beat sugar and eggs, add melted butter, instant coffee granules, almond extract:

    In a separate large bowl, beat together the sugar and eggs until smooth, about a minute. You can do this with an electric mixer on medium speed, or by hand with a wooden spoon. (I'm lazy and use a mixer but it's easy enough to do by hand.)

    Add the melted butter, instant coffee granules, and almond extract and beat until smooth.

  5. Add zucchini to the egg mixture:

    Mix the shredded zucchini into the sugar egg mixture.

    Add the flour to the zucchini mixture in 3 additions, stirring to combine after each addition.

  6. Divide batter into pans and bake:

    Work quickly, and divide the batter between the two prepared loaf pans. (Work quickly because once the dry ingredients have mixed with the wet ingredients, the leavening has begun.)

    Place into the oven. Bake for 50 minutes at 350°F, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean and easily.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer
  7. Cool:

    Remove to a rack. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then run a blunt knife around the edges to separate the bread from the pan. Remove from the loaf pans and let cool completely on a rack.

    Note that if you try to slice the chocolate zucchini bread before it has completely cooled, it will be rather crumbly. It's also easiest to slice with a bread knife.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
197 Calories
8g Fat
29g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16 to 20
Amount per serving
Calories 197
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 5g 23%
Cholesterol 37mg 12%
Sodium 188mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 16g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 4mg 22%
Calcium 15mg 1%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 117mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.