Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Blueberry Lemon Buttercream

Share With Your FriendsPin on PinterestShare on YummlyShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

This cake is for my Father-in-Law, Dennis Rettke.

He passed away last week.  Its was very sudden, very unexpected, and has left a huge gaping whole in our family.

Dennis and my Mother-in-Law Patty are quite beloved in their community and around the world.  Since Dennis retired from his job as a   Superintendent, they have traveled around the world.  (Living life without regret!) Thailand, Australia, Alaska, and England just to name a few.

But no matter where they go, Dennis would be quick to tell you his favorite place to go is one where he is surrounded by his eight grand-kids.

As people have come forward to share, story after story told reveals the great depths of Dennis’ generosity and kindness.  To call him beloved is a mighty understatement.

Everywhere they went, people were charmed and impacted by these two amazing people.


Patty has had guests and family in her home since the moment we heard the news.  She has been surrounded by love and prayers.  Being the exceptional entertainer she is, she has made meals and had desserts and provided nourishment for all.  Of course, many people have generously brought over meals and snacks.  We are so thankful for their kindness.

But this Thursday and Friday, when the viewing and funeral are going to take place, she will have more people in her home than can reasonably fit.  They are coming from far and near… traveling for many hours and even days.

And I wanted to help in any way I could.

Quite honestly, it has been very natural for me to turn to baking in my grief.  This past week I have made cakes and breads and much more.  But this cake, this cake is special.

It’s all for Dennis.

His favorite cake is, was, his wifes specialty.  Chocolate Zucchini Cake.  But Dennis also loved all things blueberry.  So I decided to combine the two to make a cake that would encompass what he loved most.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Blueberry Buttercream


  • 3/4 cup soft butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • Nuts, if desired


  1. In stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar on medium speed.
  2. Lower speed and add in eggs, one at a time.
  3. Add in shredded zucchini.
  4. Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cocoa.
  5. Gradually add to zucchini mixture, beating well.
  6. Add in milk, vanilla, and nuts. Beat.
  7. Pour into greased 9x13 inch pan and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Normally I try to adapt recipes and make them unique, but not this time.  I wanted to make the cake exactly as Patty does, exactly as Dennis loved to eat it.

After making this cake I realized how much friends had influenced me.  I recalled a beautiful Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Buttercream Cake that the talented Sweetapolita made.  I also remembered the fantastic Blueberry Buttercream from My Baking Addiction.  For the ganache, I recalled the best and easiest recipe I have ever come across, Ganache Three Ways by Savory Sweet Life.

I am thankful for these talented woman whose talent left such an impact on me that my subconscious mind recalled their creations long before conscious mind did.

I am sorry to have shared here the deep sadness and grief we are in the midst of.  I normally love to keep this blog joyful and light.  I am just hoping that among all the hundreds of family and friends gathering together to celebrate one phenomenal man, that we can focus on the love and light Dennis brought to this world.

That we can be together and soak up the stories, photos, and memories of someone who truly made the world a better place.

And that over his special cake, we can move towards the future holding his memory, his wisdom, and his unfailing love close to our hearts.





    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. says

    So sorry to hear about your father. What a lovely cake you made for him though. These pictures look beautiful and tasty. I just made some chocolate chip zucchini bread but now I want to make this. Thanks for sharing :)

    My thoughts are with you and your family.

  2. says

    Such a sweet tribute cake to Dennis. Sounds like he was a thoughtful man that embraced all life has to offer! Blessings & prayers to you all. Beautiful + original cake Amanda! xo

  3. colleen says

    Oh Amanda, I am so sorry for your loss. It seems as though God needed another blessed soul to keep him company. You and your family are in my prayers and I am sure your Father in law in smiling down and perhaps drooling a bit ( is it raining in your town :) }over the cake you made in his honor.

  4. says

    Thank you for sharing your grief. I can relate, having recently lost a friend myself, and wondering whether people wanted to read only about “happy” things. But life is precious (and so short!) and we should all be able to share in each other’s good times and bad times as well. Your cake is beautiful too, what a lovely tribute. God bless.

  5. Maria in NJ says

    My sincere condolences to you and Chad…it is never easy losing one of our family members… May the Perpetual Light shine upon him…

  6. Wassan says

    I love your work. and amazing print it page. But I have a little seggestion, if you put a picture og the cake on print it option will be great so we can know in future how the cake you made looks like.
    Thanks alott

  7. Christal Pewterbaugh says

    I made this cake last night for a party this evening. It was a hit. And no one could tell there was zucchini in it. Of course I didn’t offer up the info, till everyone was done with cake eating. LOL Great cake, Easy to make, time consuming, but easy to follow instructions and quite a tasty cake. Thank you.
    I was gonna try to post pictures but I am not that tech savy.