Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Blueberry Lemon Buttercream

filed under: Cakes on September 6, 2012

This Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Blueberry Lemon Buttercream is a special cake for a special man.


Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Blueberry
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins

This Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Blueberry Lemon Buttercream is a special cake for a special man.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Blueberry
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Amanda Rettke
  • 3/4 cup soft butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 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.


chocolate zucchini cake blueberry

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.


chocolate zucchini cake blueberry lemon

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.

chocolate zucchini cake whole

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 wife’s 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.

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.

chocolate zucchini cake slice

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.

chocolate zucchini cake cut into

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.

chocolate zucchini blueberry buttercream cake

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.

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  • Winnie Dolderer says:

    So sorry to read about your FIL passing. It is a lovely tribute to a fine man to make such a lovely cake. Times like theses are hard, and the people who surround you will help sustain you all. When my hubby passed away I had someone bring a cake to the funeral home as well as my niece made a giant gingerbread house. I recall these gifts of love so fondly to this day. I took them home and let the kids have some fun with their “House” and pink jello cake.

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. Funny how baking can help so many people deal with grief. Thanks for sharing, and take care!

    • Amanda says:

      Isnt that funny Katrina? Thanks for the kind words sweet friend. 🙂

  • Theresa Sea says:

    So sorry for your loss, Amanda. 🙁

  • Holiday Baker Man says:

    Sending good thoughts your way.

  • Rachel Cooks says:

    xoxo Your family is very blessed to have you.

  • Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. says:

    I’m so sorry for your family’s loss, Amanda. This cake is just beautiful and is a perfect tribute!

  • Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds like he was a lovely man, and much loved. May he rest in peace. And I am sure he would be honored by the lovely tributes you have made – both written and baked.

  • Always Wright says:

    So sorry for your loss. My father-in-law was born this day in 1902. He was a wonderful person who is greatly missed. Thanks for this yummy recipe. I’ll be sure to make it!

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food says:

    What a touching tribute to your father in law. I’m sure he would have loved that you made this for him.

    My thoughts are with you and your family.

  • Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies says:

    Amanda, I’m so sorry for your loss. As someone who baked, and blogged through her grief, I completely understand this post, and this cake. I wish things were different, but it’s clear that Dennis knew he was loved and cherished. My heart is with you.

    • Amanda says:

      I remember very clearly your loss Amber… and how openly you shared and allowed us to be a part of your grieving experience. Thank you for reaching out today even though your heart is still very saddened… you are such a sweet friend.

  • Joe says:

    He is lucky to have you as his daughter-in-law. He is sure very happy out there for the love and gratitude and your tribute to him.

  • Diane says:

    Sending blessings to you and your family Amanda.

  • bridget {bake at 350} says:

    Lovely post and lovely cake, Amanda. You’ll think of him every time you make a chocolate zucchini cake…and I bet your kids will grow up knowing it was their grandfather’s favorite cake.

    Praying for peace and comfort for you all during this time. ♥

    • Amanda says:

      I had not thought of that… what a beautiful idea to get me through today. Many blessings sweet Bridget!

  • mary kay says:


    I’m so very sorry for the loss of such an amazing man. I’m happy that he meant so much to you and enjoyed your love and friendship. The hurt is so strong because your love for him was so strong. You were so fortunate to be a part of his life and for him to be a part of yours.

    I will keep you and your family in my prayers.


  • Pam, in NC says:

    Amanda dearest… I’m not sure why you’re sorry for sharing your grief… Of course we mostly try for sunshine and laughter, but sometimes, the best we can manage for our friends is sadness – and amazingly, they STILL love us and are grateful for even a tiny chance to give back to us (you)!!!!

    I am so very sorry for your family’s loss – your FIL sounds like a terrific man! What a legacy he left behind! Hugs and love to all of you…

  • Kathryn says:

    I’m very sorry for your family’s loss Amanda, my thoughts are with you all at this difficult time.

  • Sheila says:

    lovely post. So sorry for your loss.

  • Amanda says:

    I am so, so sorry for your loss. 🙁 I’ll keep you all in my prayers.

  • Kathia says:

    I am very sorry about your loss, your father inlaw sounds like a wonderful man, husband, dad and grandfather.
    When ever he is I am sure he his looking upon all of you…and that delicious cake.

  • Connie says:

    My condolences for you and your family during this difficult time.

    On a lighter note, the cake look gorgeous, the color of the icing is just beautiful. Blueberries and chocolate is an unusual combination, I would have never paired them together.

  • Claire j says:

    I read this with a tear in my eye, such lovely words. He sounds like an amazing man. I’m sorry for your loss. Thinking of you. X x

  • Regan Martin says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss; he sounds like an incredible soul who will be sorely missed my many. And I think sharing your life’s up and downs in this blog is appropriate……we’ve come to know you through your talent and enthusiasm for good food……hearing what influences you, and what is happening in your life is all part of that. Thank you for sharing such an intimate time, and know that we all share in your loss of such a wonderful man.

  • Cassie says:

    What a beautiful tribute to your father-in-law. I can tell that he was an amazing man and that he is dearly missed already. This is an amazing cake to share too. I’m praying for you, friend! xo

  • Melissa B says:

    So sorry for your loss. Unfortunately life is too short. May you and your family find comfort. Take care.

  • Marci Johnson says:

    So very sorry for your loss. I am hoping time brings your peace. And I am sending virtual hugs!