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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  • Anne Clark says:

    So sorry to hear about your father-in-law’s passing. Wishing you and your extended family a time of reflection, remembering the wonderful times and sharing stories and memories. Thank you for your sharing your gift of delicious creations with us all. You’re a very generous person.

  • Ann P. says:

    WOW that was one beautiful cake!! It looked like a semifreddo or something! I loved seeing the sliced piece–surprise! Chocolate zucchini 🙂

  • Vanessa says:

    Condolences to you and your family at this time of grief, which is also bittersweet in that it allows us to truly celebrate a person’s life and reflect on how fortunate and blessed we are to have had them in our lives while we did.

  • Cynthia says:

    My deepest condolences Amanda. It is great to see how you have chosen to commemorate his life! Sending some love from afar. ♡

  • Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says:

    What a wonderful way to remember your father in-law and both grieve and help out your family in this hard time.

  • Georgia says:

    May Christ’s Peace be with your family each and every day to get you through this time of transition.

  • Jennifer says:

    The cake looks beautiful. I’m sure the family will appreciate your kindness. Again, I’m so sorry for your loss. We’re never really ready for our family to go Home. Hugs.

  • Resilient Heart says:

    What a beautiful, beautiful tribute to your Father-in-Law, a gracious way to honor and remember him. A grief shared is made lighter. Thank you for sharing. I wish you all peace and strength during the grieving process. Hugs, Light & Love.

  • Loretta E says:

    I’m so sorry about your father in law. At least it sounds like he lived every moment he was alive, which hopefully is some source of comfort.

    Thanks for the delicious recipe.

  • Julie Snow says:

    What a beautiful tribute and a beautiful cake!

  • Lynn Dattolo says:

    What a beautiful tribute! Thanks for sharing your heart so openly. Prayers for peace as you and your family grieve together. And what a beautiful cake!! As someone posted, I would have never thought to combime the two flavors, but am excited to try this. Did you use the Lemon Blueberry Buttercream recipe from My Baking Addition for this cake? It does not say.

  • Susan says:

    My deepest sympathy……a beautiful tribute to your father-in-law.

  • Sharon Formoe says:

    I came to your blog, so I could look again at the beautiful picture of Dennis with your Audrey. I was saddened to see the picture of the lonely little girl after the van had taken her grandpa away. I just wanted to say that Dennis’ memorial service was beautiful today, and as sad as I was, I did manage some laughs and smiles. I found your recipe blog, and this cake recipe. I will bake this in honor of Dennis. I know that he was so proud of Patty’s cooking/baking talents, as he would bring samples into the District Office at Boyceville to share with us. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with Dennis’ family as you travel this journey without him. God’s blessings to all of you.

    • Amanda says:

      I shared your comment with Patty Sharon. Your kind words and thoughts meant a lot to her! Thank you and man blessings to you and yours~

  • RobynR says:

    I’m so very sorry for your loss.

  • Jen @ Savory Simple says:

    I’m terribly sorry to hear about the loss of your father-in-law. This post is a lovely tribute.

  • Sarah says:

    Sorry for your loss!……Visiting your blog for the first time, as I found the link on Pinterest while looking for Matryoska doll cookies for my sister’s upcoming baby shower. I love, LOVE all things Matryoshka (I embrace my Russian ancestry) and am excited to throw a Matryoshka doll themed baby shower, as she is expecting a little “doll” of her own. You interested, by chance, in taking your Matryoshka confections again?? O h, how I love if you would! Your creations are far superior to any mass market matryoshka doll confections that I have come across, and like your previous customer, the two local bakeries in my town don’t want to take it on either. Just thought it’s worth asking, as my sister and new little niece is worth the best! Sarah Jayne ( p.s. I enjoyed parousing your beautiful site–what gorgeous cakes, esp. this Chocolate Zucchini, Blueberry Lemon Frosting work of art. Gonna try to bake this one with my daughter! 🙂

  • Paula says:

    I am so very sorry for the loss your family has suffered. I can relate as I lost my Mom 5 months ago, also unexpectedly. Your father in law sounds like an amazing person and man, and I know he will be greatly missed. Interesting how people channel their grief..I have always turned to baking for just about any reason I can imagine…happiness, sadness, stress, grief, tension, delight…this beautiful cake that you created in the name of a wonderful person during your time of grief is so special..for many reasons..very generous of you to share..

  • Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen says:

    Seriously a beautiful and touching post. Your family is blessed to call you Mom.

  • grace says:

    that’s a sweet homage and a truly special cake. 🙂

  • Kristen says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Amanda. I’m so thankful you are there for your mother in law.
    Thinking and praying for you all.

  • IheartCupcakes says:

    SO sorry for your loss. I know nothing we can say or do can really ease the pain, but it’s plain to see that you have prayers and well wishes all around.

    And I want to complement you on your tribute. That cake is GORGEOUS, as well as creative, delicious, and just plain moving. Well done.

    • IheartCupcakes says:

      Sorry, that’s compliment. Should proof read BEFORE hitting submit 🙂

  • Jess Wakasugi {Life's Simple Measures} says:

    Stumbled across your blog while I was looking for a zucchini recipe and my oh my, your blog is stunning. Absolutely gorgeous pictures! Glad to be your newest follower 🙂

  • Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles says:

    I’ve been thinking about you, and praying for your family. Lovely cake. Lovely post. xoxo

  • Amanda says:


    First time coming to your blog (not really sure how I ended up here, looking through some cake decorating ideas, and wound up coming across your site). I’m so sorry for your loss. The cake is lovely and I’m sure Dennis would have loved it. Zucchini cakes are special in our family too, and I was asked to make one for my niece’s upcoming 3rd birthday, but I wanted to give it a twist. I think this recipe will do the trick. Thanks for sharing, it is a beautiful tribute to an obviously wonderful man.

  • Briana says:

    What a beautiful tribute and connection to food. Really amazing.

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