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


chocolate zucchini cake cut into

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Blueberry

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
This Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Blueberry Lemon Buttercream is a special cake for a special man.


  • 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


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

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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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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. 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. Absolutely beautiful post and cake… I’m sure it doesn’t do justice to the beauty of your FAther-In-Law’s character, but it comes awfully close!

  3. I’ve been thinking a lot about you lately. I hope you and your family are doing well.
    This cake is such a wonderful tribute for your father-in-law.

  4. It’s so evident that this cake is filled with love as the primary ingredient. I’m so sorry for your loss and pray that the entire family is comforted with a heavenly peace.

  5. 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

  6. Ah! I take a teensy coffee break from the blogging realm and come back
    to find that you have become amazing?! Wow, times have changed!
    Keep up the primo work!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

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