Chocolate Zucchini Cake

filed under: Cakes on May 8, 2018

Amazingly rich and decadent, this Chocolate Zucchini Cake is what all chocolate cakes should strive to be. It is so easy to make and no one will notice the zucchini in the cake, but they will be happy it’s there as soon as they take a bite and see how moist this cake is! If you’re craving another rich chocolate cake, try my Zucchini Double Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

I have received some backlash for putting zucchini in a cake, but I happen to love zucchini.  In bread, in cookies, on my dinner plate, and yes, even in my cakes. If you are not a fan of zucchini, don’t leave just yet. (Now, if you don’t like chocolate you can go😉.) If you do love chocolate, you are still in the safe zone. The zucchini blends right into the cake and adds so much moisture, you won’t even know its there.

One Piece of Chocolate Zucchini Cake on a White Plate

Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe

Again, do not let the zucchini make you question if you should make this cake. If you want a moist cake that is full of chocolate flavor, get out the ingredients to get this baked!

Ingredients (full recipe below)

  • Granulated sugar
  • Eggs–room temperature
  • Vanilla extract
  • Vegetable oil
  • All-purpose flour
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Zucchini–grated, but not drained
  • Chocolate Simple Syrup

Baking with Zucchini

You would never know there’s zucchini in this chocolate cake. I know some people aren’t anxious to eat desserts with zucchini in it, but this is a must-try. There is no noticeable flavor and it adds something fantastic to the final product. There are a couple of tricks to making the most of your zucchini in your recipe:

  • Use the fine side of your grater. Coarser pieces will have a slightly more noticeable flavor and texture in a finished cake or bread recipe. (Farm kids tend to want that!)
  • Some recipes ask that the zucchini is pressed well with a clean towel to soak up excess moisture or to prevent whatever your baking from getting too soggy. Pay close attention to the recipe that you are making with zucchini as the level of moisture they provide is important. For instance, in this recipe, the zucchini is the main source of moisture and shouldn’t be drained.

Simple Syrup for Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Simple Syrup

I do something a little special when I make this chocolate zucchini cake recipe.  It is my little secret weapon–chocolate simple syrup.  I bake all of the time, so I keep some of this on hand, all of the time. It holds for up to two weeks. But, if you don’t bake all the time, you can whip some of this stuff up in under 10 minutes. It’s easy and it is WORTH IT!  Simple Syrup keeps the cake moist throughout every stage of assembly and decoration; plus, it adds a slight sweetness which is always good!

Easy Chocolate Zucchini Cake

How to Make Chocolate Zucchini Cake

This cake is so easy to make, you will not believe how soft, tender, and moist the end result is. And, as I mentioned, the added simple syrup adds even more sweetness to the cake, as well as a shiny crust to the top. So, preheat the oven to 350°F and get mixing!

To make the cake, stir together the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and vegetable oil. Next, add the dry ingredients and mix well. Gently fold in the all-important zucchini (not drained) and mix everything well. Pour the batter into a 9×13-inch baking pan that has been sprayed with a nonstick spray. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a clean toothpick comes out with crumbs on it, but no wet batter.

After the cake has baked, pierce it with a fork. Drizzle about 1/2 cup of the chocolate simple syrup on the cake, letting it get soaked up by the cake. Allow the cake to set before serving. Chocolate Zucchini Cake is good on its own, but if you are looking for a decadent frosting for the top, I recommend Cream Cheese Frosting.

Do I Have to Add Simple Syrup?

You can absolutely serve this cake without simple syrup; it is still amazingly delicious. However, I wouldn’t change the amounts of the ingredients. I made this cake with half the oil and it was not as good. I made it with less sugar and it was inferior. I made it with cinnamon and it was kinda weird tasting. I made every which way you could think and THIS recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Cake is perfect as is! 🙂

Can I Use Frozen Zucchini?

Yes, you can! First, bring the frozen zucchini to room temperature. Since frozen zucchini collects extra moisture, you WILL have to drain it before adding it to the recipe. If your batter looks too thick, you may need to add a little extra oil in the mix, starting with a teaspoon at a time.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe

Looking for More Zucchini Recipes?

Banana Zucchini Muffins

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

The Best Zucchini Bread

Butterscotch Zucchini Bars

4.8 from 10 votes
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins

Amazingly rich and decadent, this Chocolate Zucchini Cake is what all chocolate cakes should strive to be.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate zucchini cake
Servings: 15 servings
Calories: 287 kcal
Author: Amanda
  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups (335g) vegetable oil
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (95g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons (14g) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) baking powder
  • 3 cups (450g) zucchini, grated and NOT drained
  • 1/2 cup (350g) chocolate simple syrup
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and vegetable oil.

  3. Add in flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix well.  

  4. Fold in the zucchini until it is evenly distributed. 

  5. Pour mixture into a prepared 9x13-inch pan.

  6. Bake 40-50 minutes (or until a clean toothpick comes out with a few crumbs, but not wet batter).

  7. Remove the cake from the oven, pierce with a fork, and drizzle about 1/2 cup of chocolate simple syrup over the top. 

  8. Allow cake time to set before serving.

Recipe Video

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  • Bev C says:

    The recipe for the Chocolate Simple Syrup is in the above article! Click on the words just under the photo of the cake. Or:

  • Dana b. Otayco says:

    Is there any substitute if there is no zucchini?

  • Carol Price says:

    How much is the cook book

  • Sheila says:

    Can I make this cake in its original recipe without the zucchini? My children love a moist chocolate cake. Thanks

  • Jenny says:

    I made this recipe but super healthy style (because we were out of flour and sugar and oil). I made it with coconut flour (same amount) and coconut sugar (same amount) and substituted vegetable oil with half that amount in applesauce (3/4cup) and it was so good that my kids beg me to make it! It was a little closer to a brownie density than a cake. We didn’t put on any syrup!

  • Julie Patrick says:

    Your recipe for chocolate zucchini cake is absolutely amazing!!! I did substitute olive oil for the vegetable oil but the cake was so-o-o moist and light it was devoured before any frosting was made. I have another one in the oven & this one will be frosted. Thanks for the GREAT recipe, will mark as one of my favorites. Thanks again~Julie

  • Diane Day says:

    Made this recipe and exchanged 1 cup of oil for 1 cup applesauce. Also, I threw in some dairy free chocolate chips because I didn’t want to make the simple sugar. Turned out great! Plus, no dairy and no corn as I have family that have food sensitivities.
    Loved it that it used 3 cups zucchini.

    • Sherrie Female Gil says:

      I was wondering where you get the dairy free chocolate chips. I am severely lactose intolerant. Would love to use them. Thanks in advance.

  • Ronnie Taulbee says:

    I love all the recipes you post!


  • Alamsyah says:

    Its look yummy…hmm….I love it..😍😍😍😍😍

  • Marybeth Suiter says:

    Love all things zucchini I’ll try it soon do you have a recipe for zucchini nut muffins can you share it please also any recipe for gaspacho soup?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      You could absolutely try that!

  • Terri Hayes says:

    Where do I find or how do I make the chocolate simple syrup?

  • Kamel says:

    Bravo jador t’es recettes bonne continuation

  • Kim Sbraccia says:

    How do you make chocolate simple syrup?

  • Sue says:

    Looks delicious. How do you make the chocolate simple syrup? I’m anxious to try this recipe.

  • Jane Dunn says:

    How do you make the chocolate simple syrup?

  • Debi Lewis says:

    This is a tasty recipe; however, I did add a half teaspoon of salt! Thank you for posting this!! 😋

  • Hiba says:

    Thank you,
    Great idea
    I was about to suggest adding less sugar until i reached the kast paragraph. Anyway, i am excited to make it.
    Thank you

  • mike corsello says:

    Why didn’t you include the recipe and instructions for the simple sypup?

  • connie says:

    I would like your chocolate simple syrup receipt. Can I use Hersey’s?

  • Linda cole says:

    Great recipes

  • Carolyn Bonnette says:

    where do I get chocolate simple syrup?

  • Kari says:

    The simple syrup recipe is in the post. Click on the Chocolate Simple Syrup and it takes you right to the recipe.

  • Jennifer says:

    I like your cakes can get some your recipe to try and bake have been baking but i do not have wonderful recipe like you . Help me to improve.

  • Alice Leonard says:

    I’m a beginner baker and this cake was easy to make and a huge hit with the kids! I love that it’s not cloyingly sweet and even better, there’s VEGETABLES in it! I did sub half of the oil for unsweetened apple sauce as per another comment. The simple chocolate syrup is perfect for this cake and needs nothing else (although I’d love to top with some fresh cream and berries when I have some). Thank you for this amazing recipe. Definitely making this cake again!