This Zucchini Cake recipe is a delicious spice cake stuffed with zucchini and topped with a thick cream cheese frosting. It’s a great way to sneak in some vegetables while enjoying a delightful and moist cake! It’s also perfect for any occasion and an excellent way to use up zucchini from your garden or the market. Love zucchini recipes? You have to try my Zucchini Brownies, Chocolate Zucchini Cake, and Lemon Blueberry Zucchini Cake!
Ingredients & Substitutions
Zucchini: Size matters when it comes to zucchini. A large zucchini will be drier whereas a small zucchini will have more moisture. Certain recipes work best with different sizes. For instance, I tend to use a medium to small with this recipe because I want the moisture the zucchini brings, but I use a large zucchini for my Double Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes.
Frosting: The cream cheese frosting is the perfect complement to the spiced cake. It’s one of my go-to recipes, so it has been very well-tested!
Why Add Zucchini To A Cake?
Well, it’s like carrot cake or banana bread. The zucchini adds moisture to the cake. It keeps the cake soft and tender. Plus, have you ever grown zucchini in your garden? It’s so hard to keep up with. You can eat it for 2 weeks straight and still have a basket of zucchini to pick and eat. Baking it into some cake or bars is another way to use it up!
Tips & Tricks When Baking With Zucchini
When using zucchini in recipes there are a couple of tips to help to make sure your baked goods are perfect!
- When grating, 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.
- Some recipes ask that the zucchini is pressed well with a clean towel to soak up excess moisture or to prevent your baked goods 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 should not be drained.
How To Store Zucchini Cake
Because of the cream cheese frosting, it is recommended to store the zucchini cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last up to 3-4 days. If unfrosted, store the cake, covered, at room temperature for up to 2-3 days.
Can I Freeze Zucchini Cake?
Absolutely! If freezing the cake, do so without the frosting.
- Allow the cake to cool completely. After baking, let the zucchini cake cool completely on a wire rack. It’s essential to freeze the cake when it’s at room temperature to avoid any condensation forming during freezing.
- Wrap the cake. Once the cake has cooled, tightly wrap it in several layers of plastic wrap. This will prevent freezer burn and keep the cake fresh.
- Place in a freezer-safe container or bag. After wrapping the cake, place it in a freezer-safe container or a large resealable freezer bag. Squeeze out any excess air from the bag before sealing it to minimize the risk of freezer burn.
- Label the container. Don’t forget to label the container or bag with the freezing date so you can keep track of how long it has been in the freezer.
The zucchini cake can be kept in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. When ready to enjoy, let the cake thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
- 3 cups zucchini, grated, undrained (about 2 medium zucchini)
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (200 g) light brown sugar packed
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 ¼ cups (406 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup (1 stick / 113 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups (250 g) confectioners' sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons whole milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- To a medium bowl, add granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir to combine.
- Add the vegetable oil and mix until incorporated. Add vanilla.
- Add eggs, one at a time, whisking until combined before adding another egg. Continue until all of the eggs have been incorporated.
- To a separate bowl, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir until incorporated.
- Combine the dry ingredients with the wet. Mix until combined.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold in the zucchini.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.
- Place in the oven and let it bake for about 60-65 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean with a few crumbs, but no wet batter.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
- To a large mixing bowl, add the cream cheese. Beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until creamy.
- Add the butter and beat on medium until combined.
- Add the confectioners' sugar, milk, and vanilla. Beat on low until the sugar is mostly worked in. Increase to medium speed and finish beating the confectioners' sugar into the frosting.
- Using an offset spatula, spread the frosting on top of the cooled cake. Cut and serve!
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