Zucchini Cake Recipe

filed under: Cakes on July 25, 2018

This Zucchini Cake recipe with cream cheese frosting is the perfect way to eat your veggies! It’s a delicious spice cake stuffed with zucchini and topped with a thick cream cheese frosting. Love zucchini recipes? You have to try my Zucchini Brownies, Chocolate Zucchini Cake, and Lemon Blueberry Zucchini Cake!


Moist Zucchini Cake Recipe

Zucchini Cake Recipe

I adore this cake! It’s like a tender spice cake. You would never know there’s zucchini in this cake if it wasn’t for the green bits. I know some people aren’t anxious to eat a cake with zucchini in it, but this is a must-try. (Don’t worry if that’s you, my husband is the same way!)

Why add zucchini in 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!

Baking with Zucchini

When using zucchini in recipes there are a couple tips & tricks help to make sure your baked goods are perfect!

-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 should not be drained.

Easy Zucchini Cake

Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream cheese frosting can be a little tricky. Apparently, it can get runny or soupy. Has that happened to anyone? It’s true, it can get quite soft. I think there are a couple of tricks to this, but first I should say that I haven’t actually dealt with it being too soupy.

  1. Your butter could be too soft. That’s a thing. If the butter has started out a soupy mess it’s very possible the frosting will be too.
  2. You didn’t add enough powdered sugar to thicken it up.
  3. You added too much milk or cream.

But it can be fixed. I think we can troubleshoot this pretty quickly. If your butter was too soft, place the frosting in the fridge to let the butter firm up some. If you added too much milk or cream, add a little more powdered sugar. This will make your frosting sweeter so don’t go overboard with it.

Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I should mention that I feel pretty confident that my cream cheese frosting isn’t going to give you any problems. It’s very well tested since it’s one of my go-to recipes. I’ve even piped it on cupcakes with a straight tip and it held up.

Zucchini Cake Recipe

4.84 from 6 votes
Cinnamon Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Zucchini Cake
Prep Time
35 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 35 mins

This cinnamon zucchini cake with cream cheese frosting tastes like a tender spice cake. It has plenty of zucchini to keep the cake moist and cinnamon for flavor! It's topped with a thick cream cheese frosting.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: zucchini cake
Servings: 15 people
Author: Miranda
  • 3 cups zucchini grated
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 113g) butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups (250g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. 

  2. Grate about 2 medium zucchini to make 3 cups. Don't squeeze out the zucchini juice. 
  3. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Stir to combine. 
  4. Add the vegetable oil and mix until incorporated. 

  5. Add in the vanilla and the eggs one at a time. Whisk until combined and then add the next until all of the eggs have been incorporated. 
  6. In a separate bowl, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir until incorporated. 
  7. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet and beat with a hand mixer until combined. 

  8. Add the zucchini and fold in with a spatula. 
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. 
  10. Place in the oven and let it bake for about 1 hour to 1 hour 5 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean or with moist crumbs. 
  11. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. 
  1. In a large mixing bowl, add the cream cheese. Beat with a hand mixer on medium until creamy. 
  2. Add the butter and beat on medium until combined. 
  3. Add the confectioners' sugar, milk, and vanilla and beat on low until the sugar is mostly worked in. Turn the mixer to medium and finish beating the confectioners' sugar into the frosting. 

  4. Spread the frosting on top of the cooled cake using an offset spatula.

Recipe Video

Check out some of my other perfect Zucchini Recipes!

Zucchini Brownies {VIDEO}

Chocolate Zucchini Cake {VIDEO}

White Zucchini Cake {VIDEO}

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies

Lemon Blueberry Zucchini Cake  {VIDEO}

Thank you to Miranda from Cookie Dough & Oven Mitt for this fantastic recipe!


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  • Jett Whitfield says:

    Several summers ago some friends would always bring me zucchini from their garden … but I never liked it! Now I’ve grown up and LOVE zucchini and they never bring any – HA! Go figure!!
    Maybe somebody will bring the harvest to me this summer =)
    Thanks for a great recipe!!

  • Mary Lynne says:

    This recipe turned out great! The cake was super moist and I added fresh bueberries. I made it for a family reunion, it was going very fast.

  • The Modern Proper says:

    When I read the title of this post, I got excited. I love zucchini bread and I love cake and it is genius to put zucchini in cake! Love this recipe.

  • Michelle Englefield says:

    Um…are you serious that you bake a 9×13 size cake for an hour?! That’s what you need to bake in a loaf pan or a bundt pan. I baked mine for 45 minutes and it was more than done.

  • Sue says:

    One of our favorite cake recipes!

  • Pam says:

    Baking time was too long mine was ready in 40 mins cake was very cooked by then
    Good taste yummy frosting

  • Rita says:

    FANTASTIC!!! Thank you for sharing. Just made this this morning – took no time at all. Very moist. Not too sweet. I added walnuts which gave it an extra crunch. Delicious. Family loved it.

  • Dianne B. says:

    I usually have an abundance of zucchini each year and I thank you for zucchini cake recipes which are not chocolate. I love chocolate but I wanted some thing new in the zucchini cake line. I do have a recipe for a lemon zucchini cake but these recipes for the White zucchini cake and the Spice zucchini cake will be great additions to what to do with zucchini.

  • Janet Taber says:

    The two tsp of baking soda made mine taste terrible and too salty. My whole cake was ruined. I will make it again but without all that baking soda. I will just use 1 tsp.

  • Penny says:

    I have a friend who is very allergic to cinnamon, so on a whim, I substituted cardamon for the cinnamon in my zucchini bread/cake recipes and she LOVED it! Have been using it ever since.

  • Rachel says:

    Planning on making this as a 3-layer 8-inch cake and subbing in 3/4 cup maple syrup for the granulated sugar. I’ve had I giant zucchini that I’ve been wanting to use to make some kind of cake, and I think I’ve finally found a good recipe to do that with, at least most of it.

  • Wendy says:

    Thank you so much for sharing the above recipe and its so tasty spongy and yummy.

  • Joanne Tuholsky says:

    when I use frozen zucchini to make a cake do I drain it because it has a lot of liquid in it

  • Mary n shelton says:

    Get a nice sized pot and plant ONE just ONE SEED and I can almost guarantee PLENTY of fresh zukes.

  • Melanie says:

    Can I replace the oil with butter?

  • Eileen says:

    Expected it to be moist was dry. I even removed the cake after 40 mins . Maybe next time I will add apple sauce & check the cake after 35 mins

  • Danielle says:

    Came out delicious. I used Apple pie spice since I didn’t have nutmeg alone

  • Angela says:

    Best zuchinni cake recipe I’ve made. I used whole wheat flour instead and it still turned out soft and beautifully sweet. Also, added walnuts and raisins to change it up. The whole family loves it.

  • Colinda Abshire says:

    My husband loves to make zucchini bread but now we’re going to make one with your recipe is it looks delicious

  • Joy Panem says:

    Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  • Joy Panem says:

    Thank you.

  • Sarah says:

    This is so delicious and moist. The frosting is to die for. I baked for 50 minutes and it wasn’t dry at all. Thank you!

  • I Am Baker Logo

    Brand new recipes that people find kinda acceptable.