This Chocolate Zucchini Cake is the perfect way to use up an abundance of zucchini in a dessert. The moisture in the zucchini lends itself to making the most perfect, moist chocolate cake.
Why Put Zucchini in Chocolate Cake?
- Moisture! The zucchini not only helps with adding moisture to your cakes but it also helps keep the cake moist for a couple days.
- Eat your vegetables. There’s not enough zucchini in here to combat not eating a salad, however there’s enough to add a little extra nutrients and vitamins.
How to make Chocolate Zucchini Cake:
- Prep your cake pans. Grease them and line with a circle of parchment paper.
- Combine dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Make sure you sift your cocoa powder first to make sure you don’t have any lumps of it.
- Cream the butter and sugar with the wet ingredients. Beat the butter with the sugars until light and fluffy then add the oil, eggs, and buttermilk.
- Add the dry to the wet. Mix just until combined then add the walnuts and grated zucchini.
- Add to the prepared pans and bake! Just until the cakes are baked through to make sure they stay moist.
- Invert onto cooling racks. After about 5 minutes, flip the cakes out to cool completely on a cooling rack.
- Frost and Serve. However you like, with whatever frosting you’d like!
Flower Piping Tips and Trick:
I am fervently against fondant. I actually hear marshmallow fondant tastes delicious but I can’t buy it and well, it simply sounds like too much work. So, when my buttercream watercolor dreams failed, I turned to piping tips and it was pretty simple.
- I followed this YouTube video.
- I used this #104 piping tip to get the petal flowers. And of course this nail. I swear by this kit.
- And I used these gel colors to get the yellow and green.
- The good news is that if you want to make this cake, you don’t need to pipe on flowers. You can simply make the cake, smear on the frosting and you’re good to go!
Zucchini Chocolate Cake Recipe
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 1/2 cups grated zucchini from about 3 small zucchini
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 3 cups powdered sugar sifted
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk
To Make the Zucchini Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two (8-inch) round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
- To the bowl of a stand-up mixer (you could also do this in a large bowl with a whisk), with the paddle attachment, add the butter and white and brown sugar; beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Pour in the vegetable oil, eggs, one at a time and then the buttermilk. Add the dry ingredients and beat until just smooth, about 1 minute. Pour in the grated zucchini and walnuts and mix once more.
- Divide the batter between the pans and bake for 27 to 30 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans for about 5 minutes and then invert them on cooling racks.
- I sliced my cakes in half so I would have four layers, but you certainly don’t have to do this!
To Make the Frosting:
- *If you’re making petal flowers and vines, you’ll want to double the recipe above. It’ll give you enough frosting in order to have extra to decorate. After you make a double batch, you’ll want to remove about 1/4 of it and color it yellow. Remove another 1/4 and color it green.
- Add the butter to the bowl of a stand-up mixer (or medium bowl with an electric hand mixer) and beat until smooth about 30 seconds or so. Take the paddle attachment off and place a sieve on top of the bowl and sift in the powdered sugar. Turn the mixer to low until the powdered sugar is almost incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and buttermilk; and beat once more until combined.
To assemble the cake:
- Place one layer on a cake board or cake stand or plate (I also love turning plates upside down and using them as cake stands). Add about 1/4 cup (you can eyeball this measurement) to the top of the first cake layer; smooth it out so it’s a nice even layer of frosting. Place the second layer on top and repeat the process. Skim the top and sides and transfer it to the fridge to chill for about 15 minutes.
- Remove from the fridge and give it one last layer of frosting. If you like, this is totally optional, divide the frosting amongst a few piping bags with different tips on them and decorate the top! Slice up and serve.
Did you make this? Let me know on Instagram!
Looking for other chocolate recipes? Here are some of my favorites: