Chocolate Zucchini Cake 12.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Staff Favorites Aug 6, 2014

Zucchini adds texture, moistness and a satisfying yet hard-to-define earthy flavor to this lovely chocolate cake.

The cake batter can be stirred by hand as well as a mixer.

Make Ahead: The cake can be covered and stored at room temperature for 3 to 5 days.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 12 servings; makes one 10-inch bundt cake

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
  • 2 1/4 cups flour, plus more for the pan
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brewed, cooled espresso or strong coffee
  • 2 cups peeled, grated zucchini (from 2 medium zucchini)
  • 1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Generously grease the inside of a 10-inch Bundt pan with butter, then coat with a generous amount of flour. Shake out any excess flour.

Whisk together 2 1/4 cups flour, the cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a bowl.

Combine the 8 tablespoons of butter and the granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Beat on low, then medium speed until well incorporated and creamy. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, then the oil and vanilla extract; beat on medium speed until well blended and smooth. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

With the mixer on low speed, alternate adding the following ingredients, beating until well incorporated after each addition: 1 cup of the flour mixture, then 1/4 cup of the espresso or strong coffee; 1 cup of the flour mixture, then 1/4 cup of the espresso or strong coffee; then the remaining flour mixture.

Use a wooden spoon to stir in the zucchini and chocolate chips until they are evenly distributed. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, smoothing the surface. Bake for 60 minutes or until a tester inserted into the thickest part of the cake comes out clean.

Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert on a plate (still in the pan) for 15 minutes. Dislodge the cake (right side up) on a wire cooling rack. Before serving, dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired.

Rate it

Recipe Source

Adapted from a 1995 recipe in Bon Appetit.

Tested by Sarah Kaplan.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at