Chocolate Zucchini Cake (or cupcakes)

Skill Level:

Yield : 1 dozen Prep Time : Cook Time : Ready In :

chocolate zucchini cupcake

Know what happens when you grow zucchini in the summer and go away for a few days?

You get zucchini.

Many many zucchinis.

Big monster zucchini.

So what to do? How about making a Chocolate Zucchini Cake? Well, I actually made Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes, because they are more portable and easier to pack in a lunch box or picnic basket, and no worries, this is one way EVERYONE will enjoy eating their veggies.

My friend Christine was nice enough to send me this recipe. Everything is made in a food processor; but if you don’t have one, use a mixer, or even do it the old-fashioned way…by hand.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake (or cupcake)

 Chocolate Zucchini Cake (or cupcake)


  • For the Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (I like Ghiradelli)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • pinch salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (use real, not imitation vanilla, it really does make a difference)
  • 1/2 cup 2% buttermilk (or sour your milk by mixing 1 teaspoon lemon juice or white wine vinegar to milk and let it sit for 5 minutes)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into several pieces
  • 1/2 cup oil (I used olive oil for it's heart healthy properties, and no, you can't taste it)
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped or grated zucchini, patted dry
  • For the Frosting

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons (3/8 cup) evaporated milk
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 - 3 cups confectioner's sugar (also known as powdered sugar)
  • Chopped toasted pecans or walnuts, (optional)


Step 1

Prepare the Cake, or Cupcakes

Heat the oven to 325°F. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves and a pinch of salt; mix with a fork and set-aside.

Step 2

In a food processor, process the eggs, sugar and vanilla until fluffy, then add the butter. Process about 1 minute. With the machine running, add the milk and oil. Stop the machine and add the zucchini; plus until mixed; add the dry ingredients and process, with pulses, until the flour disappears. Do not over process.

Step 3

Pour into greased and floured cake rounds (tip: use cocoa powder to flour your pan, it adds more flavor and better color) Or, ladle into muffin tin that has paper inserts; fill about 3/4 full.

Step 4

Bake for 40 - 45 minutes (for the cake) or 25 minutes (for cupcakes); or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool then frost.

Step 5

Prepare the Frosting

In a small pan heat the butter and evaporated milk. Chop the semi-sweet chips in the food processor; with the machine running add the hot milk mixture. Add powdered sugar to make a spreadable consistency. Spread on the top of the cake; sprinkle with nuts, if desired.

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Recipe Comments

  1. posted by G-man! on January 31, 2013

    now we’re talking! That looks yum yum good!

  2. posted by LindySez on January 31, 2013

    Why thank you G-man!

  3. posted by Heide M. on July 29, 2013

    Thanks for posting this.

    • posted by LindySez on July 29, 2013

      You are welcome. Always need a new use for zucchini and I love “healthy” chocolate cake …

  4. posted by Jessica on July 23, 2014

    Looks delicious, Linda!! Thanks for sharing and for giving me a way to feel less guilty about chocolate.

  5. posted by Cher on August 8, 2014

    I never have luck growing zucchini… The cupcakes look fabulous and are definitely worth a try!


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