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Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Photo by Katie Olsen

Photo by Katie Olsen

Photo and recipe by Katie Olsen of Katiebird Bakes!

This chocolate zucchini cake is fudgy and intensely chocolatey in just the right way. The grated zucchini makes for a surprisingly rich and dense chocolate cake, and hey, a cake that’s basically vegetables? We’re in!



  • 1 c unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (2 sticks)

  • 1 c brown sugar (packed)

  • 3/4 c granulated sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 1/2 c all-purpose flour*

  • 3/4 c cocoa powder*

  • 1 tsp espresso powder (optional)

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 c plain yogurt or sour cream

  • 3 c shredded zucchini*

  • 1/2 c chocolate chips

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1/2 c heavy cream

  • 3/4 c chopped chocolate (or chocolate chips)*

    *Item available to add to your Imperfect box 


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a 12-cup bundt pan and set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

  3. In another large bowl, using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer, cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together beginning on medium speed, then increasing to medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, until the mixture is fluffy.

  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating on medium speed each time until combined, followed by the vanilla.  

  5. Gently beat in in the yogurt (or sour cream) with the flour mixture, on the lowest speed of the mixer, until a smooth batter is formed. It will be slightly thick for cake batter.

  6. Fold in the shredded zucchini and chocolate chips with a spatula until evenly distributed. Scrape batter into the prepared pan and smooth it out evenly.

  7. Bake for 50-55 minutes, until cake springs back when touched and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached.

  8. Let cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes before running a butter knife or spatula along the outer and inner edges of the cake, and turning it out onto a plate to cool completely.

  9. While cake is cooling, make the ganache: in a microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl, heat the heavy cream until lightly bubbling but not yet boiling, about 30-40 seconds in my microwave. You can also heat it on the stove.

  10. While the cream is heating, place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let stand for about 30 seconds. Whisk the mixture until a smooth and glossy ganache forms. Pour over top of the cake while ganache is still warm; it will set as it cools. Serve!

Recipe Notes

For the shredded zucchini, you can grate it by hand, or use the grating blade of a food processor. Rather than squeezing the moisture out of the zucchini, try grating it before starting the cake, letting it sit in a bowl during the 20 minutes or so while you make the batter, and then pouring off the liquid that accumulates at the bottom of the bowl. The zucchini provides the necessary moisture and texture in this cake so don’t squeeze too much out!

Cake will keep (well-wrapped) at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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