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Vegan Zucchini Cake with Coconut Icing

Recipe & photo by  Maren Ellingboe .

Recipe & photo by Maren Ellingboe.

Looking for a fun and festive green dessert for St Patricks Day that skips the food coloring in favor of real flavor? Look no further than the humble zucchini! Zucchini lends itself particularly well to baked goods because of its high moisture content, and it’s a great way to add a little healthiness to dessert. This cake is sweet enough on its own (especially when served for breakfast), but adding whipped coconut icing adds a little decadence.

Makes 1 9-inch loaf


Icing Ingredients:

14-oz. can full-fat coconut milk* (unshaken)

½-¾ c powdered sugar, sifted

½ tsp vanilla

Zucchini Bread Ingredients:

1 Tbsp ground flaxseed*

½ c coconut oil, melted*

⅓ c unsweetened applesauce

½ c sugar

½ c brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla

1 ½ c all purpose flour*

½ tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp cinnamon

1 ¼ c grated zucchini* (about 1 medium)

*Ingredient available to add to your Imperfect box 


  1. Refrigerate coconut milk overnight, being careful not to shake can.

  2. Preheat oven to 325°. Grease a 9-inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper.

  3. Bring a small saucepan of water to bowl. Add 3 Tbsp boiling water to ground flaxseed in a small bowl and let sit for 5 minutes, until thickened.

  4. In a large bowl, whisk together flax mixture, coconut oil, applesauce, sugars and vanilla.

  5. Combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

  6. Add dry ingredients to oil mixture and whisk to combine. Fold in zucchini. Batter will be very thick.

  7. Transfer to prepared pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a tester comes out clean when inserted in the middle.

  8. Let zucchini bread cool for 30 minutes in pan, then remove to a rack and let cool completely.

  9. Make Icing: Open can of coconut milk and carefully scrape hardened cream into a medium bowl, being careful not to add liquid. Reserve liquid for another use. Beat with an electric mixer until very smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat until smooth.

  10. Spread icing over cake, cut into pieces and serve.

Recipe Notes and Variations

Save the coconut water and add to smoothies, or drink on its own! Alternatively, if you’d rather not have a vegan cake, substitute 2 eggs for the flaxseed and water mixture and omit the applesauce.