This Zucchini Chocolate Cake is absolutely decadent, soft and moist. Nobody who have ever tasted this guessed that there is Zucchini in this cake and for me that means success. This is a great way to sneak in some veggies in your dessert without people knowing it.
I like experimenting when it comes to baking. I like to try new ideas, new methods, and new ingredients. You wouldn’t be able to tell that there is Zucchini in this cake. Well, Zucchini doesn’t really have a taste, what it does is that it gives moisture to the cake. So, you end up having a soft and moist cake. That’s good, not to mention you are eating your veggie while enjoying the cake or vice versa. So, go ahead and eat your cake and have your veggies too! Let’s get started!
12 Interesting Facts About Zucchini
I like doing a little research about some of the ingredients in my recipe. Since this one uses Zucchini as the main vegetable, I thought I’d share with you what I find out about Zucchini. How many of this do you know already?
- Did you know that Zucchini is actually a fruit and not vegetable? Although in a culinary context, the zucchini is treated as a vegetable; it is usually cooked and presented as a savory dish or accompaniment. Botanically, zucchinis are fruits, a type of botanical berry called a “pepo”, being the swollen ovary of the zucchini flower. (Source: wikipedia)
- One zucchini is a “zucchina.” -> It never even crossed my mind
- Zucchinis were first brought to the United States in the 1920s by the Italians -> So Zucchini is an Italian vegetable
- April 25th is National Zucchini Bread Day -> There is such a Zucchini day? I should make a Zucchini post for April 25th!
- The flower of the zucchini plant is edible. Fried squash blossoms are considered a delicacy.
- Mild bitterness in zucchini, like that in related species like cucumbers, may be result from environmental factors such as high temperature, low moisture, low soil nutrients, etc. The bitterness is caused by compounds called cucurbitacins.
- The world’s largest zucchini on record was 69 1/2 inches long, and weighed 65 lbs. Bernard Lavery of Plymouth Devon, UK, grew it. -> Oh lalala, that is going to be a lot of stir-fry Zuchini!
- Nutrients and vitamins found in zucchini can help prevent cancer and heart disease -> true or not, no harm in eating more Zucchini
- A zucchini has more potassium than a banana -> Banana found its match
- The word zucchini comes from ‘zucca’ the Italian word for squash.
- Biggest is NOT best. The most flavorful zucchinis are small- to medium-sized and the darker the skin, the richer the nutrients -> Guys, keep this in mind when buying Zucchini
- Zucchini is the only fruit that starts with Z. (h/t Lylanna) -> Can you think of anything else? I googled and I cannot findd other vegetable that starts with Z. Somebody suggested ‘Zinfandel Grapes’, but then it is basically Grapes, and Zinfandel is just a variety of black grapes.
What are the Ingredients for Zucchini Chocolate Cake?
- All-Purpose Flour
- Natural Cocoa Powder – Because we are using baking soda in this recipe, it is important to use natural cocoa powder (not dutch processed) because reacts with baking soda
- Baking Soda & Baking Powder – to give the cake a lift and help it rise
- Espresso Powder (optional) – Espresso powder enhances the flavor of chocolate but you will not be able to taste it in the cake
- Salt – enhances the taste and flavor of the cake
- Canola or any flavorless Oil – the oil will the cake soft and moist
- Granulated Sugar – this will add sweetness to the cake
- Dark Brown Sugar – Aside from sweetness, brown sugar also helos keep the cake moist because of the molasses which makes it sticky
- Eggs – this will give structure to the cake
- Sour Cream or Plain Greek Yogurt – this two are well known for adding so much moisture to the cake
- Pure Vanilla Extract – for extra flavoring. if you do not have any, no big deal
- Zucchini – the star of the show! Make sure to lightly squeeze the grated zucchini to remove extra water
- Chocolate Chips – Although optional, the chocolate chips gave a nice crunch in the cake plus more chocolate in every bite.
How to Make Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Your delicious adventure starts with a Zucchini and will end with a bowl filled with chocolate goodness.
How to Prepare the Zucchini
If you’ve tried Zucchini you already know that this vegetable really doesn’t have that much taste at all. Zucchini as a vegetable, is often used in making savory dishes, like stews, salad, stir-fry, or for grilling. I don’t know when or where the use of Zucchini for dessert started, but whoever thought of it is just plain genius. Zucchini has so much moisture but no taste that when used in baked products it acts as a super moist booster. For cakes, cupcakes and bread, adding Zucchini works real wonder, this recipe is a proof. The way that it is used is by grating it, for me the smaller the better so that it is totally hidden under the covers of deep chocolate flavor. Some people prefer larger strands of Zucchini especially when making muffin and breads as the strands gives a nice added texture. This boils down to preference, you can grate it super fine or large I leave that in your hands. I went for super fine texture which made it blend so well with the cake you wouldn’t even notice the Zucchini. Since Zucchini have so much water, squeeze it at least once to remove the extra water as this could make the cake too runny. No need to remove the skin, leave it one and just grate it.
The Cake Batter
Once the Zucchini has been grated and squeezed, you can now start making the cake batter. Here is a quick summary of what you expect to do:
- Mix all the wet ingredients
- Sift the dry ingredients onto the wet ingredients then mix
- Add the Zucchini
- Transfer in the lined baking pan
You may think it sounds so easy, and that is because it is really easy to make. take few minutes to watch the video to see how simple and easy this is.
How to Make Silky Smooth and Glossy Chocolate Frosting
This is the highlight of this cake. This frosting is absolutely decadent and delicious. This is a light pourable consistency Chocolate Ganache. To make this, I strongly suggest to use chopped chocolate instead of chocolate chips. Chopped chocolate melts better and produces a smooth light chocolate when melted. While chocolate chips will work too, it doesn’t melt as much as chopped chocolate. When chocolate chips melt, it has a thick consistency and you still have to add more butter or liquid to get it to a pourable consistency. Start by melting the chopped chocolate with butter. This is a small batch so I melted it using microwave. I you are making a large batch, you can transfer the chopped chocolate and butter in a heat proof bowl and put it on top I a pan with simmering water. This method is called bain marie. Once the chocolate has melted, stir in honey then out hot milk and gently stir until smooth. Do not stir too fast as you don’t want to create bubbles in the chocolate mixture. The final consistency will be smooth and silky and runny. It will thicken as it cools. To get a nice smooth finish, pour the chocolate frosting while still warm.
- 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened natural Cocoa Powder
- 1 teaspoons Baking Soda
- 1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 /2 teaspoon Espresso Powder (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1 /2 cup canola or Vegetable Oil
- 1 /2 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/4 cup + 3 tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 2 large Eggs, at room temperature
- 1/4 Sour Cream or plain Greek Yogurt, at room temperature
- 1 /2 teaspoons pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup shredded Zucchini (about 1 medium)
- 1 /4 cup Dark Chocolate Chips – optional
- 8 ounces chopped Dark Chocolate
- 2 tablespoon unsalted Butter
- 2 tablespoon Honey Honey
- 4 tablespoon Milk ( any milk will work)
- Preheat the oven to 350F, and position a rack in the lower third of the oven.
- Prepare the Pan: Line a 5-inch square cake pan with parchment paper on the bottom, and lightly grease the sides with oil.
- Dry Ingredients: Next, in a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- Wet Ingredients: In a small bowl, manually whisk the egg and and sugar until pale in color, about 1 – 2 minutes. Do not which to much to avoid incorporating too much air in the batter. Add vanilla extract, oil and yogurt or sour cream. Mix until combined. The consistency will be thick.
- Wet Ingredients + Dry Ingredients: Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients mixing just until combined (do not over mix). Pour the cake batter in the prepared pan, level the top. Push the pan forward and backward, and also sideways to even the top more.
- Bake for 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. The side will start to pull away from the pan, while the center is still slightly soft. Don’t worry, it will continue to bake as it cools.
- Cool: Set aside to cool completely before adding any frosting. Do NOT remove the cake from the pan.
- Make Chocolate Frosting – In microwave proof bowl, add the chopped chocolate and butter. Microwave for in 30 seconds interval, remove from the microwave and gently stir. Return to the microwave as needed until chocolate is fully melted. The consistency will be smooth and runny. While the chocolate is still warm, add honey and stir to combine. In a separate glass, microwave the milk for about 30 – 45 seconds. Pour over the melted chocolate and gently stir. Do NOT still vigorously as it will create bubbles.
- Decorate: While the chocolate frosting is still warm, pour the chocolate frosting on the cake. Do not remove the cake from the pan. The sides of the pan will support the chocolate frosting from sliding on the side, and will also makes the spreading of the frosting easier and more even. Spread the chocolate frosting on top, use a spatula or back of the spoon. Make sure to spread even on the sides. Now, push the pan forward and backward, as well as side ways until the top settles and become even and smooth. Room in room temperature to allow the frosting to solidify. Do not put it in the refrigerator, the texture of the frosting is better when it solidify in room temperature.
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