Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Ganache


Chocolate Zucchini Cake | Cooking Classy

I know I just posted zucchini cake but I still had 3 zucchini’s left so I decided to make a chocolate version. This is another one of those recipes you’re grandma likely made for you at least once. It is richly chocolaty and deliciously moist thanks to the generous amount of zucchini in it. Yes you can use your zucchini to make a zucchini casserole or zucchini cakes but I say why not turn it into a dessert instead?

I baked this in a 13 by 9-inch pan but you could also make it into a layer cake and cupcakes should work too (you may need more chocolate ganache though – at least for the layer cake). You could also swap out the chocolate ganache with a chocolate buttercream or chocolate fudge frosting, any of them would be delicious choices. Life needs chocolate, so go make some chocolate cake, and enjoy!

chocolate zucchini cake

chocolate zucchini cake

chocolate zucchini cake

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Ganache


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (vegetable oil would work too)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 1/2 cups grated, unpeeled zucchini
  • Chocolate Ganache
  • 6 oz chopped chocolate or 1 cup chocolate chips (I used half semi-sweet and half milk chocolate)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon for 30 seconds, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fit with the paddle attachment, whip together granulated sugar, brown sugar, butter and applesauce on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Stir in eggs one at a time, mixing until combined after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Working in 3 separate batches add 1/3 of the flour mixture alternating with half of the buttermilk beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing just until combined after each addition. Fold in zucchini. Pour mixture into a buttered 13 by 9-inch baking dish and bake in preheated oven 43 - 46 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Allow to cool almost completely then frost with chocolate ganache.
  • For the Chocolate Ganache:
  • Heat cream in a small saucepan (or alternately you can microwave in a microwave safe dish) and bring just to a gentle boil. Meanwhile place chocolate in a heat proof mixing bowl. Pour hot cream over chocolate and whisk mixture until smooth. Allow to cool 5 minutes before spreading over cake.
  • Recipe Source: Cooking Classy


  • Elisa @ Insalata di Sillabe: Yummy! I tried your zucchini cake and loved it! Believe me or not, I hadn’t had the chance to try zucchini cake before but I’m sure that from now on I’ll be making it very often…can’t wait to give this chocolate version a go!

    xo, Elisa June 28, 2013 at 11:06pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked the other one you should definitely try this chocolate version too! Thanks for your comment! June 29, 2013 at 1:27pm Reply

  • Tasbih: Looks incredibly fluffy…YUM! Do u taste any of the zucchini or does it taste just of chocolate? June 29, 2013 at 4:54am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Oh no that would be gross :) it just tastes like chocolate cake. June 29, 2013 at 1:21pm Reply

  • Nami | Just One Cookbook: Since I become mom, I’m more attracted to cake with vegetable in it (before I didn’t pay much attention). :D Your chocolate zucchini cake looks amazing! Looks so delicious with ganache! <3 <3 June 30, 2013 at 4:09am Reply

  • ATasteOfMadness: I have never tried baking zucchini into cakes, but this looks so good, I think I’ll have to try it soon June 30, 2013 at 10:56am Reply

  • Rachel @ Bakerita: This looks so decadent and yummy, and I love that it has some veggies snuck in! Definitely need to try this. July 1, 2013 at 9:17am Reply

  • Rachel @ Bakerita: Looks so delicious, and I love that you snuck some veggies in there!! July 1, 2013 at 9:47am Reply

  • Cheryl in Texas: I made this on Saturday night. YUM! Especially with zucchini we grew in our own garden. I probably ended up with more than 2 1/2 cups of fresh since it was previously frozen and thawed out. And to tell you how much we liked it, I never even got the chance to try the ganache…we ate almost the whole cake before I got the chance to make the ganache! :D July 1, 2013 at 2:20pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked it Cheryl – and that sounds about like my family finishing much of the cake before I get to frosting :). It’s just too hard smelling it baking and then having to wait so long for it too cool. Thanks for your comment! July 1, 2013 at 2:37pm Reply

  • Ashley: About how many zucchinis would make up the 2.5 c of shredded zucchini? Thanks :D July 2, 2013 at 9:47am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry I meant to put that, it’s about 2 1/2 medium zucchinis. July 2, 2013 at 11:03am Reply

  • Terri: The original zucchini cake was gobbled up by my co-workers in no time! It was the moistest cake I have ever had. And I can’t say enough about the creamy delicious icing. I will be making the chocolate version soon. Thank you making me a hero! July 3, 2013 at 4:55am Reply

    • Jaclyn: You’re welcome – you definitely have to take most of the credit though for making it :). I’m glad it was enjoyed and yes I hope you try this chocolate version soon! July 3, 2013 at 8:56am Reply

  • Patty McGuire: Jaclyn, This cake recipe is DIVINE!!!!!!!! I’m having a piece of it now with my lunch. YUMMY!!! Can’t wait to try some more of your recipes. Very good cake, indeed.

    Patty ‘Mac’ July 12, 2013 at 9:07am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy to hear you liked this cake Patty!! Thanks for leaving a comment! I hope you like the other recipes too :). July 13, 2013 at 2:33pm Reply

  • Amy @ swiss miss in the kitchen: I was looking for a zucchini cake recipe (I have so much zucchini from our garden!!) and I think I found the perfect one!!! Your cake looks amazing Jaclyn! Many thanks for sharing!!
    xox Amy August 15, 2013 at 9:00am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Your welcome Amy I hope you love it or both of them :)! August 15, 2013 at 2:28pm Reply

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