Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Ganache

June 28, 2013

I know I just posted zucchini cake but I still had 3 zucchini’s left so I decided to make a chocolate zucchini cake 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?

Chocolate Zucchini Cake | Cooking Classy

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

A rich and tempting chocolate cake with hidden pieces of zucchini that add the perfect moisture to the cake.

Servings: 20
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 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


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon for 30 seconds, set aside.
  2.  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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.
  5. For the Chocolate Ganache:
  6. 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.
  7. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Author: Jaclyn

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  • Ashley

    About how many zucchinis would make up the 2.5 c of shredded zucchini? Thanks :D

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Sorry I meant to put that, it’s about 2 1/2 medium zucchinis.

  • 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

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      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!

  • Rachel @ Bakerita

    Looks so delicious, and I love that you snuck some veggies in there!!

  • Rachel @ Bakerita

    This looks so decadent and yummy, and I love that it has some veggies snuck in! Definitely need to try this.

  • ATasteOfMadness

    I have never tried baking zucchini into cakes, but this looks so good, I think I’ll have to try it soon

  • 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

  • Tasbih

    Looks incredibly fluffy…YUM! Do u taste any of the zucchini or does it taste just of chocolate?

  • 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

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I’m so glad you liked the other one you should definitely try this chocolate version too! Thanks for your comment!