Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

07.16.2016

Zucchini Cake is a deliciously spiced, moist cake studded with hidden pieces of zucchini and covered with a rich cream cheese frosting. It’s the perfect summer cake and people of all ages love it! Plus it’s best way to enjoy zucchini.

Four slices of zucchini cake on a brown serving plate.

Zucchini Cake

Vegetables are delicious… when they are blended into a cake. I actually do love plain sauteed zucchini but I like really really love zucchini when it’s blended into a sweet, perfectly spiced cake and covered in a rich cream cheese frosting!

I am head over heels crazy about this perfect summer cake! This Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting tastes so much like carrot cake which is why I think it’s so good (carrot cake is my favorite)!

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Plus it’s got to be one of the moistest cakes I’ve ever made!

Overhead image of sliced zucchini cake in a baking dish. Each slice is topped with a piped buttercream sunflower.

No One Even Notices the Zucchini

It was so funny, when I was mixing up the batter for this cake I told my daughter it had zucchini in it and she went on saying she’s not even going to eat a bite when it’s done and that’s so disgusting it has zucchini in it.

Well, of course she couldn’t resist a taste because it is cake after all, then she proceeded to polish off the rest of the half slice I gave her. No one will be able to resist this cake!

Besides the zucchini is finely shredded so you don’t really notice it much anyway. It just adds in some natural little green sprinkles.

Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting in a baking dish cut into slices. Each slice is decorated with a yellow piped buttercream sunflower.

For a Fancy Cake Decorate with Summery Sunflowers!

It was really fun making the sunflower icing decorations for these. I will be honest though it wasn’t a walk in the park for me.

It’s not that piping the sunflowers was hard (this was the first time I’ve done it and they turned out ok), getting the right colors was more the hard part. Getting that dark rich brown tinted the right color took some time, again though I’m new to flowers.

If you wanted I’ve seen people use one layer of a mini Oreo as the dark center instead of icing. If you have some time though I’d recommend trying out the flowers, I just skimmed through a youtube video on how to do it (not sure exactly which one can’t find it but there are a few out there if you just google it).

Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Cooking Classy

I piped the flowers directly on the cake and I just cheated and used a store bought decorative icing because I didn’t want to make two kinds (the cream cheese frosting obviously wont work with it’s consistency).

With or without the decoration this is still one incredible cake and I highly highly recommend you make it at least once this summer! Zucchini cake is a summer must!

Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Cooking Classy

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Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Deliciously spiced, moist cake studded with hidden pieces of zucchini and covered with a rich cream cheese frosting. It's the perfect summer cake! I always love to tell the kids they ate a vegetable in their cake, after they've finished the slice.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Zucchini Cake
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 16
Calories: 405 kcal
Author: Jaclyn

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (283g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup (150g) packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup (120g) applesauce
  • 1/3 cup (83g) plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups (344g) finely grated unpeeled zucchini (grate on small holes of box grater. About 2 - 2 1/2 medium zucchini)
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans or walnuts (optional)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened slightly
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (228g) powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, set aside. 

  2. In a separate large mixing bowl stir together granulated sugar and light-brown sugar (break up any clumps with your fingertips). 
  3. Whisk in vegetable oil, applesauce and Greek yogurt until well blended. Add in eggs and vanilla mix until well blended. Stir in grated zucchini. 
  4. Add flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon just until combined. Pour mixture into a buttered 13 by 9-inch baking dish. 
  5. Bake in preheated oven 32 - 35 minutes until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs (no batter). 
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before frosting (cover with plastic wrap leaving a small opening on one corner after about 30 minute of cooling to seal in moisture). 
  7. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting sprinkle with nuts if desired (or decorate as desired) and cut into squares.
  8. For the Cream Cheese Frosting: In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whip together cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until smooth, occasionally scraping down sides and bottom of bowl. 
  9. Blend in vanilla. Add powdered sugar and mix until light and fluffy.
Nutrition Facts
Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Amount Per Serving
Calories 405 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 32%
Saturated Fat 12g 60%
Cholesterol 51mg 17%
Sodium 210mg 9%
Potassium 203mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 52g 17%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 37g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 8.8%
Vitamin C 4.8%
Calcium 7.1%
Iron 7.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

58 comments

  • kathleen l backhus: Hi Just printing all of your awesome cakes but I can’t get the recipe for the PUMPKIN CAKE??? Every time I click on it it keeps giving me the zucchini cake. any chance of get that Pumpkin. I would sure like to make it for a church affair. and would it be good for a pumpkin log cake as well. That’s what I am really looking for is a beautiful pumpkin log cale. November 11, 2018 at 12:45pm Reply

  • Francesca: This looks so yummy! I was telling my (Italian) colleagues about zucchini bread/cake the other day and the idea intrigued them (vegetables in dessert, besides carrot cake, is not so common here). I will have to make this for the office. Thanks! July 20, 2016 at 8:16am Reply

  • Lauren: This cake looks awesome!! Just wondering if I can use sour cream in place of the yogurt? Also, what piping tip did you use to pipe the petals on the sunflowers? July 19, 2016 at 5:24pm Reply

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