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Chocolate Zucchini Cake gets its moist texture from loads of shredded zucchini! Topped with a buttery chocolate frosting, its a dessert that truly melts in your mouth!

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A stack of three slices of chocolate zucchini cake

I’m SO pumped to finally have this recipe on the blog….for a couple reasons. First off, it’s a super moist cake with the most delicious frosting that takes it over the top. But secondly, it’s a recipe that I tested 5-6 times to get just right.

Why did it take so long? I was trying to make a chewy zucchini brownie, but after a couple batches, I came to the conclusion that the texture/moisture content of zucchini just didn’t work well in a brownie. All of my recipe variations were more cakey than a brownie, and I actually really liked it that way (reminded me of Texas Sheet Cake)! Then I topped it with this frosting and I knew it had to go on the blog!

Zucchini cake on a white plate

Why do people put zucchini in cake?

I get it – it sounds strange to put a vegetable into a chocolate cake. But there are actually several reasons to do so! First off, zucchini helps create a moist cake with wonderful texture. And secondly, it has a very mild flavor, so you’d really never know there was zucchini in it just by tasting it. And lastly, why not sneak in veggies if it only makes it better?!

A piece of cake being held with a bite taken out of it.

How to prep the zucchini

How do you choose the right zucchini?

I prefer smaller zucchini as they tend to have more moisture and few seeds in the center. Super large zucchini tend to be a little more dry and are full of seeds. If you only have a large zucchini, that’s fine. Just be sure to remove the seeds before shredding.

Do you peel zucchini for cake?

As you can see in the photo below, I do not peel it. I shred the zucchini fine enough that you can’t even feel the texture of the skin in the cake, so it’s not worth the time. You can certainly peel the zucchini if you’d like, though!

How do you shred a zucchini?

I find it super important to shred a zucchini pretty fine. As you can see in the photo below, I use a grater with a fine edge to shred the zucchini. That way you’re getting all the moisture from the zucchini without the stringy texture in the final product.

How to top the Chocolate Zucchini Cake

This moist cake is honestly wonderful without the frosting. If you’d like, you can simply forget about the frosting and give it a dusting of powdered sugar. However, this frosting is incredible, so if you have a few extra minutes, I highly recommend giving it a try!!

And then in true Kelsey fashion, I top mine with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. There’s just something about the combination of chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream I just can’t get enough of! I mean, just look at it……

a piece of chocolate zucchini cake topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Other Zucchini Recipes

a piece of cake on a fork.
Slice of Chocolate Zucchini Cake on a white plate
5 from 3 votes

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Author: Kelsey
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
This cake gets its moist texture from loads of shredded zucchini! Topped with a buttery chocolate frosting, its a dessert that truly melts in your mouth!


Chocolate Zucchini Cake

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini packed


  • 1/4 cup salted butter
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla



  • Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9×13" pan with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the oil, sugar and vanilla.
  • Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, soda and salt; stir. Batter with be very thick.
  • Stir in the shredded zucchini until the batter softens up a bit.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes or until the center of the cake is done.


  • In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter.
  • Sift in the cocoa powder and add the milk. Whisk until combined then microwave until it's boiling.
  • Whisk in the vanilla and powdered sugar until smooth.
  • Pour over the cake (can add when cake is still warm or when cake is cooled) and spread it out.


Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8.5g | Saturated Fat: 2.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 178mg | Potassium: 124mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 99IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 0.7mg
“Dance Around the Kitchen” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    It’s a Keeper!!! The recipe calls for just a few ingredients and is super simple to make. I only had Yellow Squash from our garden… so I used it. I also added 2 Tbs. of water because my batter was too dry. I baked mine in my 9×9 brownie pan and it came out Perfect!!!
    I cut the sugar in half in most recipes… But that’s just me. The icing is delicious!! Chocolate Goodness!!
    I Love it!!

  2. 5 stars
    Great cake! Stayed very moist.We just had a bit of whipped cream on ours.I used dark chocolate powder in mine.Thanks for the recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    So easy and so chocolate-y!!! Everyone loved. I was skeptical that it didn’t call for eggs, and I was out of oil, so I used melted butter for the cake and the batter was a little crumbly at 1st, then I added a little bit of half and half. Worked perfect. Next time I plan to follow it exactly, given I have all the ingredients. This is a great recipe.