Chocolate-Zucchini Cake

The perfect summer dessert: a chocolate-zucchini cake slathered with chocolate frosting.

By Yankee Magazine

Jun 28 2022


Chocolate-Zucchini Cake

Photo Credit : Styled and Photographed by Liz Neily

The perfect summer dessert: a chocolate-zucchini cake slathered with chocolate frosting. You don’t taste the zucchini, just the chocolate, but the zucchini does create a very moist crumb. Some people add chopped walnuts or chocolate chips to their loaves, but we kept it simple here with just a dash of cinnamon. Adapt as you wish.

If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can simply add 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice to regular milk and let it sit for 10 minutes.


2 loaves

For the cake


½ cup unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing pans

½ cup vegetable oil

1 ¼ cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup buttermilk

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring pans

¼ cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon table salt

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups grated zucchini, squeezed to remove excess juice


Grease two standard loaf pans with butter, then sprinkle with flour to coat. Shake to remove excess. Preheat your oven to 325° and set a rack to the middle position.

In a medium bowl, use a handheld or standing mixer to cream the butter, oil, and sugar together for 1 minute, scraping the bottom with a spatula halfway through. Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat for an additional minute, scraping once more. Add the buttermilk and beat until blended.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, then add to the butter-sugar mixture. Mix until evenly combined, scraping the bowl as needed. Stir in zucchini until evenly combined. Divide the batter among the loaf pans.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, and the cakes are beginning to pull away from the sides, 45 to 55 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool.

Now, make the frosting.

For the frosting


½ cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

¹⁄3 cup cocoa powder

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

¹⁄8 teaspoon table salt

1–2 tablespoons milk or heavy cream


In a medium bowl, use a standing or handheld mixer to beat the butter with the confectioners’ sugar for 1 minute. Add cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt, and beat for another minute or two. Add enough milk or cream to reach your desired consistency, then spread over the tops of the cooled cakes.