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Chocolate Zucchini Cake

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This chocolate zucchini cake recipe doesn’t use eggs but makes a cake that is so moist and delicious. Nobody would ever guess there is zucchini in it unless you tell them. Add the chocolate cream cheese frosting to take it to the next level!

Lifting piece of chocolate zucchini cake out of pan.

If you are looking for big chocolate flavor in a super moist cake, you are in the right place. The secret ingredient is shredded zucchini, and it is likely to become one of your all-time favorite zucchini recipes.

When it is zucchini season, zucchini plants have a way of going gang busters. All of the squash come on at once, and it is nearly impossible to keep up with it.

Piece of chocolate zucchini cake topped with chocolate cream cheese frosting on cake plate ready to eat.

We aren’t growing any squash this year, but we get some in our CSA boxes and more from family. While we love things like parmesan roasted zucchini, a lot of them end up in desserts as well.

Adding shredded zucchini lends plenty of moisture to this rich chocolate cake in the same way it keeps zucchini bread tender. Add some chocolate cream cheese frosting, and it is a chocolate lovers’ dream come true!

What Makes This Fudgy Chocolate Zucchini Cake so Good?

Sometimes, making a cake from scratch can be intimidating, but this cake doesn’t have to be. It uses oil instead of butter, so you don’t have to wait for your ingredients to come to room temperature.

You can use vegetable oil, canola oil, avocado oil, or any neutral flavored oil you have on hand. Put it in a large bowl and stir in some white sugar and vanilla extract.

Now add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. When you stir it together, it will seem like something is wrong.

It will be very dry, not at all like a normal cake batter. Don’t worry, just keep on going.

Now shred the zucchini. You can use a food processor or a box grater.

You will want to pack the shredded zucchini into the measuring cup and be sure to add some of that juice. Stir it into the flour mixture.

As the squash releases some of its juices, a thick batter should form. Make sure to use fresh zucchini so you get the most moisture.

If your batter looks thicker than the pictures, you can stir in a couple of teaspoons of water. It really is that easy, no eggs, no butter, no mixers… just a bowl, a lot of zucchini, and some simple ingredients.

The Chocolate Frosting

The perfect chocolate cake needs a creamy chocolate frosting. This cream cheese version was the perfect foil for the rich chocolate cake.

It is based on a classic cream cheese frosting and has that tangy flavor we all know and love. But the addition of natural unsweetened cocoa powder gives it a great chocolate taste as well.

The flavors don’t compete. They just work together to make the perfect smooth and creamy frosting.

I used a standard cocoa powder, but you could use a dutched or dark cocoa powder if you want a darker color frosting.

Spreading chocolate cream cheese frosting over baked chocolate zucchini cake.

More Great Zucchini Dessert Recipes

if you like apple crisp, you are going to love zapple crisp! It tastes just like an apple, but it is really made from zucchini, oats, cinnamon, brown sugar, and more.

Or make a mock apple pie with zucchini. It might just be the best dutch apple pie you’ve ever had. Who knew zucchini were so good at pretending to be apples?

You can also make mock strawberry jam with zucchini and pineapple. It is a fun spread to put on toast or stir some into your morning oatmeal.

If Bundt cakes are more your style, try making a chocolate zucchini Bundt cake. It is alike chocolate zucchini bread but in a prettier form thanks to a pretty Bundt pan!

Did you make this great recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card below!

Lifting piece of chocolate zucchini cake out of pan.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake With Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Servings: 12 Servings
Author: Carlee
This moist chocolate cake is hiding two whole cups of zucchini inside! It is a perfect way to use some of the extra harvest and who doesn't love cake? The easy frosting takes it to a whole new stratosphere of deliciousness. This great recipe for zucchini chocolate cake is sure to have you looking forward to zucchini season.
4.84 from 18 ratings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes



  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1⅔ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini packed

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • ½ cup butter soft
  • 8 oz. cream cheese soft
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons milk
Makes: 9 x 13inch rectangle


Chocolate Zucchini Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together oil, sugar and vanilla.
    ½ cup vegetable oil, 1½ cups granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine. The mixture will look dry at this point.
    1⅔ cups all purpose flour, ½ cup cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt
  • Finely shred zucchini, pack it into a measuring cup, being sure to add some of the liquid.
  • Stir the zucchini into the dry ingredients. As it releases its moisture, it should start to form a thick cake batter. (If your zucchini was dry, you may want to add a teaspoon or two of water to help it form a batter.)
    2 cups shredded zucchini
  • Pour batter into prepared baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the center bounces back when lightly touched with a finger.
  • Allow to cool before frosting.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Beat the butter and cream cheese together until the mixture is smooth and airy.
    ½ cup butter, 8 oz. cream cheese
  • Add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla, mixing until combined.
    3 cups powdered sugar, ½ cup cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Stir in a Tablespoon of milk. Add more milk if necessary to get the desired texture.
    1 to 2 Tablespoons milk
  • Spread over cooled cake. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature.


Serving: 1pieceCalories: 517kcalCarbohydrates: 72gProtein: 5gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 340mgFiber: 2gSugar: 53g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” 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

Laurie erickson

Friday 15th of July 2022

Is it baking powder or baking soda? Ing it says powder in instructions it says baking soda


Friday 15th of July 2022

It's baking powder, sorry about that!

Andrea Nine

Wednesday 22nd of June 2022

I just know this is so moist and delicious!


Wednesday 22nd of June 2022

It really is!