Chocolate Zucchini Cake

It must be stated right away that this is not a historical Stein family recipe. I was just about to gather ingredients for Mom’s best chocolate chip cookies when the gargantuan zucchinis came through the door this past week. That’s when the garden stories began to flow and Mom’s cookbooks came out.

We chose a recipe that looked tasty from one of the most-thumbed books and gave it a try. The result was a moist cake with a big chocolate punch that’s not too sweet. The chopped pecans got tender in the baking and added a nice chewy texture. Based on its short life, I think it’s safe to say that it’s a new family favorite, and it was obvious then that I’d have to include this recipe in the collection.

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Chocolate Zucchini Cake

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon each salt and ground cinnamon

3/4 cup (1/4 lb plus 4 tablespoons) butter or margarine, softened

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

2 teaspoons each grated orange peel and vanilla

2 cups coarsely shredded zucchini (about 4 medium-size),lightly packed

1/2 cup milk

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Glaze (recipe follows)

In a bowl combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In large bowl of electric mixer, combine butter and sugar and beat until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in orange peel, vanilla, and zucchini.
Alternately stir flour mixture and milk into zucchini mixture, including nuts with last addition.
Pour batter into a greased and floured 10 inch tube or Bundt pan. Bake in a 350° oven for about one hour until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 25 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack. Cool completely.
Prepare glaze and drizzle over cooled cake. Let glaze harden.
Makes 10 to 12 servings

Powdered Sugar Glaze (included with recipe)

In a bowl, combine 2 cups powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until smooth

Chocolate Glaze (what we used)
In top of a double boiler, combine four squares (1 ounce each) semi-sweet baking chocolate and 1 tablespoon butter or margarine; stir over barely simmering water just until melted. Remove from heat and let cool, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened.

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** Notes:

This recipe comes from The Sunset Cook Book of Favorite Recipes II.

Several of Mom’s other cookbooks seem to be old enough not to include many zucchini recipes, if any at all.

I replaced the powdered sugar/milk glaze with a chocolate glaze from another cake recipe from the same book.

I always use butter.

I used dark cocoa powder, and lemon instead of orange peel because it was what we had.

I seeded this zucchini because the mature seeds were quite large and tough.

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Do you make a favorite dessert from vegetables?


3 thoughts on “Chocolate Zucchini Cake

    • Good question.
      No, it’s not a substitute, as there are 3 eggs in this one! I wonder if you could substitute cashew cream or something else for eggs, though? I’m excited to try it in baked goods, as I love to bake it into a spread.
      The zucchini certainly adds a moistness factor, and a little tooth, I think. There is body and texture without density or dryness. Our daughter has never been a big cake eater – and mostly, the Stein family are pie lovers – she declared this the best cake she’s ever eaten. I’m trying it next with frozen shredded zucchini.


  1. Pingback: Fresno Potato Casserole- and Some News About Mom | A Year in Mom's Kitchen

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