Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting has been a tradition for my husband’s birthday these last few years. It has usually come from a cake mix box. This year he almost decided to switch to a vanilla cake, but decided on chocolate last minute (may have been peer pressure from our kids). That goodness is hard to give up.
I didn’t mind that he wanted chocolate again because for one, chocolate cake is amazingly delicious, and two, I’ve been wanting to try making a chocolate zucchini cake and so this would be the perfect opportunity! This chocolate zucchini cake recipe is healthier than some cakes (esp. the ones that come from boxes), but tastes divine. You’ll love how moist it is. And there is absolutely no need to spread an extra layer of frosting on top.
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Ingredients (9×13 inch baking dish):
- 1/4 C. unsalted butter (plus a little more for greasing the pan)
- 1/4 C. applesauce
- 1/3 C. coconut oil
- 1 3/4 C. granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 C. buttermilk (HERE is a buttermilk substitute I used)
- 2 C. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 C. shredded zucchini (I did not squeeze all the liquid out of the zucchini. )
- 1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 C. chopped almonds
- 1/4 C. packed light brown sugar (next time I might halve or completely omit the sugar — see note near the bottom of post)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13 inch pan with unsalted butter and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together (with a mixer) the butter, applesauce, sugar, and coconut oil. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well.
- Add in 1/3 of the dry flour mixture and mix well. Add 1/2 of the buttermilk and mix well Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix well. Add the other 1/2 of the buttermilk and mix well. Add the last 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix well.
- Stir in the shredded zucchini.
- Spread the cake batter into the greased pan (It should be kind of like a pudding consistency).
- Sprinkle the brown sugar, chocolate chips, and chopped almonds evenly on top of the batter.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 37-45 (I did 45) minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean with moist crumbs (don’t over bake… or under bake the cake). And don’t stick the toothpick through one of the chocolate chips because it will make it look like the cake is not done.
Let cool completely (I recommend making it the night before or at least several hours before you plan on eating it). Delicious at room temperature. *When I sprinkled 1/4 cup of brown sugar on top of chocolate chips and almonds, it did not melt into the cake like it was supposed to. The cake and topping still turned out great and we all gobbled up the cake, but I thought the brown sugar kind of over-rid the chocolate taste. I also think the cake would still taste amazing without the brown sugar, so why add the extra sugar, right? Anyway, next time (and there will be a next time!) we make this recipe, I will either omit the brown sugar or use 1/8 C. and sprinkle it on the batter before sprinkling the chocolate chips and almonds so it has a better chance of melting into the cake.
**Inspired by This recipe.