Zucchini Chocolate Cake


5 from 1482 votes
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This zucchini chocolate cake is super moist, fudgy, and has a tender crumb. Packed with rich chocolate flavor, it uses wholesome and simple ingredients.

Want more zucchini dessert recipes? Try my healthy zucchini muffins, healthy zucchini bread, and zucchini brownies next.

zucchini chocolate cake.

It’s no secret I love to add zucchini to my desserts, but none are as impressive as my chocolate zucchini cake recipe. It looks like any good cake out there, but packs in some sneaky ingredients that make it almost healthy enough for breakfast!

Table of Contents
  1. Why I love this recipe
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make a zucchini chocolate cake
  4. Arman’s recipe tips
  5. Storage instructions
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. More chocolate cake recipes to try
  8. Zucchini Chocolate Cake (Recipe Card)

Why I love this recipe

  • Hidden nutrients! Adding zucchini to a chocolate cake is a sneaky way to hide some greens, and it adds extra moisture to the cake (and fiber, too!).
  • No zucchini taste. Seriously, and you won’t be able to see it, either!
  • Perfect texture. The texture is super moist, with a tender crumb. 
  • No eggs, butter, or oil. This uses pantry staples, so you have no excuses not to make it.

★★★★★ REVIEW

“Great! All of my 9 guests (3 needed gluten-free) gave this rave review. Thank you!” – Ali

Ingredients needed

  • Milk and vinegar. Mixed and set for 5 minutes to create a mock buttermilk. I used unsweetened almond milk but any milk works.
  • Oat flour. A wheat-free alternative to traditional white or wheat flour. Skip the store-bought and packaged options and make my homemade oat flour.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder. Dutch process cocoa powder. For a richer flavor, you can use dark cocoa powder.
  • Arrowroot powder. Holds the cake together and helps achieve a moist crumb.
  • Baking powder and soda. Both leavening agents are used to give the cake structure and stability.
  • Unsweetened applesauce. Helps keep the cake moist while adding minimal calories and fat.
  • Coconut sugar OR light brown sugar. Either sugar works. Avoid using white sugar or unrefined sugar as it can affect how moist the cake ends up being.
  • Shredded zucchini. With most of the moisture removed.
  • Salt. A pinch of salt to balance out the sweet ingredients. 
  • Vanilla extract. A must for any good cake recipe.
  • Chocolate frosting. Not optional! I used my famous 2 ingredient frosting but any frosting works, including a cream cheese frosting.

How to make a zucchini chocolate cake

I’ve included step-by-step photos below to make this recipe easy to follow at home. For the full printable recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Step 1- Prep. Line and grease two 8-inch cake pans and mix the milk and vinegar to curdle.

Step 2- Make the cake batter. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, applesauce, and sugar. Combine the two until just combined.

Step 3- Bake. Pour the batter amongst the two cake pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out mostly clean.

Step 4- Frost. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting, slicing, and serving.

how to make a chocolate zucchini cake.

Arman’s recipe tips

  • Do not over-bake the cake, as it will continue to bake as it is cooling down. Unlike a traditional chocolate cake, you’ll need to be super careful, as oat flour can dry out goods easily.
  • Squeeze out some of the moisture from the zucchini, but not all of it. Some of the moisture helps keep the cake moist and soft. I like to let them sit on some paper towel. 
  • Brown sugar or coconut sugar is necessary to balance out the other ingredients. If you want to use a sugar-free substitute, you’ll need to add fat to it. 
  • Intensify the chocolate flavor by adding some chocolate chips throughout. 


  • For a richer cake, swap out half the applesauce with olive oil, butter, or vegetable oil.
  • Swap out the oat flour for either all-purpose flour or wholewheat flour.
  • For a low carb cake, replace the oat flour with blanched almond flour, use allulose as the sweetener, and swap out the applesauce for full-fat yogurt.
  • Swap out the applesauce for either plain yogurt or sour cream.
  • To cut out the gluten, use gluten-free oat flour.
  • Make a bundt cake by baking the batter in a bundt pan.

Storage instructions

  • To store:  Store at room temperature, covered, for up to three days. If you’d like the cake to keep longer, Place slices of the cake in a sealable container and store it in the fridge. 
  • To freeze: Place the baked, cooled, and frosted cake in an airtight container and store it in the freezer.
zucchini chocolate cake.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this cake vegan?

This cake has no eggs or dairy in it, so is suitable for those following a vegan diet.

Do I need to peel the zucchini before shredding it?

There is no need to peel the zucchini before grating or shredding it.

More chocolate cake recipes to try

chocolate zucchini cake recipe.

Zucchini Chocolate Cake

5 from 1482 votes
This zucchini chocolate cake is super moist, fudgy, and has a tender crumb. Packed with rich chocolate flavor, it uses wholesome and simple ingredients.
Servings: 12 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes



  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease two 8-inch cake pans and set aside.
  • Add the milk and vinegar in a bowl and whisk together. Let it sit to curdle.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the oat flour, cocoa powder, arrowroot powder, baking powder, and baking soda and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk mix, brown sugar, and applesauce. Combine the wet and dry ingredients until combined. Fold through the zucchini.
  • Distribute the batter amongst the two cake pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer come out clean.
  • Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool completely. Once cool, frost them, layer them then slice and serve.


TO STORE: Store at room temperature, covered, for up to three days. To keep it longer, refrigerate it. 
TO FREEZE: Place the baked, cooled, and frosted cake in an airtight container and store it in the freezer. 


Serving: 1servingCalories: 169kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 6gFat: 4gSodium: 164mgPotassium: 266mgFiber: 4gVitamin A: 69IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 92mgIron: 2mgNET CARBS: 25g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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5 from 1482 votes (1,452 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Light brown sugar or any brown sugar is usually refined white sugar with molasses. Not considered healthy. I would stick to coconut sugar.

  2. 5 stars
    I made it and it’s delicious, even better the next day.
    Double the frosting for more coverage.
    Made is low sugar and dairy free.
    Love it Thank you. 😋

  3. 5 stars
    This looks delicious! Would it make good cupcakes as well? If so, how long wouod you cook those or wouod you change anything else?

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