Healthy Flourless Chocolate Zucchini Cake


5 from 4 votes
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An easy healthy chocolate zucchini cake recipe made with unsweetened applesauce and cocoa powder, and perfect for dessert or breakfast! Moist, fluffy and tender on the outside, this healthy chocolate zucchini cake is vegan, paleo, keto and gluten-free.

The best healthy chocolate zucchini cake which is gluten free and vegan, and super moist and delicious!

Best Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Zucchini season is in full swing, and one of my all-time favorite recipes involving it is in chocolate cake!

Adding shredded zucchini to cake is a healthy way to hide some veggies in your diet, without compromising on taste- You won’t be able to tell that there is any zucchini in it!

Why put zucchini in chocolate cake?

Adding zucchini to chocolate cake is not only a great way to add nutrients to the recipe (fiber, vitamins, and minerals), but it also helps yield a fudgier and moist cake.

It’s also perfect to use up lots of lots of zucchini in one go- You can easily shred 3-4 medium-sized zucchini and incorporate it seamlessly.

Can I add zucchini to chocolate cake mix

Depending on which mix you use, you could technically add some into it, however, you will have mixed results.

It’s always best to add zucchini to chocolate cake recipes from scratch, as you can easily alter the liquids to compensate for it (e.g. milk or syrup). 

The best way to add zucchini to chocolate cake, resulting in a moist, fluffy and delicious cake!

How to make chocolate zucchini cake

The original version if 100% flourless, vegan and gluten-free. It also comes with a tested keto and paleo option.

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 175C/350F. Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with parchment paper and set aside. 

Step 2: In a high-speed blender or food processor, combine all your ingredients, except for your shredded zucchini, and blend until combined. Fold in your zucchini. 

Step 3: Transfer your cake batter into the lined pan and spread out in an even layer. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. 

Step 4: Allow cooling in the pan for 10 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, add frosting before slicing into pieces. 

How to make this recipe keto and paleo 

The paleo and keto option differs from the original option, so be wary of the changes.

Coconut flour, unsweetened applesauce, and eggs are needed to help produce a fluffy, moist and delicious cake.

Please note, to keep this strict keto, swap out the maple syrup or keto maple syrup. Also, Unsweetened applesauce is traditionally not keto-friendly, but the amount used in this recipe is minimal and provides trace carbs. 

Healthy Chocolate Frosting Recipe

Make your own fool-proof healthy chocolate frosting using just 2 ingredients.



  1. In a large mixing bowl, add your chocolate chips and set aside.
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl or stovetop, heat your coconut cream until warm, not hot.
  3. Pour your warm coconut cream into the chocolate chips, allowing the warm liquid to melt the chocolate. Slowly stir until combined. 
  4. Allow cooling for several minutes, before frosting your cake. 

Storing chocolate cake with zucchini

Leftover chocolate zucchini cake should be stored in the fridge to avoid spoiling. Ensure it is in a sealed container or covered in plastic wrap. Refrigerating the cake will keep for up to 5 days.

Chocolate zucchini cake is freezer friendly and can be kept frozen for up to 2 months. 

When enjoying cake from the freezer, thaw it overnight in the fridge. 

Tips and tricks for the best chocolate zucchini cake

Ensure that you squeeze all the moisture out of the zucchini, otherwise it will impact the texture of the cake. 

The oven cooking time is just an average- Cake is fully cooked once a toothpick comes out clean.

To keep this recipe nut-free, swap out the almond butter for one of the following- Tahini, sunflower seed butter or wow butter.

If you make the keto/paleo option, you can substitute the unsweetened applesauce for mashed pumpkin.

The amount of chocolate frosting made is plenty. If you prefer a thinner layer, refrigerate leftover frosting in the fridge, in a sealed container. It will keep for up to 5 days. 

Chocolate Zucchini Cake loaded with shredded zucchini, cocoa and unsweetened applesauce

Easy and delicious chocolate cake with zucchini hidden in it- it's vegan, gluten free and delicious!

More healthy zucchini recipes

Zucchini chocolate oatmeal cake perfect for breakfast or dessert!

Healthy Flourless Chocolate Zucchini Cake

5 from 4 votes
A delicious healthy flourless chocolate cake with hidden shredded zucchini inside it! Fluffy and filling on the inside and tender on the outside with a secretly healthy frosting, this zucchini chocolate cake is made with no butter, oil, flour (and/or grains) or sugar- Yet you'd never tell!
Servings: 12 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 30 minutes


For the paleo option

For the coconut cream frosting


  • Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan or 8 x 8 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix well.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the milk, vanilla extract and egg/flax egg. Pour into the dry mixture. Add the melted nut butter (and maple syrup and applesauce for paleo option) and mix very well until a batter is formed.
  • Pour the batter in the greased pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown on top and a toothpick comes on clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan completely before serving or frosting, if desired.

To make the frosting

  • Add your chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl.
  • In a microwave-safe bowl or small saucepan, heat up your coconut cream until warm. 
  • Pour your coconut cream over your chocolate chips and allow the warm cream to melt the chocolate. Once combined, allow to cool for several minutes, before frosting your cake. 


* For a keto option, use keto maple syrup. You can also substitute this for agave nectar. 
Healthy Flourless Chocolate Zucchini Cake should be stored in the fridge and will keep for up to 1 week. The cake is freezer friendly and can be kept frozen for up to 2 months. 
Nutritional information is based on the vegan/flourless option. 


Serving: 1sliceCalories: 105kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 5gFat: 5gFiber: 6gVitamin A: 250IUVitamin C: 2.5mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 1.1mgNET CARBS: 14g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

The BEST chocolate zucchini cake recipe ever, which is secretly healthy- NO grains, NO sugar and completely paleo, vegan, gluten free and keto.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

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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  1. I don’t really have similar taste buds to my family, except for my dad. We both are obsessed with peanut butter. I used to think he was weird for going at the jar with a spoon. I’ve been changed 🙂 I love zucchini in baked goods, these look great!

    1. Thanks, Ellie! I have some fun recipes to come using zucchini which you’d love so stay tuned!

  2. This looks very good!
    I shall be trying it. My Mama (92) hates zucchini so I try to hide it in different dishes.

    I have to comment on your Bio.
    You said you had been to North America and Canada.
    Canada is IN North America…..the USA does not own all of the continent.
    I assume you were saying you had been to the USA and Canada.


  3. Still need to try making a protein frosting! I’ve often made veggies disappear in baked goods by blending them with the liquid before mixing. Cheese grater is a great idea though – less clean up!

    1. Please do- If you need protein powder recommendations, shoot me a message- I think I’ve tried them all!

  4. I did that with my family once and made manicotti w tofu instead of ricotta cheese. They loved it and then I revealed my deception and they weren’t happy. But they still ate it all. Mwahaha.

  5. Sign me up for a big slice of this please, Arman! I feel like zucchini is my totem vegetable, if that’s a thing. I am always putting it in everything, since it seems to actually taste great in everything, I’ve discovered! Now every time I say “guess what’s in it!” to my other half, he immediately answers “zuccchini!!” with (false) enthusiasm 😉 I love the sound of that protein icing too! I bet it would be delicious on so many other baked goods too!

    1. For sure! I’m in Melbourne for a little bit working on the book so you’re a short flight (and slice of this!) away! 😀

  6. In some ways yes, in some ways no. Unlike my family I HATE the taste of traditional Vietnamese desserts. Unlike me, my family hates the taste of sweet potatoes and peanut butter together! We fit each other soooooooo well. I feel as if this zucchini cake was one of the goodies you gave me right before you went back home, and I thought this was so delicious when I first tried it. If this zucchini cake is it, then let me tell you that I NEVER EVER would have thought zucchini was in it. 😉

    1. YES!!!!!! You couldn’t taste or see it? YAY! That means it’s a success because you have impeccable taste! 🙂

  7. Oh man, I used to spend hours as a kind hunting for Waldo! Hours I tell ya. Now I clearly need to spend hours hunting for the zukes in this cake. And of course, I’ll have the eat the parts that are determined to be “waldo-free”. That’s the fun part! 🙂

  8. I’m allllll about sneaking zucchini into everything right now, because I’ve basically crowned myself the queen of volume eating. If I can eat more food for less, count me in. Especially if it involves chocolate and cake AND breakfast.

    1. Omg. Volume eating. My friend who does bodybuilding prep made me a meal the week of the competition for fun…Oh my gee, my stomach exploded on under 300 calories lol!

  9. Oh good gravy. This is going to the top of the list. Perfection!!
    Ps – thank you so much for putting the quantity of oats AND oat flour. Sometimes when I just have the pre made flour I don’t know how it will convert.

  10. “You could give her the most delicious chocolate brownie ever and she’d be a huge fan….until you tell her it’s made with black beans” -> this could be Stefan!
    I am intrigued by baking with zucchini but I never tried it before. Maybe I conduct a little experiment and try if Stefan would notice. I never got away with bean brownies.

  11. oh wow! This looks delicious! I will have to make your Paleo option tomorrow! Thank you for sharing and for including the Chocolate Coconut Whipped Cream link! So glad you enjoyed it! I loved making bread/cake with coconut flour as it tends to be very light and spongy! Xoxo, Ester

  12. Hi Arman, Greatings from Malta. Ready and in the oven. Cannot wait to dig in. After the success of the lemon and poppy seed breakfast cake I had to try out a chocolate one. Even my chocoholic son enjoyed the lemon cake. I love your blog, your recipes are so easy yet they taste great.
    Keep it up!!

    1. Hello Allison- Welcome!!! My friend is in Malta right now and she’s sending me photos of the amazing food there- I am so envious!

      Thank you so much for your kind words, hope you both continue to enjoy them! 🙂