Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Sour Cream Frosting

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Sour Cream Frosting & Walnuts

A cocoa laced cake packed with chocolate goodness and covered in a tangy sour cream frosting. Not to mention zucchini. Shredded zucchini adds incredible moistness and body to the cake making it dense but not heavy.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think zucchini cake could taste so heavenly good! You may think it sounds odd if you’ve never experienced it before but trust me when I say it’s not. It’s exactly like inserting applesauce or banana into your baking.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
The zucchini completely disappears into the batter. Not one single trace can be detected in the finished product making it perfect for feeding to unsuspecting kids and family members.

You know the ones I’m talking about. The certified vegetable haters, the ones who kick and scream when the smallest piece of vegetable is set in front of them.

When you wrap chocolate and sugar around zucchini no one can resist it’s lure.

Especially when that pertinent piece of information is kept from them.

I don’t normally condone this kind of behavior but if it gets people to eat their veggies than I plead the fifth!

P.S. Just between you and I, my family still isn’t aware there’s zucchini in this cake. It’ll be our little secret. Tee-hee.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
This post (recipe and photos) was updated on June 28th, 2014.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Sour Cream Frosting

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Total Time:

Yield: 1 9-inch cake

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Sour Cream Frosting

A zucchini-laced cake packed with chocolate goodness and topped with a fluffy sour cream frosting.


3 cups grated zucchini (on large holes of box grater)
8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 + 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 + 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 + 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup olive or corn oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped, optional for garnish
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 - 4 cups confectioners' sugar


  1. Put the grated zucchini in a colander to drain, you don't want to drain all the water out of it so you don't have to squeeze it.
  2. Preheat oven to 325º F. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan.
  3. In a large bowl sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together.
  4. In a separate large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  5. Beat in oil, then one egg at a time, then vanilla. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk in 3 batches beginning and ending with flour on low speed. Stir in the zucchini.
  6. Pour batter into greased pan and spread evenly. Bake 1 hour and 10 - 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from center.
  7. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack, turn out after 15-20 minutes or if using spring form carefully remove the ring. Cool completely before frosting.
  8. Frosting:
  9. In a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter until fluffy on medium speed, then beat in vanilla, slowly add two cups of the confectioners' sugar and beat until well incorporated and fluffy.
  10. Beat in the sour cream until well combined.
  11. Beat in the remaining 1 - 2 cups of sugar until well incorporated, fluffy and thick enough to spread 3 - 5 minutes. When you lift the beater it should stick to it.
  12. Frost cake and sprinkle with walnuts.


Adapted from Saveur

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

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  1. Shannon says

    This was the best zucchini cake ever! It was moist, had great flavor, and my 10 year old asked for seconds and he despises any kind of vegetable. He did know there was zucchini in the cake! Thanks for another wonderful recipe!!!

    • says

      Thanks a lot Shannon! I’m glad it was a hit! I make it for my Dad – he doesn’t know there’s zucchini in it either! 😉

  2. Kelly says

    Do you think, without frosting, this would freeze ok? I am desperate to make some zucchini goodies that freeze well.

    • says

      I never froze any kind of baked good with zucchini it Kelly! I’m afraid it would be soggy when defrosted. . .I googled it and found that some people had frozen other zucchini cakes with success so I think it’s worth a try.

  3. Phyllis says

    About how much zucchini do you get from 2 large zucchini? I have mine shredded and frozen so it’s ready to use.

  4. Cal says

    Mmmmm…heaven. If THIS cake doesn’t make your (sweet) heart pitterpatter, I don’t know what will. Thank You, Reeni!

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