Chocolate Zucchini Cake

When you have lots of zucchini to use, make chocolate zucchini cake! The addition of zucchini makes it perfectly moist, delicious & even healthy(-ish.)

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

I woke up the other morning and thought… Matcha Frosting! Then I realized that with St. Patrick’s day coming up, cake with green frosting would be a fun treat. I had yet to eat breakfast that morning, but all I could think about was chocolate cake. Tell me I’m not the only one who wakes up with random cake cravings? 🙂

This cake is based on the chocolate zucchini muffin recipe from our cookbook (one of my favorite recipes!). The frosting is loosely based on the cashew frosting from my carrot cake recipe.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake recipe

I realize that zucchini isn’t exactly in season, but going along with the green theme, I thought it was fitting. Plus, sneaking vegetables into cake is always a good idea… er… sometimes a good idea. Well, at least it is when the vegetable is zucchini.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

This cake is very moist and a bit dense in a good fudgy way. The frosting is made from cashews with a tiny bit of matcha blended in to tint it green. You could also make this chocolate zucchini cake into muffins/cupcakes if you like, just reduce the baking time to about 15 minutes. If you skip the frosting, I recommend adding 1/2 cup chocolate chips for extra chocolatey goodness.

Happy St. Paddy’s week!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

If you love this chocolate zucchini cake…

Try this vegan chocolate cake or this chocolate olive oil cake. And if you still have zucchini to use up, make this zucchini bread or chocolate zucchini bread next!

4.8 from 6 reviews

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

This moist, fudgy vegan chocolate zucchini cake is the perfect thing to make when you have an abundance of zucchini! If you skip the frosting, add ½ cup chocolate chips for extra richness.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup almond milk, at room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (or half white/half wheat)
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ⅔ cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cups finely shredded unpeeled zucchini
Matcha Cashew Frosting
  • 1¼ cups raw cashews
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons almond milk
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons solid coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon matcha tea powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with coconut oil.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the ground flaxseed and water and set aside to thicken. Stir the vinegar into the almond milk and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flaxseed mixture, almond milk/vinegar mixture, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Don’t over mix. Fold in the zucchini.
  5. Pour the batter into the baking dish and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top of the cake springs back to the touch. Cool completely before frosting.
  6. Make the frosting: In a blender, combine the cashews, almond milk, powdered sugar, coconut oil, vanilla, matcha, and sea salt and process until smooth and creamy. Add more matcha, if desired. Chill until ready to use, or for at least 20 minutes to firm up.
Note: I used powdered sugar in the frosting because maple syrup made the frosting darker green than I liked. The powdered sugar also thickened it best.

another note: matcha varies in color, some are very bright green, some are more dull, so the color of your frosting may vary based on the matcha that you use. I used Aiya Matcha here.



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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Annette

    This looks amazing! May go the cupcake route so I can give some away and not eat them all myself! I definitely am in the camp of cake cravings for breakfast!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      glad I’m not the only one 🙂

  2. chrissie

    This looks absolutely delicious and I can’t wait to make this . On a side note, I absolutely love your cookbook. At the present time, I have purchased about 5 copies, and YES, my friends love your book as well. I look forward to your next publication….. no pressure

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      oh thank you, thank you, thank you!! 💛💛

  3. Gaby Dalkin

    That matcha frosting though…there’s no better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

  4. Rhonda @ Change In Seconds

    Wow! I will try the recipe this week 🙂

  5. Natalie

    What a beautiful cake! I love the matcha frosting – looks incredible and so tasty!

  6. What a stunning cake. I love the chocolate zucchini muffins from your book so I know this cake would be just as good. And good idea to add chocolate chips — I’d add them even with the frosting! 😉

  7. I have shredded zucchini in the freezer. Will that work if I thaw it?

  8. Brinton

    What an interesting idea for a cake. It looks really delicious.

  9. Leticia

    I just made this with just one variation, I used 1 cup oat flour and 1 cup brown rice flour instead of the all purpose flour. It’s just out the oven and looks and smells great! Thanks for an egg free chocolate cake recipe thats now gluten free too!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Leticia, I’m so glad that combo turned out! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Daphne

    You don’t have to soak the cashews for the frosting? Looks amazing!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Daphne,

      I don’t soak them, but you could depending on the type of blender that you’re using. They come out creamy in my Vitamix. If your blender doesn’t get cashews quite as creamy you could soak them for at least 2 hours, drain and rinse before using. Hope that helps!

  11. Erin

    I’ve made this cake twice now and it is absolutely delicious (as are all recipes from this blog/cookbooks). It is very moist and has a complex flavor. I love it.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Erin, I’m so glad you loved the cake!

  12. Corie

    Do you think oat milk would work as a substitute for the almond milk? It’s the only different ingredient I have from the rest of the list 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      yep! I think it’ll be just fine.

  13. Cynthia

    Made this for my daughters birthday. No one else is a vegan, yet we all thought it was absolutely delicious!! I added a lot more a milk (I used oat milk) to the icing as well as coconut flakes. I made it in a bundt pan (should have doubled the recipe as it only filled half the pan after baking). Sprinkled the iced cake with dark chocolate shavings and chopped pistachios. SOOO good!! Thanks for the perfect vegan zucchini cake!!

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.