Zucchini bread, the classic way to use up too much zucchini from the garden. Or your neighbor’s garden. But, my zucchini plant was chewed up by a squirrel, then yanked up by a deer who didn’t even have the decency to eat the thing. So, definitely a zucchini shortage in my house this summer. A friend of a friend bestowed an overgrown zucchini so I was able to test out a new chocolate zucchini “cake.” I have a recipe that is a bit out of control – too much sugar, too much fat, and too much cake unless you are bringing it to a large gathering. But, I like the concept.
The first time I baked this, I used a loaf pan (see picture above). But, it’s so moist and soft that it really works better in a square cake pan. It also bakes up faster because it has spread out more.
I used Dutch cocoa the first time, which results in a darker color and a richer chocolate flavor. The second time, I used natural cocoa (most commonly seen as Hershey’s cocoa). The color is lighter as is the flavor. Feel free to try it either way. Both are good, as my husband and friends will attest.
If you end up using a baseball bat zucchini, don’t grate up the center part with the seeds. Just use the fleshy outside layer.
If you are baking this cake at sea level (I live at 5400 ft above sea level), increase the baking powder to 1 teaspoon, which is my best guess on the correct amount for you flat-landers.
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon allspice (optional)
2 Tablespoons cocoa
¼ teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature and soft
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup buttermilk
1 cup shredded zucchini (1 to 2 medium zucchini)
½ cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9″x9″ baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
Combine all the dry ingredient in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Beat together the butter, oil, and sugars until smooth and well-combined in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk. Mix in the zucchini and dry ingredients by hand until just combined. Add in the chocolate chips and mix gently to distribute.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean (The chocolate chips may stick to the toothpick so you are looking for no batter sticking, not no chocolate.)
Cool for 15 minutes in the pan on a rack before trying to cut the cake.
This is really tasty with vanilla buttercream, but it’s darn good without any adornment. I had some leftover frosting from another cake so I had to make sure it was OK. It was. 🙂