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Growing up, chocolate zucchini cake was a very popular cake in our household. I don’t know if it was because we had a ridiculous surplus of baseball bat sized zucchini, or if it was because my mother thought it clever to sneak in vegetables into our desserts. We didn’t eat a lot of desserts growing up, so we always enjoyed this rich, moist cake as a treat. For those of you with a truck load of over sized zucchini,  my mother would grate whatever she couldn’t use up and then freeze some in individual baggies for use over the winter months. It’s especially useful to have a bag of ready-to-go, grated zucchini to make this cake, but also it is great for no yeast quick breads. Zucchini Walnut bread is such a lovely treat in the winter with a hot cup of tea.

First off I have to say that I love my sweets. No really, I love them. I want to make out with cakes and ice cream. My biggest weakness is cookies, so I rarely make them. As my husband and I make the change to only using whole food sweeteners, the challenge then becomes how to change our baking recipes to not include brown sugar or white sugar and in this case, finding an icing that didn’t use icing sugar. I caved on the sugar part and used Raw Cane Sugar or otherwise known as Demerara or Turbinado, since I didn’t feel like messing with the chemistry of the cake. Next time I’ll use palm sugar in the recipe. I’ve noted the change in the recipe for those of you wanting to use palm sugar. I also managed a great tasting cream cheese icing sweetened with honey.

A couple of quick words as to why I love this cake. It moist and almost fudgy. It’s sweet enough to be a dessert, but no where near to0 sweet. It’s more like dark chocolate than milk chocolate, if you get the comparison. And the best part is that there is no zucchini taste at all! The espresso brings out richness and the orange complements the chocolate. Substituting cinnamon for orange zest would also be fabulous.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil (or softened butter)
  • 1 1/4 cup raw cane sugar (1 3/4 cup coconut sugar)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup full fat yogurt
  • 2 cups sprouted whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup raw cocoa
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups grated zucchini (peel left on)
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp espresso or really strong coffee

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease two 8 inch cake pans ( I used a 9 inch spring form but I wouldn’t do that again, 2 cake pans are better). Next you’ll need 3 bowls.

In the first mixing bowl add the melted coconut oil and sugar, blend until well combined. If using butter, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in 1 egg at a time. Then mix in the yogurt until well blended.

In the second bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, and salt. Stir until evenly combined.

In the third bowl add the grated zucchini. Stir in 1 cup of the flour mixture. Stir the flour mixture into the zucchini until the zucchini is well coated and no white clumps remain.

Add the remaining flour mixture to the egg mixture in 3 equal parts. Making sure the flour is well blended before making the next addition. Add the zucchini mixture and stir until well combined. Add the nuts, zest and espresso and give it a final stir. Pour the mixture into 2 cake pans. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow the cake to cool for 5 minutes before removing the cake from the pans. Allow the cake to cool completely before icing.

Espresso Cream Cheese Icing

  • 2 Tbsp espresso
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
  • 5 Tbsp honey

Mix all 4 ingredients together, mixing with beaters until smooth. Add a extra Tbsp of honey if needed.


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