Ah, the zucchini – the crop that keeps on giving and giving! By the fifth week of harvesting bundles of the tender fruits, you’ve had it in pasta. You’ve had them grilled. You’ve made zucchini bread. You’ve even tried the Masala Zucchini recipe! As tempers wear thin, and you begin to question the wisdom of planting five zucchini plants, it must be time to attempt Chocolate Zucchini Cake! While no specific health claims can be made about this indulgent dessert, it does produce one of the richest, chocolatiest, and most moist of all cakes imaginable. It is an easy recipe that will open doors and win fast friends at summer potlucks.
This recipe produces one 8 inch round cake. The resulting cake is very moist, but firm enough for layering – just double the ingredients and bake in two cake pans. The attached frosting recipe perfectly covers one cake with no waste, and adds a third layer of chocolate joy to the cake.
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark)
1/2 cup neutral vegetable oil (canola, corn, or avocado)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup plain yogurt (full or reduced fat)
1 cup (150g) grated zucchini
1/2 cup chocolate chips or broken pieces of quality dark chocolate
4 oz cream cheese
4 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 oz white chocolate
1/3 cup icing sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease one round 8″ cake pan and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the all purpose and whole wheat flours. Stir in the salt. Sift in the cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder. Whisk to mix the dry ingredients thoroughly. Set aside.
Use a mixer to blend the brown sugar and oil together until there are no lumps. Then add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until the colour becomes lighter and the texture becomes slightly frothy. Add the vanilla extract and yogurt, and stir until just mixed. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the zucchini, and then the chocolate chips.
Add the moist mix to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until the mixture is smooth and no more dry flour is visible. Pour this into the prepared cake pan and level it out with a spatula. Place in the oven on a middle rack and back for 40 minutes. Insert a toothpick or skewer – if it comes out dry, the cake is ready. If wet batter clings to it, bake for a further 5 minutes and test again.
Once done, allow the cake to rest in its pan for 5 minutes. Then tip it upside down onto a cooling rack and remove the parchment paper. Allow to cool completely.
Frosting: Allow the cream cheese and butter to sit out for thirty minutes. During this time, melt the white chocolate. You can microwave for 15 – 20 seconds before stirring and possibly repeating. If using the stove, heat over extremely low heat, stirring frequently. As soon as the chocolate has melted, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool completely.
Using a hand mixer, blend the cream cheese and butter together in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the vanilla extract and blend. Add the cooled white chocolate and blend to mix. Then add the icing sugar and beat until the frosting is creamy and completely blended.
Important! Frosting a cake before the cake has completely cooled just doesn’t work. If the cake needs more time to cool down, place a piece of wax paper over it to maintain its moisture. Be patient, though – it’s worth the wait.
One nice option is to top this white frosted cake with small edible flowers. Check out our List of Edible Flowers and plant to coincide with summer cakes!