Chocolate zucchini bread is rich, tender, and moist - the perfect summer treat for using up that garden zucchini! Enjoy a slice with your morning coffee or as a less sweet dessert.
Chocolate zucchini bread is an indulgent treat that you can feel good about - it's made with 1.5 cups of shredded zucchini inside! It's got the perfect amount of sweetness and tons of chocolate flavor.
If you love dessert breads, you may also enjoy my peanut butter zucchini bread recipe. The chocolate chips in this recipe can also be substituted with peanut butter chips for the ultimate flavor combination!
Serve chocolate zucchini bread as a less sweet dessert - it's basically like a slice of cake without the frosting. You can also enjoy it with your morning coffee or tea.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Zucchini - You'll need 220 grams or 1.5 cups of finely grated zucchini. Do not drain or squeeze the liquid from your zucchini - the liquid adds moisture to your bread. For this recipe, you'll need about 1 to 1.5 medium or 2 small zucchini.
- Granulated sugar - Adds sweetness and moisture to your bread. This bread is lightly sweetened as written. If you'd like a sweeter dessert bread, the sugar can be increased by ¼ cup.
- Vegetable oil - Adds moisture to your bread.
- Eggs - Add moisture and structure to your bread.
- Vanilla extract - Adds depth of flavor to your bread.
- All-purpose flour - Adds structure to your bread. I have not tested this recipe with other types of flours, so I don't suggest making any substitutions. Baking is an exact science, and altering main ingredients can change the density and texture of your bread. Instead, search for a recipe that includes the flour you'd like to use.
- Cocoa powder - I've written this recipe to use natural cocoa powder. Natural cocoa powder is more acidic than Dutch cocoa powder. When paired with the listed leavening agents, you'll get the proper rise.
- Leavening agents - This recipe uses both baking soda and baking powder. They cannot be substituted for one another - you'll need both for the proper lift.
- Chocolate chips - The chocolate chips are optional, but add nice melty pockets throughout your bread. Feel free to use milk chocolate, semi sweet chocolate, white chocolate, or peanut butter chips for a unique flavor.
Frequently asked questions
- Do I need to squeeze the liquid from my zucchini? No. For this recipe, you should not squeeze the liquid from your zucchini. We're using that liquid to add moisture and thin the batter to achieve the proper rise in the oven.
- Do I need to peel my zucchini? No, there's no need to peel zucchini for zucchini bread. The skin and flesh melt seamlessly into the bread as it bakes. The dark color of chocolate zucchini bread also helps hide the tiny green flecks.
- Can I use cucumber instead of zucchini? No, zucchini has a mild flavor that makes it ideal for baking. Cucumber has a fresh "melon" flavor that's much more pronounced and not ideal for hiding in baked goods. For more information: Zucchini vs Cucumber - What's the Difference?
- How do I grate zucchini for bread? I recommend shredding zucchini using the small or "fine" side of a box grater. The smaller pieces melt right into the zucchini bread as it bakes. A larger grate also works but adds a more noticeable texture. Here's the box grater I use: Amazon: OXO Good Grips Box Grater
- What size pan do I need? This recipe makes one 9x5 loaf of zucchini bread. These are the pans I use for all my zucchini bread: Farberware Loaf Pan 9x5, Set of 2
For detailed information on storing zucchini bread, check out my full post: How to store zucchini bread
Room temperature - Zucchini bread can be stored in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for 3 to 4 days.
Refrigerator - If your bread is extremely moist/wet, you may want to store your zucchini bread in the refrigerator instead. Zucchini bread will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week in a tightly sealed container.
Zucchini bread can be carefully wrapped in plastic wrap/foil (either the entire loaf or single slices), then stored in a freezer safe bag or container in the freezer for up to 6 months. Set out on the counter top for 1 to 3 hours to thaw to room temperature.
Chocolate Zucchini Bread
- 1.5 cups (220 g) finely grated zucchini, do not drain liquid out
- ¾ cup (148 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (100 g) vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups (150 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (40 g) natural cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (127 g) chocolate chips, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease one 9x5 loaf pan (or line with parchment paper) and set aside.
- In a large bowl, add finely grated zucchini (including any excess liquid), granulated sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Stir until evenly combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Add chocolate chips and stir to incorporate.
- Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake for about 48 to 55 minutes, OR until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean/with dry crumbs, or bread reaches 200 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit in the center (baking times will vary based on your oven and type of pan used).
- Allow bread to cool completely on the counter before removing from pan and slicing.
- Leftover zucchini bread will keep in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for 3 to 4 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. If your bread is very moist/wet, I recommend refrigerating.
- Zucchini bread can be frozen for up to 6 months. Tightly wrap in plastic wrap/foil and store in a freezer safe bag or container. Thaw on the counter top for 1 to 3 hours.
- Chocolate chips are optional and can be substituted with your favorite flavor of baking chips, like peanut butter or white chocolate.