Chocolate zucchini snack cake is a rich and moist chocolate cake that's made entirely in the bowl of a food processor! This recipe makes an 8x8 cake - perfect for small, snack sized slices.
Zucchini is truly a hidden ingredient in this chocolate zucchini snack cake. By pureeing the zucchini in a food processor (or blender), it blends seamlessly into the batter, baking up into a moist, tender, and chocolatey cake. No zucchini shreds in sight!
This chocolate snack cake is prepared in a square 8x8 pan. The perfect size for a small crowd, or for the family to enjoy over the course of a few days. Snack on leftovers with a cup of coffee, or freeze for later!
Enjoy this chocolate zucchini snack cake on its own, dusted with confectioner's sugar, or with a dollop of whipped cream. For those with a sweet tooth, top with your favorite buttercream frosting.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Zucchini - For this recipe, you'll need about one medium zucchini, cubed. This is about 1 ½ cups of cubed zucchini, or 200 grams. If you have shredded zucchini on hand, this will also work - you'll need about 1 ¼ cups of shredded zucchini (including the liquid).
- Oil - Adds moisture to your cake. Vegetable oil can be substituted with canola oil or light olive oil.
- Sugars - I used a combination of granulated sugar and brown sugar for depth of flavor and a little extra moisture with the addition of brown sugar.
- Eggs - Add structure and moisture to your cake.
- Vanilla extract - Adds depth of flavor to your cake.
- All-purpose flour - Adds structure to your cake. I do not suggest substituting the flour in this recipe, as I have not tested it with other types of flours. Baking is an exact science, and many flours cannot simply be substituted at a 1:1 ratio.
- Cocoa powder - I suggest using natural cocoa powder for the proper acidity to work with the leavening agents in this recipe. Dutch cocoa has a lower acidity, so you may not get the right amount of lift in your cake.
- Leavening - This recipe uses baking soda, which cannot be substituted with baking powder. The two ingredients are not interchangeable.
- Salt - Enhances the flavor of your cake.
- Chocolate chips - Use your favorite type of chocolate chips. I suggest semi-sweet chocolate chips, or semi-sweet mini chocolate chips. Peanut butter chips, white chocolate chips, or milk chocolate chips would all work well in this recipe.
Can you taste the zucchini?
No. Zucchini has a neutral flavor, making it the perfect addition to many baked goods. In this recipe, the zucchini is pureed. Pureed zucchini is a smooth liquid, which mixes seamlessly into the batter. This means you won't see (or taste) any zucchini in your finished cake!
Do I need to peel the zucchini?
No, there's no need to peel your zucchini beforehand. The peel of the zucchini includes fiber and nutrients that you'd lose out on by peeling it off. By pureeing your zucchini in the food processor, the zucchini blends right into the batter. You won't see any bits of peel once your cake is baked.
How to prevent a dry cake
Here are common reasons why a cake can turn out dry, and how to prevent it!
- Too much flour - I highly recommend measuring your flour using a kitchen scale. The most common issue in baking is the improper measuring of dry ingredients, mainly flour. When scooping flour with a measuring cup, the flour is compacted into the cup, adding up to 25% extra flour to the recipe. By measuring with a kitchen scale, the exact amount is added, preventing a dry cake. Gram measurements can be found in the recipe card by clicking the 'Metric' button.
- Baking for too long - If you've never made this recipe before, I suggest checking on your cake about 5 minutes early. Sometimes, ovens can run hotter than others, meaning your cake may be done earlier. Baking for too long will dry out your cake.
- Squeezing the liquid out of your zucchini - This recipe is written to include the liquid of your zucchini. If you've shredded your zucchini, there's no need to squeeze the liquid out - add it all to the food processor when preparing your batter.
- Substituting/omitting ingredients - Omitting any of the wet ingredients (zucchini, oil, sugars, and eggs) can cause your cake to turn out dry. I have not tested this recipe with alternative ingredients, and can't guarantee your cake will turn out if you omit/substitute ingredients. Instead, I recommend searching for a recipe that includes the ingredients you'd like to use.
- Slicing into hot cake - Slicing into a hot cake releases steam, which is the moisture in your cake. This will make your cake dry out prematurely.
Storage and freezing
Chocolate zucchini cake will keep in an airtight storage container at room temperature for 3 to 4 days. If your zucchini cake is very moist/wet, I recommend storing it in the refrigerator instead, for up to one week.
Cake also freezes well. Store the entire cake in a freezer safe, airtight container. Or wrap cake squares individually in plastic wrap, or wax paper, then store in a freezer safe container or plastic bag. Cake will keep in the freezer for 3 to 4 months.
Chocolate Zucchini Snack Cake
- 1 medium (200 g) zucchini, cubed, about 1 ½ cups
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons (25 g) vegetable oil
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (53 g) brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup (120 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (40 g) natural cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (85 g) chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8x8 square baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In the bowl of a large food processor, add cubed zucchini, eggs, oil, sugars, and vanilla extract. Pulse until pureed and smooth. Add dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Pulse until just combined (make sure not to blend for too long). Stir in chocolate chips.
- Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 22 to 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with crumbs.
- Allow cake to cool completely before slicing and serving. Optionally, dust the top with confectioner's sugar, or serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
- Cake will keep in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for 3 to 4 days. If cake is very moist, store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Cake can be frozen in a tightly sealed freezer-safe container for 3 to 4 months.
- Do not squeeze the liquid from your zucchini (if you've shredded it beforehand) - the recipe is written to include this liquid.
- Recipe can be prepared in a food processor or blender. If you have a small food processor, puree the zucchini, then transfer to a bowl and stir the remaining ingredients in with a spoon.