Chocolate-Zucchini Loaf Cake

Photo: Alison Miksch; Styling: Missie Neville Crawford

Hands-on time 25 mins
Total time 1 hr, 50 mins

Serves 12 (serving size: 1 slice)

Zucchini squash is available year-round and is the secret to keeping this cake moist.


  • 2 cups shredded zucchini (about 1/2 pound)
  • 8 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 3/4 cups)
  • 7 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa, divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Baking spray with flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon 2% reduced-fat milk
  • Dash of salt

Nutrition Information

  • calories 260
  • fat 12.1 g
  • satfat 4.6 g
  • monofat 5.1 g
  • polyfat 1.8 g
  • protein 4 g
  • carbohydrate 37 g
  • fiber 2 g
  • cholesterol 41 mg
  • iron 2 mg
  • sodium 171 mg
  • calcium 46 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.

  2. Place zucchini on several layers of paper towels; cover with additional paper towels. Let stand 10 minutes, pressing down occasionally.

  3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, 6 tablespoons cocoa, and next 3 ingredients (through 1/4 teaspoon salt) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.

  4. Place granulated sugar and next 4 ingredients (through vanilla) in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until lemon-colored (about 5 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed 1 minute or just until combined. Add zucchini and chocolate chips; beat at low speed 1 minute or just until combined. Spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch metal loaf pan coated with baking spray. Bake at 350° for 38 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack. Loosen edges from sides using a narrow spatula. Remove from pan, and cool completely on wire rack.

  5. Combine powdered sugar, remaining 1 tablespoon cocoa, milk, and dash of salt in a small bowl, stirring until smooth. Drizzle over loaf.

  6. BAKE A SECOND BATCH If you have two loaf pans available, then double the mix. Cool and wrap baked cakes whole and unglazed in plastic wrap. To ship overnight, pack securely in a box, or gather a pretty cloth around the cake to hand-deliver. The icing is wet; pour it into a zip-top bag and include instructions to snip the corner and drizzle onto the cake.