Chocolate Zucchini Snack Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This Chocolate Zucchini Snack Cake recipe is a simple and delicious cake perfect for everyday baking! It’s less sweet than traditional chocolate cake and filled with vegetables. Why not treat yourself?

Chocolate Zucchini Snack Cake

It’s zucchini time! After working on a freelance shoot a few weeks ago, I found myself with a dozen leftover zucchini. I tried grilling and roasting a few of them but both times I saw Wyatt avoiding it on the dinner table (in case you are new here, Wyatt is my 31 year old fiancé but he eats like he’s a picky 8 year old kid). I knew that meant there was only one thing to do – hide it in chocolate. Thus, this chocolate cake was created! I love how the chocolate helps mask any sort of vegetable flavor you could potentially get from the zucchini while the zucchini helps yield a moist cake. And just to make sure it would be a foolproof success that he couldn’t resist, I topped it all with a simple cream cheese frosting because who can say no to cream cheese frosting?

Why did I call this a chocolate zucchini snack cake? Well, ‘everyday’ cake could have worked too. It’s simple to make and doesn’t need a special occasion or an excuse to make it. Think of it like your other favorite sugary breakfast baked good items – like banana bread or blueberry muffins…but in cake form and topped with frosting. Plus, this isn’t a super sweet or sugary cake – it has about half of the amount of sugar I would usually use for a chocolate cake. I did this because I love to eat a piece as an afternoon snack or maybe even for breakfast (so not just for dessert) and the cream cheese frosting is so indulgent that it balances each other out.

The sour cream gives a little extra tang to the batter and zucchini makes the cake moist for days (it’s so good!). Also, the applesauce works as a replacement for some of the oil in this recipe but if you don’t have any on hand, you can substitute with more oil.

Chocolate Zucchini Snack Cake
Chocolate Zucchini Snack Cake

This Chocolate Zucchini Snack Cake recipe is a simple and delicious cake perfect for everyday baking! It’s less sweet than traditional chocolate cake and filled with vegetables. Why not treat yourself?

Course: Sweets
For the cake:
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 small or 1 medium zucchini)
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
For the frosting:
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • chocolate shavings for garnish
For the cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9 inch round cake pan with parchment paper and then grease. Wrap the shredded zucchini in a clean dish towel and squeeze out any excess water. Set aside.

  2. In a bowl attached to a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, applesauce, oil, sugar, vanilla extract, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until completely combined. Beat in the egg.

  3. Interchangably add in the 1/2 of the sour cream, 1/2 of the flour, and 1/2 of the cocoa powder, beating on medium-low, until all of each has been incorporated into the batter.

  4. Fold in the zucchini and chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared baking pan and bake for 23 – 27 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center (note that it may take a bit shorter or longer depending on how much moisture was in your zucchini so start checking around the 23 minute mark).

  5. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before topping.

For the frosting:
  1. On high speed, beat the unsalted butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment until light and fluffy, about 30 seconds.

  2. Slower the speed to medium-low and slowly add in the powdered sugar and vanilla just until combined. Turn the speed back up to high speed for another few seconds until light and fluffy.

  3. Evenly spread the frosting over the zucchini cake and sprinkle with chocolate shavings. Slice the cake and enjoy!

Make sure to tag Vegetarian ‘Ventures on Instagram and use #vegetarianventures when trying this dish out!


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