Best chocolate and zucchini cake

This is the best chocolate cake I have eaten in a long long time!! I adapted the recipe from Yossi Arefi’s book Snacking Cakes. I had the book in my Amazon wish list for a while and a few weeks ago I decided to make myself a gift so I bought it. What a book!! All the cakes are very easy to make, and given the results of this chocolate zucchini cake I’m so looking forward to trying new ones!

square chocolate zucchini cake from above

I initially prepared the cake for a friend, but when it came out of the oven I could not resist trying it – you can’t give a cake you have never tried as a present, right??!! Imagine it tastes horrible!!! ;). So we ate the first one I made and it didn’t last more than a few hours. My husband was so excited he suggested a few modifications and the day after we went for the second chocolate and zucchini cake with modifications, which is the one I’m writing here. I still had to make my friend’s, so basically I made this cake three times in two days… Oh, and my friend loved it too!

close up of a square slice of chocolate zucchini cake

As I said the cake is very easy to make. Like in all the other cakes in her book, for this chocolate and zucchini cake you just need one bowl and a whisk. I used my Kitchen Aid, basically to cream the eggs and the sugar, but it’s not really necessary. What I think I was most excited about is that I usually find most cakes incredibly sweet and I always reduce the amount of sugar in all the recipes, but in this case I saw 3/4 cup (150 gr) and thought it was not too bad so I decided to give it a go. It turned out to have the exact sweetness I like in cakes!!! Not too much, not too little.

close up of a square slice of chocolate zucchini cake

The ingredients are pretty straight forward but make the cake very interesting. The zucchini adds a lot of moisture, and some extra nutrients – why not! And the chocolate is just divine! It really tastes like chocolate. The spices and the popy seeds add an extra layer or flavor and texture that make this cake stand out from an ordinary chocolate cake.

For this recipe here I made a couple small modifications: I reduced the amount of oil by 30 ml, I did 50-50 all purpose flour and whole wheat, and I reduced a bit the chocolate chips and instead I added roasted pecans. It was delicious! Really. This one is a keeper.

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close up of a square slice of chocolate zucchini cake

Best chocolate and zucchini cake

  • Author: Carla
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 35 min
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 1 8-inch square cake 1x
  • Category: Dessert

Description

The best chocolate zucchini cake ever! It’s easy to make, packed with flavor (and nutrients) and you will not be able to stop eating it. Adapted from Yossi Arefi’s Snacking Cakes.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 150 ml sunflower oil (or any neutral oil)
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (45 g) unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 5/8 (0.55) cups (80 gr) all purpose flour *
  • 5/8 (0.55) cups (80 gr) whole wheat flour *
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 1/4 cup (225 gr) zucchini, grated and squeezed *
  • 1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips, plus more for topping *
  • 1/2 cup roasted pecans *

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan and line it with parchment paper. 
  2. In a large bowl – I used my Kitchen Aid bowl – whisk the sugar and the eggs until pale and creamy. Add the oil, poppy seeds, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk until the oil emulsifies and the spices are well mixed in.
  3. Add the cocoa powder and mix until well incorporated.
  4. Add the flours, baking powder and baking soda and mix until smooth. With a spatula fold in the grated zucchini, pecans and chopped chocolate or chocolate chips.
  5. Pour the batter into the pan and sprinkle some chocolate chips on top.
  6. Bake the cake for 35-45 min, or until a toothpick comes out clean. 
  7. Take the cake out of the oven and let cool down for 15 min. Then remove from the pan and let cool completely on a rack.

Notes

  • The strange number of 5/8 or 0.55 cups of flours comes from dividing the total amount of flour 1 1/4 cup of flour between two. As I usually weigh the ingredients the division in half was easy (80 gr), but I see that if you use cups these numbers might be a bit strange…
  • To get 2 1/4 cups of grated and squeezed zucchini I needed 1 1/2 medium sized zucchinis. To squeeze the liquid out, first I grated the zucchini and then put it in a clean cotton cloth and squeezed the water out of it. 
  • If you don’t feel like adding pecans, just swap it for chocolate chips as Yossi Arefi does in her original recipe. The cake will be even more chocolatey – delish too!

Keywords: chocolate zucchini cake



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