Yummy Zucchini Chocolate Cake Recipe
Yummy Zucchini Chocolate Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Yummy Zucchini Chocolate Cake Recipe

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As a confirmed chocoholic, this is my all-time favorite treat. I found the original recipe more than 20 years ago, but have lightened it up quite a bit. Everyone asks for the recipe, and no one suspects that it's lighter than most chocolate cakes. —Carleta Foltz, Sunrise Beach, Missouri
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
MAKES:18 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
MAKES: 18 servings


  • 1-3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Nutritional Facts

1 piece: 286 calories, 13g fat (3g saturated fat), 24mg cholesterol, 152mg sodium, 42g carbohydrate (26g sugars, 2g fiber), 4g protein


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 13x9-in. baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, beat sugar and oil on medium speed 1 minute. Add eggs, applesauce and vanilla; beat 1 minute longer. In another bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating just until blended. Stir in zucchini.
  3. Transfer to prepared pan. Bake 20 minutes. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and pecans. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Yield: 18 servings.
Editor's Note: To toast nuts, bake in a shallow pan in a 350° oven for 5-10 minutes or cook in a skillet over low heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
Originally published as Zucchini Chocolate Cake in Light & Tasty April/May 2006, p66

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Reviewed Jun. 19, 2016

"This recipe is amazing! Made it for the family over the weekend and it was a big hit."

Reviewed Jun. 19, 2016

"Followed the instructions to a T. It has a nice crumb and rose nicely. It wasn't super moist, the chocolate flavor wasn't deep or pronounced, and the toppings didn't stick to the top (the crust was set by 20 minutes) or melt. Good vanilla ice cream made it better, but on its own it was very disappointing. I am really disappointed with the Taste of Home recipes that I have tried recently. Maybe my tastes have changed, but it seems like the TOH recipes I made 7 years ago were better."

Reviewed Jun. 15, 2016

"I recently made these as cup cakes for a bake sale. A lot of work but so lovely!"

Reviewed Mar. 30, 2015

"Good recipe. A little bit too sweet for my taste but overall very delicious! Thanks for sharing."

Reviewed Feb. 19, 2015

"Freaking amazing!!!! Not too sweet, but totally delicious, and dense, and chocolately, and...nomnomnom...I can't be bothered right now...I'm eating cake...nomnomnom"

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