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Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Custard Sauce Recipe

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Custard Sauce Recipe

The minute I can get my hands on zucchini, I start making this light and luscious cake. For years it was an often-ordered dessert at my sister's deli. —Peggy Linton, Cobourg, Ontario
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 55 min. + cooling YIELD:16 servings


  • 1-3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups finely shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract


  • 1. Preheat oven to 325°. Grease and flour a 10-in. plain or fluted tube pan. In another bowl, beat sugar, oil and butter until well blended. Gradually beat in buttermilk, eggs and vanilla.
  • 2. In another bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves; gradually beat into sugar mixture. Stir in zucchini, chocolate chips and almonds.
  • 3. Transfer to prepared pan. Bake 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool.
  • 4. For sauce, in a large saucepan, mix sugar, flour and cornstarch. Whisk in milk. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat to low; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat.
  • 5. In a small bowl, whisk a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks; return all to pan, whisking constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes. Gently stir in butter and extract. Serve warm with cake. Cover and refrigerate leftover sauce. Yield: 16 servings.

Recipe Note

Editor’s Note: For easier removal of cakes, use solid shortening to grease plain and fluted tube pans.

Nutritional Facts

1 slice: 392 calories, 18g fat (7g saturated fat), 86mg cholesterol, 117mg sodium, 52g carbohydrate (34g sugars, 2g fiber), 7g protein.

Reviews for Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Custard Sauce

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VictoriaElaine User ID: 3422096 233484
Reviewed Sep. 26, 2015

"After reading the reviews, I doubled the baking cocoa to 1/2 cup and left out the cloves. I also added extra chocolate chips. My experience with these types of cakes is that the canola oil can make them greasy, so I used 1/2 cup butter and 1/4 cup canola oil. I was very happy with the results - the cake turned out very chocolately and moist. i did not make the custard sauce."

MarlaK User ID: 566575 231629
Reviewed Aug. 23, 2015

"I made this cake tonight and it was delicious! I read all the reviews first and tried to compensate where I though was needed based on what they said. I read there was a potential lack of flavor and not a strong chocolate taste so I scantly doubled the cocoa, 3-4X the cinnamon, doubled the vanilla, decreased the oil to a couple of TBS, and increased the butter to 1 1/2 cups. I kept the sauce the same except slightly increased the almond extract. My changes may sound extreme but it really was a remarkable cake. My in-laws, husband and even all the kids (youngest is 6) loved it. I, too, thickened my sauce a bit more and put it over individual pieces. Serving this one warm is the way to go. A definite keeper."

Nana6367 User ID: 3259305 128751
Reviewed Aug. 9, 2014

"This cake is extremely good. Instead of putting the sauce over the whole cake I put it on as I served it. The sauce seems to break down by the next day so the second time I made it I made the sauce a little thicker. Worked much better. Everyone loved it. My chocolate loving family loved it especially."

stayathomemom0105 User ID: 7889986 128749
Reviewed Aug. 6, 2014

"The cake and sauce was good while it was warm. I thought the cake was good. Next time I wont put the sauce over the whole cake, just as it is cut and served."

Shoby User ID: 7793944 90192
Reviewed Aug. 6, 2014

"NOT a good cake. Very dense, as cakes from scratch often are. However, it has so little flavor, you can't even tell it's chocolate. My kids said " I thought you said it was chocolate". That about sums it up, except for the sauce, this also had so little flavor, had to add vanilla, which end help a bit, but the other reviews are right, it really does not go with the cake at all."

ruthrod User ID: 7651457 60225
Reviewed Jul. 28, 2014

"This is close to a 70yr old recipe I got from my mother, I KNOW it is exceptional."

tsuop User ID: 6274346 205711
Reviewed Jul. 28, 2014

"I can't wait to try this, I make a similar cake in a 9 x 13 with the choc. chips on top. This is an "upgrade" with the fluted pan and sauce. Caution be sure to bake at 325* or it will be dry. I'm giving it 5 stars because it's so close to my recipe. My grandson , who dosen't "like veggies" loves this cake."

papotts User ID: 7358803 141797
Reviewed Jul. 15, 2014

"The cake was dry and bland. The custard sauce did not go with the cake. Threw out most of the cake along with the recipe. Used the custard and other ingredients to make popsicles."

toolbarsco User ID: 6725667 72926
Reviewed Jun. 5, 2014

"We really enjoyed this cake. Did not make the custard sauce but served with whipped cream. Yummy."

CatMurphy User ID: 7117971 129766
Reviewed Oct. 14, 2013

"I thought this cake was dry and it needed more flavor, as in more spices and/or more cocoa. The custard sauce didn't seem to go with the cake."

tammycookblogsbooks User ID: 7112115 90014
Reviewed Sep. 29, 2013

"This is a good tasting cake. My mother-in-law was the one to tell me how good this recipe is so I made it for my family. I really like the chocolate chips in it but I Ieft out the almonds. I made the custard sauce but no one seemed to care for it so I won't make it again."

efwynne User ID: 4092460 205710
Reviewed Sep. 29, 2013

"I've been looking for recipes using zucchini since my garden was overflowing with it!! And this recipe was great!! Even my picky son loved it! The cake was moist and with the added spices you really couldn't taste the zucchini. The only change I made was I didn't put the custard on it. I made my own frosting using confectionery sugar. I've made it twice already and plan to make it again for my company."

AnneViolaP.S. User ID: 3517238 205709
Reviewed Sep. 9, 2013

"Delicious...nice and moist."

Ree57 User ID: 7146367 136566
Reviewed Sep. 1, 2013

"This is a good cake, I only gave it four stars because I thought the cinnamon was a bit to much for my taste."

aho User ID: 3033206 72917
Reviewed Sep. 1, 2013

"This cake is so chocolate good, moist and easy to make. I twisted it up and added toasted coconut to the top. I would make this again. So good. Thumbs up. Taste of Home volunteer Field Editor. Diane A"

keverwann User ID: 1807985 99479
Reviewed Aug. 25, 2013

"I didn't have sliced almonds, so I chopped some whole ones. I also cut my own chocolate into chip-sized pieces.

We thought the cake was okay. I will make zucchini bread next time I have zucchini; this will not be my "turn to" recipe.
I made a 1/3rd recipe of the sauce and I'm glad I did because we didn't like it. It might have been the almond extract; maybe it would be better with vanilla. It might have been the custard aspect of it; maybe it was too eggy. Either way, we didn't like it on the cake or separate; hot, warm, or cold. Sorry. I'm going to make cream cheese frosting for the rest of the cake."

Bakerj User ID: 4200567 60224
Reviewed Aug. 23, 2013

"I have made this recipe twice. We liked it. I haven't made the custard sauce yet, I used cool-whip topping. Also I changed from almonds (which got "soggy" during baking) to walnuts. I liked the change."

adelinasaquatics1 User ID: 7379299 128745
Reviewed Aug. 22, 2013

"OMG... one of the best I have tasted. Thank you"

gld2bmom User ID: 7191733 49520
Reviewed Aug. 16, 2013

"My family loved this moist, spice-cake like Bundt cake. I will definitely make this cake again, especially because it contains "hidden veggies"!"

SueRoessler User ID: 260638 49767
Reviewed Sep. 25, 2012

"Very good! I doubled the amount of cocoa to 1/2 cup to make it more chocolaty. We like to heat up the cake with the sauce on it in the microwave. Yum!"

bracelet User ID: 1930374 128744
Reviewed Aug. 22, 2012

"after refrigerating leftover sauce-can it be warmed again?"

Jill B User ID: 2796732 49766
Reviewed Sep. 26, 2011

"I have made this recipe numerous times and it is wonderful! Sometimes I don't use the nuts and sometimes I make it into a chocolate layer cake. The little bit of spice is just right behind the chocolate."

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