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+ servings
A slice of chocolate zucchini cake on a white plate
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5 from 3 votes

Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Browned Butter Cream Cheese Icing

A dense and fudgy chocolate zucchini cake that's topped with browned butter cream cheese frosting will be your summer dessert of choice.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Cooling Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake, chocolate, cream cheese, cream cheese frosting, dessert, kid friendly, nut free, vegetarian, zucchini
Servings: 9
Calories: 470kcal



  • 1 medium zucchini, see note
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour optional, can replace with an additional ¾ cup of all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional)


  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces cream cheese or goat cheese or a mixture
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-2 cups powdered sugar (see note)



  • Trim the ends from the zucchini and shred on the large holes of a box grater. Transfer the shredded zucchini to a colander and toss with ½ teaspoon of the salt. Let it sit in the sink to drain while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9x9" baking pan and sprinkle flour in, discarding any excess.
  • Whisk all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Beat sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla extract together in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for about 3 minutes until smooth and pale. Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined, about 2 minutes.
  • Transfer the shredded zucchini to a clean dish towel and squeeze out any remaining liquid. Add the zucchini to the batter and beat for another 2 minutes. Fold in chocolate chips with a spatula (if using).
  • Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool on a wire rack completely before frosting.


  • Place the butter in a small skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Cook until butter is lightly browned and smells toasted. Transfer to a heat proof bowl and place in the fridge to cool. Once it begins to solidify, remove from the fridge and keep at room temperature until you're ready to make the frosting. You want it to be the consistency of softened butter.
  • Place browned butter and cream cheese into the bowl of a stand mixer. Cream together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and mix on low speed until incorporated. Increase speed to medium high and beat until fluffy. Add vanilla and continue to beat for another minute. Use immediately or store in fridge until ready to use.


If you have a large zucchini, you can use the whole thing and double the rest of the recipe. When using large zucchinis for baking, make sure you scoop out and discard the seeds before shredding. A doubled recipe can be cooked in a 9x13" rectangular pan, or two round 8" pans. Note that if you want to make a round layer cake, you will need to triple the frosting recipe. To cook the rectangular pan, add 5-10 minutes to the baking time.
The amount of powdered sugar can be adjusted to achieve your desired frosting consistency. For soft, thinner frosting, using only 1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups powdered sugar. For thicker, stiffer frosting, use 2 cups powdered sugar.
If you want to make a Chocolate Zucchini Loaf, follow this recipe but bake in a greased 9x5" loaf pan. Add 5-10 minutes onto the baking time.


Calories: 470kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 402mg | Potassium: 231mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 427IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 2mg