$5 Friday: Chocolate Zucchini Cake

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Chocolate zucchini cake.png

Chocolate cake. Yum.  Yum.  Yum.  It is so evocative.  And so decadent.  It is something my kids never tire of me making.  And it is something that is not always so healthy.

Over Easter there was an advertisement on social media by a major supermarket for a chocolate cake. They were basically promoting buying three ready-made mass produced cakes and stacking them together.  The ad encouraged people to think that making chocolate cake took too much time and was too much effort.

I think it is about priorities. I have a CRAZY busy life. I work full time, I have two young boys who are with me about 70% of the time, I blog, I have entrepreneurial ambitions, I am active in my community, I write … and I just LOVE to bake.

a chocolate zucchini cake
Just out of the oven – a chocolate zucchini cake

There is something about the smell of something baking in the oven that just typifies home.  And there is something wonderful about baking with your children. OK, mine get a bit bored and only want to be there for the scraping the bowl bit at the end.  Which is good with this recipe as they don’t see me sneaking in zucchini.

Iced chocolate cake
I took this cake to a preschool get together, and the kids were fighting over it. They had NO IDEA it had vegetables in it.

Trust me they had absolutely NO IDEA this had vegetables in it.  The zucchini goes all fudgey and adds a richness to the cake.  You cannot see it or taste it.  The trick is to use those overgrown zucchinis that people with home vegetable gardens seem desperate to give away in Summer and Autumn.  And if you are like me, you accept with gratitude and make cake.

grated zucchini in a bowl
This is what the grated zucchini looks like

To prepare the (supersized) zucchini, peel them, seed them, grate them and then put them colander, preferably with a weight on top.  Allow them to sit for around 30 minutes, then use in this recipe.


1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
125g (1/2 cup) butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup self-raising flour
2 cups grated zucchini
1-2 tablespoons milk


  1.  Grate and prepare zucchini as detailed above.
  2.  Beat the butter and sugars until fluffy, then add the vanilla.
    Stirring in the zucchini
  3. Add the eggs and stir to combine.  Add the dry ingredients, and mix further.  Finally add the zucchini and milk and stir to combine. (Note: a wooden spoon or spatula is preferable to a beater for this recipe – this is a rustic, rich chocolate cake).

I topped this with a simple icing made from butter, icing sugar and cocoa powder.  Well, actually I topped this with a leftover chocolate icing package from a cupcake packet mix.  The fact that I even had a packet mix at all was a bit odd, but they were useful when I had just returned from Taiwan and my cupboards were empty!


Sugar: 50c
Butter:  70c
Vanilla:  20c
Eggs:  50c
Cocoa powder: 50c
Flour: 20c
Zucchini: free
Milk: 10c

Total:  $2.70

Do you have a favourite chocolate cake recipe?  And have you ever hid vegetables in things that your kids eat?


    1. Thank you. Yes, it is a surprisingly secret ingredient and can be quite versatile:) My seven year old really gravitated to this cake – and honestly, he had no idea.

    1. Hi Gary, I have always wanted to try the beetroot chocolate cake (I love beetroot). On my to do list. Zucchini is good because it keeps the cake moist, you can’t see it, and also it is usually very cheap (or free) this time of year. I miss having a vegetable garden but I am grateful for the produce that people give me.

  1. I’ve printed this recipe but haven’t tried it yet but (totally off topic) you made pork dumplings for Chinese New Year. I just made a variation of them (I was too lazy to make the dough so I made nude dumplings)
    They are so tasty – pork, cabbage, soy, white wine, I used sesame oil instead of the butter, white pepper. I baked them for 20 mins at 180C. YUMMO! served with sweet chilli sauce

  2. I’ve never baked with veggies but i’m so keen to try. Like you I don’t have much free time either and since i’m not that good at baking (yet) and always appreciate a straightforward recipe. This cake looks fab. Cheers for sharing!

    Would you be interested in sharing recipes with our community of passionate foodies? We’re always on the lookout for fun, new and delicious recipes like this one. You can find us right over here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OnlyGoodEats

  3. I know zucchini in cakes is quite a thing. I haven’t yet managed to make it yet. Does it freeze well? I love banana cake because I can make the cupcakes on the weekend and freeze them for during the week.

    1. Yep, freezes beautifully. I made extra in muffin tins and put in my kids school lunches. I made this recipe nut free for that reason.

      My kids love banana cake as well. Good use for leftover bananas!

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