Chocolate Lemon Zucchini Cake

Aug 19

Moist chocolate zucchini cake layers with a lemon cream cheese frosting.

I think you’re going to love this cake! It’s super easy to make and decorate, and more importantly, it tastes delicious. The recipe originally comes from Bon Appetit, and was slightly adapted by my father-in-law, who introduced me to the recipe. I then added the lemon zest and lemon frosting to give it a little bit of my own flare – and because chocolate and lemon were simply just made for each other.


Chocolate Lemon Zucchini Cake

Yield 1 2-layer, 8-inch cake

Moist chocolate zucchini cake layers with lemon cream cheese frosting.


Chocolate Zucchini Cake (adapted from Bon Appetit)

  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 cups grated unpeeled zucchini (about 2 1/2 medium)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest 

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • Pinch of salt


For the Chocolate Zucchini Cake

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray your two 8-inch round cake pans, line with parchment paper and spray the parchment. Set aside.
  2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the sugar, butter, and oil until well blended.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for about 30 seconds after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
  5. Mix in the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
  6. Mix in the grated zucchini and lemon zest.
  7. Pour the batter evenly into the two cake pans and bake for about 25-30 minutes.
  8. Cool completely in pan. 

For the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
  2. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar, followed by the lemon extract and salt.
  3. Turn the mixer to medium speed and beat for about 5 minutes, until light in color.

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