Chocolate Zucchini Cake – moist chocolate zucchini cake layers with a lemon cream cheese frosting.
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Looking for a way to use up all your zucchini from your garden? I’ve got you covered! My Chocolate Zucchini Cake is as easy as it is delicious! It’s a recipe from Ryan’s family and a fan favorite around here.
The zucchini adds moisture to the cake, but you can’t even tell it’s there once the cakes are baked. I also added some lemon zest to the cake to carry that flavor throughout each bite.
I also added a bit of lemon to the cream cheese frosting. Chocolate and lemon may seem a bit unusual to some, but it’s oh-so-good!
Can this cake be made in a sheet pan?
Absolutely! Just like all of my cakes, you can simplify them by baking them in a 9″ x 13″ baking pan. In fact, Ryan’s parents used to serve this cake with chocolate chips sprinkled on top. The frosting is my addition 🙂
To bake in a rectangular baking pan, don’t change a thing except the baking time. You’ll add about 10 minutes to my suggested time below.
How to Assemble this Cake
With only two layers to handle, the assembly of this cake is incredibly easy. The first time I made it, I actually didn’t even frost the outside of the cake and made it a naked cake.
This time around, I created a rustic look with my straight icing spatula. You can easily get this look with just a regular kitchen knife too. Check out my tutorial for this technique HERE.
I love the simplicity of this cake, but the flavor is really the show-stopper!
Chocolate Lemon Zucchini Cake
Moist chocolate zucchini cake layers with lemon cream cheese frosting.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
For the Cake
- 2 1/4 cup (270 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (109 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon (4 g) baking soda
- 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
- 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (109 g) vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (120 g) buttermilk, room temperature
- 2 cups (300 g) grated unpeeled zucchini, about 2 ½ medium
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
For the Buttercream
- 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, slightly chilled
- 4 oz. cream cheese, slightly chilled
- 5 cups (625 g) powdered sugar, measured and then sifted
- 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) lemon extract
- Pinch of salt
For the Cake
- 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.
- Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the sugar, butter, and oil until well blended.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for about 30 seconds after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
- Mix in the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
- Mix in the grated zucchini and lemon zest.
- Pour the batter evenly into the two cake pans and bake for about 25-30 minutes.
- Cool completely in pan.
For the Buttercream
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar, followed by the lemon extract and salt.
- Turn the mixer to medium speed and beat for about 5 minutes, until light in color.