You would NEVER guess that this insanely moist chocolate zucchini cake is packing a hidden vegetable. Zucchini really just adds a lot of moisture to the cake without altering the super chocolatey flavor. I can’t even tell you how good the whipped chocolate buttercream is. You just have to make this cake.
Steps to make this chocolate zucchini cake
How do you make a chocolate zucchini cake?
- For the cake; preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, espresso powder (optional), and salt in a large bowl.
- Prepare the zucchini by washing and grating it into a bowl.
- Combine the oil, sugars, eggs, sour cream, and vanilla together and mix it up to make sure everything is well incorporated.
- Now go ahead and add the freshly grated zucchini to the wet mixture then give it a good mix.
- Slowly pour the dry mixture in with the wet mixture and beat together on medium speed. Add in the chocolate chips then pour the batter into the buttered pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean then let them cool.
- For the Chocolate buttercream; Whip up the butter for about 5 minutes in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. When the butter is light and fluffy, slowly mix in the cocoa powder.
- While mixing on low, beat in the confectioners sugar slowly to be sure you get the proper consistency, then add the cream.
- You may now add the optional vanilla and espresso in at this step while mixing on low speed. Continue mixing until you have a nice and fluffy, even consistency.
- For the ganache; put the chocolate chips into a bowl and heat the cream up in a skillet just until it’s about to boil. Pour it over the chocolate and let it sit for a couple of minutes.
- Whisk up your chocolate until it is nice and smooth. (You don’t want any lumps). Then when you’re ready, transfer it to a piping bag. If you have to reheat the chocolate up, just microwave it for a few 30 second bursts at 50% power.
Steps to assemble this chocolate zucchini cake
- For the chocolate shards; put the chocolate chips into a bowl and pour steaming heavy cream over them. Allow a couple of minutes to let the chocolate melt.
- Give the chocolate a good mix to smooth it out and make sure there are not any lumps then let it cool down a bit.
- Pour the melted and cooled chocolate onto parchment paper and spread it out with an offset spatula. Be careful not to spread it out too thin. Now, let it cool completely.
- Once the chocolate is completely cooled, break it up into shards, then dust the tips with some cocoa powder. I used a small sifter to do so.
- For the cake; pipe the chocolate buttercream onto your first layer, repeat this step until your cake is fully stacked.
- Give the whole cake a final coat all around with the chocolate buttercream and smooth it out with a bench scraper and an offset spatula.
- Place the ganache into a piping bag and pipe a swirl of it on top then smooth it out with an offset spatula.
- Pipe the drips of ganache around the top edge of your cake.
- Now carefully assemble the shards on the top of your cake and enjoy!
If you’ve tried this chocolate zucchini cake then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you!
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
This chocolate zucchini cake will blow your mind! Decadent chocolate layers covered in a whipped chocolate buttercream and silky ganache.
For the Cake:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour 360g
- 1 cup cocoa powder 100g, unsweetened natural
- 1 tbsp baking soda 18g
- 3/4 tsp baking powder 1g
- 1 1/2 tsp espresso powder 1g, heaping, optional
- 3/4 tsp salt 4g
- 1 ½ cup vegetable oil 354mL
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar 300g
- 1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar 200g
- 6 large eggs at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt 115g, at room temperature
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract 15mL
- 4 1/2 cups zucchini 475g, about 3 medium, shredded
- 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips 265g, semi-sweet
For the Chocolate Buttercream:
- 1 1/2 lb confectioner's sugar 680g
- 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter 342g, room temperature
- 4 1/2 tbsp heavy whipping cream 67mL
- 1/3 cup Cocoa powder 40g
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla 7mL, optional
- 1 1/2 tsp espresso 7mL, optional
For the Ganache
- 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate 130g
- 1/3 cup heavy cream 79mL
For the Chocolate Shards
- 1/2 cup chocolate. Semi-sweet, melted, cooled
For the Cake
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray 3, 8-inch cake pans with non-stick oil.
- Cut a parchment round for the bottom of each pan and place inside. I always use cake strips, which prevent my cake layers from doming. If you don’t have any on hand, you can make them with wet paper towels and tin foil!
Mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, espresso powder (optional), and salt in a large bowl.
With a mechanic or hand mixer, combine oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, sour cream, vanilla, and zucchini together in a second large bowl.
Mix the wet bowl with dry bowl and beat together on medium. Add in chocolate chips.
Pour mixture into pans. Cook 25-32 minutes, or until brown on top.
Use a toothpick to check to see if they’re finished. Let cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack. They must be cool before working with frosting and assembly.
For the Chocolate Buttercream
- Whip the butter for about 5 minutes using a paddle attachment (in a stand-up mixer)
- Beat in the confectioner’s sugar slowly.
Add the cream.
Slowly mix in the cocoa powder.
- You may add the optional vanilla and espresso at this step.
- Mix until you have a fluffy, even consistency.
For the Chocolate Shards
Pour 1/2 cup melted and cooled semi-sweet chocolate.
Spread out onto parchment paper with offset spatula. Let cool completey.
Break up into shards. Dust with cocoa powder.
For the Ganache
- Melt the chocolate and cream in a microwave for a few 30 second bursts at 50% power.
Transfer to a piping bag with and cut the tip off. Drizzle ganache over top and sides for a nice drip effect. Quickly use an offset spatula to spread out ganache on top.
For the Chocolate Buttercream: I made this cake a naked cake so I did not need to use all of the buttercream made in the YouTube video. If you want your cake to be completely coated in buttercream, follow the amounts in the video.
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