Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Recipe by Toby Jermain
READY IN: 1hr 15mins


  • 4
    tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, plus additional for dusting pan (preferably Dutch process)
  • 2 12
    cups flour
  • 1
    teaspoon salt
  • 2
    teaspoons baking soda
  • 14
    teaspoon ground cloves
  • 12
    teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 14
    teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, more to taste (optional)
  • 12
    cup butter, softened,plus additional for greasing pan
  • 12
    cup peanut oil or 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 34
    cups sugar
  • 2
    large eggs
  • 2
    teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 12
    cup milk, mixed with
  • 12
    teaspoon vinegar (or 1/2 cup sour milk or buttermilk)
  • 2 12
    cups finely shredded zucchini, drained and juice squeezed out (5-6 small zucchini)
  • 3
    cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2
    cups coarsely chopped pecans, more to taste
  • unsweetened whipped cream or very lightly sweetened whipped cream, as accompaniment (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 325degF.
  • Grease a 9"x13" baking pan (preferably glass), and dust generously with cocoa powder, tapping out excess.
  • Sift together the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, and cinnamon, and optional nutmeg, and set aside.
  • Cream together the butter, oil, and sugar until fluffy, add eggs, vanilla, and sour milk, and blend well by hand.
  • Add drained and squeezed grated zucchini, and stir in well.
  • Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
  • Sprinkle the top evenly with chocolate chips, leaving a chip-free 1" diameter area right in the center, and then sprinkle evenly with chopped pecans.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • (That’s what the chip-free spot is for. You will never get a clean toothpick otherwise; it will always be chocolate covered.) If you are using a metal pan, bake at 350degF for 40 minutes.
  • Allow to cool to room temperature in pan sitting on wire rack.
  • If desired, serve with a dollop of very lightly sweetened whipped cream.
  • Refrigerate or freeze leftover cake; this cake is very moist and will mold if left for long at room temperature, but it won't get stale!