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Chocolate Zucchini Cake

by Lori on June 21st, 2011

A slice of chocolate walnut zucchini cake, take five
Maybe more people would eat their vegetables if vegetables were covered in chocolate. It worked for me with this chocolate zucchini cake.

The Story

The first time I had zucchini with chocolate was after a brief experiment with Weight Watchers. If you have not tried Weight Watchers before, there is a point-counting system. Everything you eat is assigned a point value, and you can only have a certain number of points each day.

The first day I diligently counted every point. I also bought a zucchini to make a Weight Watcher vegetable soup recipe, which had an allowable number of points and sounded like it might taste OK.

By the end of the first day, I learned the point-counting system is crazy! The number of points allotted each day wouldn’t sustain a baby bird, let alone an adult human.

By day two, I decided Weight Watchers was for the birds, and I quit. Instead of making soup, I used the zucchini to make chocolate zucchini bread. It may have been a million points, but I didn’t care. It was delicious.

A slice of chocolate walnut zucchini cake, take one

The Rest of the Story

A few years later, I lost more than 30 pounds — without any crazy point-counting system. I simply made small, sustainable changes in my diet and exercise routine over a long period of time. I gradually ate a little less at each meal and exercised a little bit more each day. I still enjoyed my favorite foods (like chocolate) in moderation and worked in more healthy options (like vegetables) along the way. Four years later, I have kept the weight off.

The Moral of the Story

Life’s too short to count points. It’s the small changes that count most. Make gradual changes in your diet and exercise that you can sustain over a long period of time.

About the Recipe

I started with a zucchini bread recipe from my family cookbook. The original recipe is from someone named Darlene and includes nuts and coconut. I added chocolate chips and cocoa powder, and baked it in a bundt pan — turning it into a cake.

The Cast of Characters

Zucchini and chocolate make the perfect pairing in this cake.
Zucchini and Chocolate Cake

The Play-by-Play

Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cocoa. Set aside.
Stirring cocoa, take two

In another bowl, beat the eggs until fluffy.
Whipping eggs, take two

Add the sugar to the eggs.
Whipping eggs, take one

Pour in the oil.
Adding oil

Add the vanilla, and mix well.
Stirring eggs and oil

Mix in the shredded zucchini.
Grated zucchini

Add the flour and cocoa mixture.
Adding cocoa and flour

Stir until blended.
Chocolate cake batter, take two

Grind the walnuts and add them to the batter.
Walnuts pre-grinding

Stir in the toasted coconut.
Stir in coconut

Add the chocolate chips.
Stir in chips

Pour the batter into the bundt pan.
Batter in pan, take five

Bake for an hour, and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
Chocolate zucchini cake in pan, take one

Invert the pan onto a wire rack to remove the cake, and cool completely.
Chcolate zucchini cake cooling, take three

Recipe: Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Summary: A sweet and wholesome cake, with chocolate and zucchini

Ingredients

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups grated zucchini
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup walnuts, toasted and ground
½ cup coconut, toasted and ground
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cocoa powder.
  3. In a stand mixer, beat eggs until fluffy.
  4. To the eggs, add sugar, oil and vanilla. Mix until well blended.
  5. Stir the zucchini into the egg mixture.
  6. Add the flour mixture, and stir until well blended.
  7. Stir in the nuts, coconut and chocolate chips.
  8. Pour the batter into the bundt pan.
  9. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  10. Cool the cake for 15 minutes in the pan. Invert the cake on a wire rack to remove from the pan and cool completely.

Baking time (duration): 60 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 8

Meal type: dessert

My rating: 4 stars: ★★★★☆ 1 review(s)
I would have given it 5 stars, but it was a bit dry.

The Footnotes

  • Prepping the pan: Generously grease your baking pan with shortening and sprinkle with flour before adding your batter. I used almost a quarter of a cup of shortening when greasing my pan. This helps avoid a sticky situation later.
  • Time for baking: Try reducing the baking time, and bake just until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Since the original recipe was for two loafs of zucchini bread, I wasn’t sure how long to bake it as a cake. I followed a tip from Marion Cunningham’s Fannie Farmer Baking Book, which said to bake a chocolate zucchini cake for about an hour. I might bake it a little less next time, as it was a bit drier than I would have liked.
  • Time for cooling: Let the cake cool for 15 minutes in the pan before turning it out on a wire rack to cool completely. This is another tip from the Fannie Farmer Baking Book. It worked like a dream, and the cake came right out of the pan.
  • Tips for serving: Serve with strawberries, whipped cream, ice cream or all three! I marinated the strawberries in honey a few hours before serving and the juices from the strawberries compensated for the dryness of the cake. I also added scoops of strawberry ice cream and whipped cream on the side.

Additional Resources

Here are some other interesting recipes pairing chocolate with vegetables:

If you could pair any vegetable with chocolate, which one would you pick?

4 Comments
  1. I love my veggies but I think I love them even more when they are combined with chocolate! Your chocolate-zucchini cake is gorgeous! And I loved that you only lasted two days on weight watchers!

    • It was definitely the longest two days ever. Veggies and chocolate is a much better diet plan. :)

  2. I never thought a zuchini chocolate cake would look so tasty… I think it is time I give this recipe a try. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hope you enjoy it! You can’t really taste the zucchini in it. It’s all about the chocolate. :)

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