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Overhead image of chocolate zucchini cake slices on parchment paper with a small bowl of frosting | All Images © Beyond the Butter™

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Chips

Author: Jennifer
This Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Chips recipe is moist, rich, and slightly fudgy with little semi-sweet chocolate chips baked in for an added treat! Top it off with some of this devilishly good chocolate frosting and your guests will be asking for seconds!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings


chocolate zucchini cake

  • 2 ½ cup All-Purpose Flour
  • ¼ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ¼ cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup Vegetable Shortening
  • ½ cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 ½ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • ½ cup Sour Milk, see Notes below if you don't have any sour milk
  • 2 cup Shredded Zucchini, do NOT drain the liquid from the shredded zucchini
  • 6 oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

chocolate frosting

  • 1 ¼ lbs Unsalted Butter, room temperature (5 sticks)
  • 2 cup Powdered Sugar, sifted
  • 1 ½ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Light Corn Syrup
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 lb Dark Chocolate, melted and cooled


chocolate zucchini cake

  • Set your oven rack to the 2nd level position and preheat your oven to 325ºF.
  • Spray your 3, 6 inch cake pans with a flour-based baking spray. Place a circle of parchment paper in the bottom of each pan, then lightly respray. Alternatively, you can grease the pans with butter and coat in flour, but it's important to still add in the parchment paper circles (it helps to release the cake from the pan).
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, and baking soda. Set to the side.
  • Using your hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream the unsalted butter, vegetable shortening, vegetable oil, and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until well blended.
  • Add in the egg, vanilla extract, and sour milk.
  • Switching your mixer speed to low, gradually add in the whisked dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add in the shredded zucchini.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Evenly distribute the cake batter into each 6 inch prepared cake pan, then place in the oven to bake for 45-50 minutes at 325ºF or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean from the center of each cake.
  • Cool cakes in the pans for 10 minutes, then carefully invert to cool completely on wire cooling racks.

chocolate frosting

  • Using your hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment mix the unsalted butter, powdered sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, and salt on medium speed until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
    Alternatively, you can use a food processor - America's Test Kitchen recommendation to make this frosting.
  • Add in the light corn syrup, vanilla extract, and the melted and cooled chocolate, and mix until the frosting is well blended and smooth in texture.
  • Frost your cake once it's completely cooled.

Recipe Notes

To make sour milk, you add 1 ½ teaspoons of lemon juice to ½ cup of milk. Mix it up and let it sit for a minute before adding it to the rest of the ingredients.
Cake recipe is adapted from the 2001, "A Taste of Bedminster Elementary" Cookbook.
Frosting recipe is adapted from "The Perfect Cake" book by America's Test Kitchen.
Keyword cake, chocolate cake, chocolate chips, chocolate zucchini cake, chocolate zucchini cake with chocolate chips, how to make chocolate zucchini cake, zucchini cake
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