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Best Zucchini Cake Recipes

Best Zucchini Cake Recipes

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Zucchini Cake Shopping Tips

Buy zucchini that is intact and has glossy skin. Avoid zucchini with brown or soft spots.

Zucchini Cake Cooking Tips

Zucchini has a very high water content, lightly salt your zucchini prior to cooking so your dish does not become to watery.

Zucchini and Pecan Sour Cream Pancakes

These zucchini pancakes are light and fluffy with a pleasing crunch from the pecan nuts.

Photo credit: Sam Jones/Quinn Brein

Zucchini Bread

How could we not include zucchini bread, the classic way to use up zucchini? We love to freeze lots of zucchini loaves—always handy.

Photo credit: Joseph E. Ligori/Shutterstock

Kale, Bean, and Zucchini Soup

Kale, beans, and zucchini are all powerhouse vegetables. Try them together in this soup!

Photo credit: Sam Jones/Quinn Brein

Zucchini and Tomato Au Gratin

This recipe is perfect for the summer harvest time, combining two classic and complimentary garden goodies.

Photo credit: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Breaded Fried Zucchini Rounds

Our breaded fried zucchini rounds are just delicious—and take no time to make.

Photo credit: Sam Jones/Quinn Brein

Zucchini Spice Cake

This zucchini spice cake with orange cream cheese frosting is so delicious! You’ll never guess that there are hidden fruits and veggies!

Photo credit: Sam Jones/Quinn Brein

Zucchini Brownies

Zucchini adds the moistness and the benefits of vegetables, but no one will even notice!

Photo credit: vm2002/shutterstock

Zucchini Potato Soup

This Zucchini-Potato Soup is surprisingly flavorful and a big hit even with those who aren’t normally fond of soups.

Zucchini Marmalade

With a slight hint of lemon and ginger, this spread will disappear when served with warm scones. A great way to use up your bumper crop of zucchini!

Photo credit: Sam Jones/Quinn Brein

Zucchini Sausage Squares

Zucchini Sausage Squares combine simple, fresh ingredients to create a comforting, filling, and savory dish that can feed a crowd!

Photo credit: Sam Jones/Quinn Brien

Zucchini Pizza Recipe

When you’re faced with a glut of zucchini, turn to this healthy and delicious recipe that uses squash instead of dough for a crust.
Watch our video demo on how to make Zucchini Pizza!

Photo credit: Sam Jones/Quinn Brein

Lemon-Zucchini Muffins

Shredded fresh zucchini doesn’t alter the flavor of these lemony muffins, but it does give them a moister texture and a nutritional boost.

Zucchini Pancakes (Latkes)

What a great way to serve summer’s most abundant vegetable! These latke-style zucchini pancakes can even be served as a main course.

Photo credit: Sam Jones/Quinn Brein

Summer Squash Salad

Thinly sliced summer squash lends sweetness to this lemony salad studded with toasted pine nuts.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

This Chocolate Zucchini Cake is the best chocolate cake ever! It’s moist and chocolatey and (almost) guilt-free! The cake freezes well, so you can pull it out any time.

See the printable recipe here. Watch the video demo below on how to make!


Ever made zoodles? They’re a healthy, fresh alternative to pasta! Here is a delicious recipe that was a potluck hit.

Grow Your Own Zucchini

One more thing: It’s easy to grow your own zucchini! Learn how in our free Squash and Zucchini Growing Guide.

5 Important Reasons I Love THIS Zucchini Cake Above All Other Zucchini Cakes

There&rsquos no better way to close out zucchini season.

Last week, I asked you to join me in a collective act of will (i.e. baking a loaf of Snickerdoodle Bread), geared towards manifesting an ASAP-style fall arrival. And you guys, I think it’s working… because zucchini season is well on its way out the door.

And it’s just about that point in the season when we’re all but zucchini-ed out. We’ve grilled it. We’ve sauteed it. We’ve stuffed it. We’ve fried it. We’ve made chips with it. We’ve eaten it raw in salads. We’ve put it in pasta. And we’ve turned it into pasta. So now, for one last hoorah, what do you say we bake with it?

There’s no shortage of zucchini cake and bread recipes floating around out there, but I’m especially fond of this one here.

You see, this is the kind of recipe I can see my hypothetical grandchildren making one day, from a hypothetical note card titled, “Gram’s Zucchini Cake.” It’s relatively safe (no crazy bells and whistles here), but exceptionally good. It’s a reliable cake, one that leaves the baker feeling accomplished when they pull that first slice from the pan. Or at least, that’s been my experience.

In short, it’s everything I want a zucchini cake to be�use I developed it that way. I hope that if you give it a try, you’ll dig it too. Here are a few reasons I love it so much.

The Size

If you’re going to allot the time and the ingredients towards making a zucchini cake, you might as well make a sizable one. After all, you do have to break out a box grater𠅊nd if you’re gonna shred vegetables by hand, you want to have something to show/share for the fruits of your labor. And this isn’t some snack cake. It’s not an 8x8 no, you need to pull out the 9x13 to bake this beauty.

That means that if you have a large household, everyone will be jazzed that there’s (really good) cake for a couple of days. If you’re having a couple of people over, there’s going to be enough to send your company home with leftovers. And if you have a small household and no plans for a dinner get-together, you have incredibly lucky neighbors. No matter what, you’re making people happy—with zucchini, no less.

The Moisture

Most cakes that boast noteworthy moistness have to credit sour cream, buttermilk, yogurt, or even regular milk. Not this one. This cake is so tender, and anything but dry, and the secret to success here is the zucchini itself no milk products needed. What I love most about that is the fact that it means you don’t have to wrap your zucchini shreds in paper towels and wring them out over the sink. (Maybe it’s not that big of a deal, but I find the process to be a messy pain that leaves me feeling guilty for leaving 10% of the vegetable stuck to the paper towel.)

The Airy Crumb

I’ve mentioned the tenderness above, but let me mention it again�use too often cakes with vegetables hidden in them veer towards being dense and gummy. And nobody wants that. People want to throw cocoa powder into the mix and call that gummy quality fudginess𠅋ut you and I know better.

Here, the right balance of liquid, along with a little cornstarch, keeps the cake fluffy and soft.

The Spice Blend

Sure, you could leave the spices out if you wanted to… but honestly, why would you do that? The spice is what gives a zucchini cake its real character. Cinnamon, ginger, and cardamon is such an outstanding trinity, after all. And when you match that trinity with a healthy dose of vanilla—you have legendary results.

That Frosting

As if the cake on its own wasn’t enough, the Brown Butter-Pecan Frosting seals the deal. It has so much going for it… the brown butter, the cream cheese, the toasted pecans! This frosting is the epitome of nutty, toasty richness and I (a self-proclaimed frosting snob) cannot get enough. In fact, between you and I, I use this frosting (or a similar version) on a variety of baked goods far beyond zucchini cake. Basically, if your goal is to impress, this frosting is a reliable friend. You could slather onto a box cake and turn it into a show-stopper.

With that, I say cheers to the impending conclusion of another fruitful zucchini season, also known as summer. When I look at the many ways I’ve prepared zucchini over the last few months, there’s no doubt about it—this one takes the cake.

How to make brown sugar icing

  • In a small/medium-sized heavy-bottomed stovetop pot, add one stick of butter (1/2 cup) and melt over medium heat.
  • Add in 2/3 a cup of brown sugar, plus a pinch of kosher salt and whisk until well combined and the sugar has melted.
  • Whisk in a 1/4 cup of milk and (over medium-high heat) bring the mixture to a rapid boil, stirring almost constantly.
  • Let boil, while stirring, for one minute.
  • Now, carefully pour the buttery, brown sugar mixture into a deep mixing bowl, and let cool for 10 minutes (set a timer. ).
  • When the timer is up, grab your electric beaters, icing sugar and vanilla.
  • Add the vanilla, and gradually add the icing sugar while beating on low until smooth and well combined.
  • Now pour over the zucchini cake and use the back of a spoon, or a large spatula to evenly spread over the cake.
  • Note: the icing is meant to be poured on while still slightly warm. Don&rsquot fret! The icing sets quickly as it cools.

And that, is how you make the most delish, happiness-inducing, summer-party-ready zucchini cake recipe.

Zucchini Spice Cake

Y’all know I love my zucchini recipes. I grow zucchini every summer and coming up with new recipes to use that zucchini in is one of my favorite summer activities. Over the years I’ve shared so many amazing zucchini cake recipes, each one a personal favorite of mine.

Today, I think I’ve outdone myself. I took inspiration from my Nana’s to-die for carrot cake and ended up with an incredibly delicious and moist zucchini cake with enough spices to make your mouth go WOW. No oil. No butter. Applesauce does it all and trust me, you won’t miss the oil one bit.

As you well know, it takes a seriously special occasion to get me to make a layered cake and this past week was not one of them lol! I went with a snack cake made in a 9-inch baking dish which perfectly served our sweet tooth while still allowing me to use up some of that zucchini.

I added some toasted walnuts and coconut to the mix because, well, I love them and they pair so beautifully with zucchini. If you are not a fan of one or the other (or both!) you can leave them out, no problem.

I used Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla almondmilk to get the perfect texture in this zucchini spice cake. Using almondmilk instead of water in this cake recipe really adds a lot of delicious flavor and since I keep several cartons on hand for smoothies, it’s an easy option. I used the unsweetened vanilla because I was planning on icing the cake but if you’re not, the regular vanilla would be a good option as well. In fact, the Almondmilk Coconutmilk Blend would be PERFECT here too! Almond Breeze Almondmilk is available in both refrigerated and shelf stable so you can keep it on hand in the pantry.

One thing I have failed to mention is the crazy delicious aroma wafting from your oven as this cake is baking. You guys. It was so hard to wait for this baby to cool down… If I hadn’t already set out the cream cheese and butter to soften, I think I would have waited about 30 minutes and just sprinkled the cake with powdered sugar – yum!

That being said, I opted for a quick cream cheese icing to give the zucchini cake a little added sweetness. The icing is super simple: cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and enough Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla almondmilk to get the perfect consistency. Start with a couple tablespoons and add more as needed.

How to make chocolate zucchini cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9吉 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oil, sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla until well blended.
  3. In a smaller bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 cup cocoa, baking soda and salt stir into the sugar mixture. Fold in the zucchini and walnuts (optional). Spread evenly into the prepared pan. It should be the consistency of cake mix.
  4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until cake springs back when gently touched.
  5. To make the frosting, melt together 6 tablespoons of cocoa and margarine set aside to cool.
  6. In a medium bowl, blend together the confectioners’ sugar, milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in the cocoa mixture. Spread over cooled cake before cutting.

Grandma's Zucchini Cake


  • Cake:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon (can sub 1 teaspoon with other spices such as allspice and nutmeg, go easy on the cloves though)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups white, granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (optional, my addition)
  • 2 cups (from about 3-4 regular sized zucchini) grated un-peeled zucchini (place grated zucchini in a sieve and press out some of the excess moisture before measuring)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (my grandmother recommends black walnuts)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins (optional)
  • Frosting:
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature (Philadelphia cream cheese recommended)
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups of powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9x12 or 9x13 baking pan (I used a pyrex pan).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a mixer, beat the 3 eggs on high speed until frothy. Lower the speed and beat in the sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla, and lemon zest (if using). Stir in the flour mixture, a third at a time. Stir in the zucchini and chopped nuts and/or raisins.

Pour mixture into a 9x12 or 9x13 baking pan. Bake at 350°F for 40 to 45 minutes. (My grandmother's notes say you can also bake in an angel food pan for 1 hour.) Remove from oven and let cool completely before frosting. (While the cake is cooling, let the frosting's cream cheese and butter sit at room temperature to soften.)

To make the frosting, beat together the cream cheese and butter. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.

Zucchini Cake Recipe

I adore this cake! It’s like a tender spice cake. You would never know there’s zucchini in this cake if it wasn’t for the green bits. I know some people aren’t anxious to eat a cake with zucchini in it, but this is a must-try. (Don’t worry if that’s you, my husband is the same way!)

Why add zucchini in a cake? Well, it’s like carrot cake or banana bread. The zucchini adds moisture to the cake. It keeps the cake soft and tender. Plus, have you ever grown zucchini in your garden? It’s so hard to keep up with. You can eat it for 2 weeks straight and still have a basket of zucchini to pick and eat. Baking it into some cake or bars is another way to use it up!

Baking with Zucchini

When using zucchini in recipes there are a couple tips & tricks help to make sure your baked goods are perfect!

-Use the fine side of your grater. Coarser pieces will have a slightly more noticeable flavor and texture in a finished cake or bread recipe. (Farm kids tend to want that!)

-Some recipes ask that the zucchini is pressed well with a clean towel to soak up excess moisture or to prevent whatever your baking from getting too soggy. Pay close attention to the recipe that you are making with zucchini as the level of moisture they provide is important. For instance, in this recipe, the zucchini is the main source of moisture and should not be drained.

Cinnamon Sugar Zucchini Coffee Cake

I made this yesterday with the abundance of zucchini in my garden. A winner. Absolutely delicious. It will be a repeat many times over.

Cinnamon Sugar Zucchini Coffee Cake may or may not be the best thing to come out of my kitchen all week, but I need to start this post with some b-a-d news:

After 5 days on the market. To someone else. The same night I posted about it. Dramatic sad mopey face.

Even though the Charmer isn’t even an option anymore, can I just say how much I loved and appreciated all your advice? There were a few comments that seriously honestly for real might have swayed our house-buying decision one way or the other, and I mean literally just A COMMENT, from you sweet readers, across the internet world somewhere, which is just weird and amazing. You all are a very house savvy bunch, so thanks a mil for taking the time to leave your two cents about which house we should buy.

The funny thing about this is that now that the Charmer has sold, we don’t feel any special pull towards buying the Happy Easy home. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be with that old cutie and maybe it’s a good sign that we should keep looking. I’ll keep you posted, you house lovers you!

And when we DO find a house, hey! I know what to make for our We Finally Found a House celebration. It starts with Cinnamon Sugar and ends with Zucchini Coffee Cake.

So do you remember my jumbo ZUCCHINI? All caps for size representation.

Here’s how I’ve used it, by fifths.

1/5: Zucchini Parmesan
1/5: Zucchini Pancakes
1/5: sauteed veggie salad
2/5: Cinnamon Sugar Zucchini Coffee Cake

I made this Cinnamon Sugar Zucchini Coffee Cake twice – get it? 2/5? – and the first time I didn’t make it with the middle layer of cinnamon sugar. Like, it didn’t exist in my brain yet.

But then the second time I got this food vision for an extra cinnamon sugar layer through the middle because I like things that are have sticky sugary middle layers, yeah? Go look at one of the pictures and see if you can spot that little layer in there. It’s subtle, like the kind of thing where you might not notice it at first bite and then BOOM! You get a forkful that has that sweet layer running through it and your world is rocked. If you don’t like sticky cinnamon sugar middle layers in your zucchini coffee cake, you’re allowed to leave it out. Buuut that does make you a weirdo.

PS. Possibly even more than middle layers, I like LOVE cinnamon sugar top layers. For the heavenly top crust on this zucchini coffee cake, the butter and sugar and cinnamon get crumb-ed, spread over the top, and baked into some kind of wonderful cinnamon sugar crunchyyy. There you are going about your business, and all of a sudden you find yourself eating this thin crunchy cinnamon sugar layer on a cake that sort of melts in your mouth and that just so happens to have VEGGIEZ in it, and I bet you’re having a lot of fun.

This is one of those cakes that you can eat for breakfast, morning snack time, after school snack time, bedtime snack time, dessert, and come to think of it, anytime in your whole life.

Zucchini Cakes

Also known as zucchini fritters, these easy zucchini cakes are a summertime favorite. They're the perfect way to use up an abundance of zucchini, along with making Lemon Zucchini Bread, of course. These simple fritters are quickly shallow-fried and make a great side dish for dinner or a light lunch. They can even be easily adapted to fit whatever you're looking for!

Make it Keto

To make these keto-friendly, simply leave out the bread crumbs and decrease ricotta to 1/4 cup.

Make it Paleo

For a paleo diet, leave out the bread crumbs, ricotta, and Parmesan. The fritters will still stick together with just eggs! To cook the cakes, skip the oil and add 4 tbsp. butter instead. You'll be searing them instead of panfrying them!

Make it Vegan

To make it vegan, leave out the eggs, ricotta, and Parmesan. Add bread crumbs and form patties together with your hands before adding to skillet. These will cook more quickly, so check on them after 2 minutes.

Easy One-Layer Zucchini Cake

This incredibly moist and easy zucchini cake is a great way to use garden-fresh zucchini. If you have a surplus of zucchini squash from your garden—or from neighbors and coworkers—shred it and bake this cake. Plus, it's the ideal way to use larger zucchini that aren't as good in savory dishes.

If you avoid zucchini cakes and breads because you don't care for the vegetable or have only used zucchini in savory recipes, one bite of this cake will make you a believer. The zucchini does add some pleasant texture and moisture, but it doesn't add vegetable flavor. The cake's fabulous flavor comes from the cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla. If you aren't a fan of walnuts, feel free to omit them or use pecans or flaked coconut instead. Or add 1/2 to 1 cup of raisins or dried cranberries to the batter.

The cake doesn't include a frosting, but it would be wonderful with a basic buttercream or cream cheese frosting. Or simply sift powdered sugar over the cake or drizzle servings with a thin glaze or dessert sauce.


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