Sunday, September 30, 2012

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

I love zucchini! I know that a lot of people get too zucchinified during the late summer months when zucchinis grow relentlessly and turn into giants if left unpicked for a couple of days. Give them to me! They won’t go to waste, I promise. They might be turned into fancy boat vessels for veggie loaves but most of the time they will be thrown into summer stir fries for a quick and filling meal.

One of the things that I really love is a light and lovely quick bread. It has been forever on my to-do list to bake zucchini bread or something like that this summer. However, there weren’t any recipes that caught my eye. That seems weird, right? Considering how everyone else has baked up zucchini into breads, cookies, and all that.

Two weeks ago, my blogger friend from Greece, Katerina of Culinary Flavors, posted a recipe for Little Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cakes. It was THE recipe that I have been waiting for! So, I made it, all the while trying to follow the recipe as closely as I could given the ingredients that I had on hand. Best decision ever!

Instead of all-purpose flour, I used half spelt and half rye. You would think this would ruin the cake because of how dense these flours tend to be, but it didn’t! The spelt and rye flours gave the cake a nice heft but still left it with a good deal of springiness. The secret to the balanced bread-cake texture was the olive oil and moisture from the zucchini. This cake does not require any butter, just olive oil, which adds a touch of earthiness to the cake.
What about the zucchini? Is there really any zucchini in there? Yep, there’s a lot of zucchini in there but you totally won’t be able to tell. One thing I ask of you though is to please do not let the arduous task of shredding zucchini daunt you, especially if you’re working with a 5 pounder (like the zucchini that my coworker Diana endlessly supplies me with). Just cut it into workable hunks and enjoy the workout. And I will repeat this, if you’re not a zucchini fan, you don’t need to worry because you won’t taste them at all. I believe that the sole purpose for shredded zucchini here is the good hydration that it contributes to the cake.

This chocolate cake is incredibly good, so delicious and wholesome! It is rich with just the right amount of sweetness plus surprise bites of chocolate chips here and there that make it even more special. This cake is filling like a grainy quick bread, but soft like a cake should be.

Make it as a last summer hurrah. You will absolutely love it!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake (Makes one, 9-inch round cake)
Slightly adapted from Little Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cakes, by Katerina of Culinary Flavors (original recipe from King Arthur’s Flour)           

1 cup spelt flour
1 cup rye flour
¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1/3 cup cocoa
2 large eggs
1/3 cup honey
½ cup olive oil
½ cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 ½ cups (14 oz) thinly shredded zucchini
1 cup (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips

a bit of olive oil to grease the pan

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the spelt and rye flours. Add in the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa, and whisk until everything is well-combined.

In a separate large mixing bowl, beat in the eggs, honey, olive oil, sugar, and vanilla using a hand held electric mixer on low speed. Beat well until all the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth.

Pour in half of the dry mixture into the wet mixture and mix on low speed until everything is just incorporated. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and again, mix on low speed until everything is just incorporated. Scrape the sides and bottom of the pan with a rubber spatula to make sure there are no dry ingredients left behind. The batter should be thick.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the chocolate chips and the shredded zucchini until everything is spread out evenly. The liquid in the zucchini will cause the batter to become thinner and easier to work with.

Move an oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Pour a bit of olive oil on the palm of your hand and use your hand to thoroughly grease the sides and bottom of the pan.

Slowly pour the batter into the pan. When the oven is ready, bake for 60 minutes. You will see cracks on the top of the cake and the sides will begin to pull away. Just to be sure, test the cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the middle. If it’s done, the toothpick will come out clean. If there’s chocolate goo on the toothpick, test again in a neighboring area, you might have just stabbed a melted chocolate chip.

Have a great first week of October friends! As always, thank you for stopping by! 



  1. Margarita, I am so glad you liked it as much as my whole family did! It is so perfect and moist and the zucchini is absolutely undetectable(for the picky eaters)! Your version with the different flours is yet another success! I love it!

  2. I'm so excited to try this out!!

  3. Now this just looks fantastic! I can't believe I haven't made anything with zucchinis in it!! I must give this a try!

  4. I never tire of baking with zucchini either. This chocolate cake looks especially delicious!

  5. Ummm, you probably cant call this vegan if it has eggs in it.....sorry, but I'm sure it tastes delicious antway.


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