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119I think it’s fair to say that most of us don’t think, “zucchini and chocolate…MMMMM.  Now there’s a combination made in heaven!”  I know I didn’t.  But guess what?  You should absolutely think good and happy thoughts about that combination, because this is an absolutely delicious cake.  This makes a wonderfully moist and chocolate-y Bundt cake.  And if you choose not to mention the odd ingredient, zucchini…no one would ever guess.

010 I find that the larger, more mature zucchini work well, because they are a bit drier. I peel them before grating, which I don’t normally do with the smaller ones.  I used zucchini that were about 12 inches long, but the skin wasn’t tough, so I left it on.

You’re going to beat the eggs until they are foamy and lemon-colored.  036Add the sugar 1/4 cup at a time, beat well, about 30 seconds, after each addition.  This will help the sugar dissolve.  039Add the sour cream, vanilla, oil and coffee; beat it just until it’s nice and smooth.  The mixture will be thicker and lighter in color and form a “ribbon” off the beaters like in the picture.

052You’ll combine the dry ingredients and stir them together.  You’re going to add the dry ingredients, then just dump the zucchini on top.  Without too much fanfare, stir the whole thing together.

059It will begin to look very chocolate-y and darker.  It’s a thick batter.  Pour it evenly into the greased and floured (so the cake won’t stick–hopefully!) Bundt.  Now, the oven should be hot enough and it’s time to bake this goodness up.

Chocolate-Zucchini Bundt Cake

  • Servings: 6-10
  • Difficulty: Moderately Easy
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  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted (I use Hershey’s)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons strong (espresso is good) coffee
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest (optional)
  • 3 cups grated zucchini, packed into the measuring cup (see NOTE)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (can use mini as well-optional)
  • 1 cup dried cherries cut in half or dried whole cranberries (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a full-sized Bundt pan; set aside.

Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.

In large mixing bowl, beat eggs until they lighten and become lemon-colored.  Add the sugars 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition.  The mixture will be thick.  Add the sour cream, oil, coffee and vanilla; mix just until blended.

Remove the bowl from the mixer.  Add dry ingredients and the orange zest, if using, and the shredded zucchini; using a spatula, mix just until combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan. (It will be reasonably thick)  Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Begin checking after 45 minutes.

Cool 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove the cake from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack before cutting (or glazing).

NOTE: If you have smaller, younger zucchini, you may need to use a salad spinner or a potato ricer to remove the excess water in the zucchini. Or you could wrap the shredded zucchini in a clean tea towel and squeeze out the water.  Also, I find that if I use the larger, older zucchini and peel them before grating, there isn’t as much water in them and you can omit this step.

Chocolate-Zucchini Bundt Cake Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2015.  All rights reserved.

093Doesn’t that look perfect and perfectly delicious?  Chocolate cakes usually are much darker after baking.

097Now the moment of truth…will it come out of the pan in one piece.  Well, it almost did.  But that little roughness will be covered by a glaze or a good dusting of powder sugar.

104I used a chocolate glaze.  It was dark, rich and shiny.  The cake was moist, slightly dense, but not too dense.  All in all, this was very good and it was much better the next day.  Notice the past tense there…it truly WAS a good cake.  Next time I think I will add the orange zest and maybe some cayenne.

As you can see, this recipe is relatively easy to put together, it is best served the next day and it keeps and freezes well, too.  What’s not to love about that?  And the real test is that it tastes really, really good.  After all, that’s what it’s truly all about, isn’t it?