Chocolate Zucchini Cake

This is a recipe my family asks for repeatedly because my Chocolate Zucchini Cake has such a moist texture and fabulous flavors. It’s a classic fall recipe because zucchini’s are in-season and we’re lucky enough to have one of those lovely neighbors with a generous garden!

A vegan Chocolate Zucchini Cake is featured with cream cheese icing

We have only a few rules in our house which up until now have gone mostly unwritten. I figured now must be time to change all that. In David Lettermen (reverse order) style, here are our Top 10:

  1. Whenever you find yourself at the grocery store, whether you’re there with a large list or only 1 item to fetch, always (and I do mean always) buy bananas. What can I say they’re  a staple of any good vegan household!
  2. Never have an opinion about what to have for dinner. Actually, this isn’t so much a rule as it is what seems to happen day in, day out. You know the conversation? You ask, “What would you like for dinner” to which anyone within earshot responds, “I don’t know.” That’s when I violently roll my eyes and head for the kitchen.
  3. Never open something new before finishing something old. That’s true for soy milk, ketchup, and many other things in life if you think about it.
  4. PJs are required after 7 pm. Is there anything like the feeling of warm flannel PJs on a cold winter’s night?
  5. Sodas are required with pizza. I mean, really, is there any other way to eat a pizza?
  6. Eat some veggies with every meal. That’s sort of a no-brainer for us, but it’s still important!
  7. Make time to move around each day. Sometimes that means exercise in the old-fashioned sense (like going for a jog or hopping on the elliptical machine). Other times that means having some fun playing ping pong together. Either way, it’s important to move!
  8. Always say “I love you,” whether we’re cranky with one another or not. If you can’t find unconditional love at home, where else will you get it?
  9. Be sure to share some of that lovin’ with our furry friends. Jack and Coco are not hurting for affection, but they can always use a little more.
  10. Love your leftovers. We make it a big goal in this house not to waste any food. Not only because, as all our mothers used to say, there are starving people in Africa, but also because it’s important to be respectful of the energy that went into producing that food.
Of course when something is as tasty as this moist chocolate vegan cake, we don’t have to worry about any kind of family rule to remind us to eat every last bite!

A moist chocolate cake along with our list of family rules to live by

I’m sure we have a few more family rules than that, but those are the ones that come to mind…at least in the moment.

A slice of vegan chocolate cake sits ready to be eaten

Of course, the only real rule today is to cut myself a nice big slice of that chocolate cake. And then you know what my next rule is?

A forkful of vegan chocolate cake on an old wooden table

To eat it! You know, because I don’t want anything to go to waste. I’m just trying to fit in with the family rules!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups regular all-purpose flour, unsifted
  • ½ cup potato starch
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup soft vegan butter (aka, Earth Balance)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas (unsalted)
  • 1/2 cup soy buttermilk (soymilk with 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel (optional)
  • 2 cups coarsely shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
  • Vegan Vanilla Glaze (recipe below) or Cream Cheese Frosting (whichever one suits your fancy!)

Directions:

  1. Heat your oven to 350°F and prepare your pan by coating it with cooking spray. I used a 9 X 13 inch cake pan.
  2. In a large bowl combine the four, starch, cocoa, baking powder, soda, and salt. Stir together and then set aside. We’ll deal with you later!
  3. In a separate bowl add the vegan butter and sugar and use a mixer to beat them together until they are nice and smooth.
  4. Rinse and drain the can of chickpeas and add them to a food processor bowl and pulse until smooth. Add the soy buttermilk and pulse some more until the chickpeas are obliterated into a creamy mixture. Add the vanilla and orange zest and pulse some more.  Note, if you don’t have any orange peel zest, don’t stress about it. But you will want something to add a little more flavor. Consider adding a teaspoon or two of cinnamon or maybe some almond flavoring or something like that to give your cake a little more zest.
  5. Now add the food processor mixture to the vegan butter mixture and stir together. Be sure to get as much out of the food processor as you can! Here’s where you can incorporate that grated zucchini.
  6. Then add the dry ingredients to the wet, stir some more and add the chocolate chips.
  7. Now you’re ready to pour the batter into your prepared cake pan. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes until a dry piece of spaghetti inserted into the middle comes out clean. That’s when you know you’re ready to get out those oven mitts so you can remove the cake from the oven and set aside to cool completely before frosting

Vegan Vanilla Glaze

Ingredients

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoon vegan butter (aka Earth Balance), softened
  • 2 – 3 Tablespoons soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Directions

  1. Combine the powdered sugar and vegan butter in a bowl and stir until they’re like Fortune 500 company, well incorporated.
  2. You should have a rather stiff, but sweet mess at this point. Add the vanilla and stir a bit and then follow that with the soymilk, one tablespoon, stirring between each until you arrive at a consistency that works best for you. I like mine to be spreadable but not too thin.
Once it’s frosted you’re ready to cut that cake into slices and serve. This batch will make 10-12 servings, based on how large a slices you serve. Hmm, that might need to be another family rule to consider. When a cake is as healthy and tasty as this one, better to keep the slices on the big side!

Posted 2 years ago by Marly on Monday, November 5th, 2012 · Permalink

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20 Responses to Chocolate Zucchini Cake

  1. I can see why this is a highly requested cake – it does look incredibly moist. And your list of rules – love them. Can I come and live with you?

  2. Where you wrote “stir in the chocolate chips”, did you really mean to write “zucchini”? This looks yummy. I am making it tomorrow!

    • Emily – thanks for catching that. I corrected the recipe. You can make this without chocolate chips, but it’s oh so much better with them!

  3. This looks amazing and so moist, Marly!

  4. Great use for zucchini, yum!

  5. Great rules Marly! ….and gorgeous cake. :)

  6. OK, I just made this and it really is one of the best vegan chocolate cakes I have ever had. The chickpeas and the zucchini are undetectable but lend so much rich, moist and somehow light texture. This will go in the regular rotation. Thanks Marly!

    Emily in Israel

    • Emily – so glad you liked it! I agree that it’s surprising to find that the heaviness of chickpeas can somehow give way to such a light and moist cake. Sigh. All this talk of cake is making me hungry!

  7. Oh my goodness this looks fantastic Marly!

  8. This looks delicious. But what is potato starch?

    • Hi Sherri! Potato Starch is sold in most health food stores, but I buy it in the health food section of our grocery store. If you can’t find it, good ol’ corn starch will work just fine. Enjoy!

  9. I’m so with you on the bananas and flannel pjs after 7! It’s a must :)

    This cake looks so moist and delicious!

  10. This would last a millisecond in my house. Oh my goodness!!

  11. Way too many giant zucchinis in the garden and a hungry vegan boy home from summer camp…searched for recipes and found this one. It was excellent. I never bake exactly as directed so….swapped out one cup of white flour for whole wheat pastry flour, reduced sugar by half a cup, and reduced the smart balance to 1/3 cup and also added 1/3 cup coconut oil. Hmmm, only had coconut milk so used that instead of soy and was out of vanilla so used cold brewed coffee concentrate. I am pretty sure I used more than one cup of choc chips too. :) So although that sounds like a lot of changes it was simple and I like to use what I have instead of always running out to the store. So thank you for the recipe. I am going to make more of your chick pea recipes but need to keep up with the zucchini at the moment. Yum and healthy. By the way didn’t make the frosting just sprinkled on powdered sugar!

    • You and I are made from the same thread I think. I LOVE changing recipes around. So glad you liked changing this one! My neighbor always gives me some zucchini just about this time of year (don’t you love neighbors like that?), so I’m going to have to try your version.

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