Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake- moist chocolate cake made oil-free with tahini and topped with a fudgy chocolate coconut cream frosting. It’s refined sugar-free and it freezes well too! (vegan + gluten-free)
When most people think of farmers markets, they probably think of plenty of fresh produce, pretty flowers and maybe a few handmade goods. At least that’s what typically comes to mind for me.
After we moved to Athens I was pleasantly surprised to find that our local farmers market not only has a great selection of those things but they also have…wait for it…VEGAN CUPCAKES.
I know that might not seem like a big deal to some of you but to me it was the best news ever. Now every Saturday I pry myself out of bed just to go get some of those delicious cupcakes. Okay, and maybe some fruits and vegetables too. ;)
The sweet girls that run the cupcake stand are a mother and daughter team who put their heart and soul into baking a wide array of delectable vegan goods. From lemon lavender to vanilla matcha, the creativity and execution is perfection.
One of their more recent endeavors has been Naked Sprinkles which are vegan sprinkles made without palm oil, wax, dyes, or any weird animals parts that can typically be found in sprinkles. Not only are they handmade but the coloring is sourced from superfoods like spirulina, making them a much healthier option than those made with artificial food coloring.
I was so excited to try their sprinkles out and instantly envisioned them on top of a chocolate zucchini cake with a whipped chocolate coconut cream frosting. It took me more than a few tries to get it right (the joys of vegan and gluten-free baking without starches!) but I’m pretty stoked with the final result.
To minimize over-stirring which often causes a gummy texture, I used a blender to evenly combine the ingredients. It’s not totally necessary but it does make it somewhat easier by removing the need for two bowls.
Tahini is used in place of oil for a more wholesome source of fat while almond flour helps give it a more traditional texture. I haven’t tried substitutions but I assume any natural nut butter or sunflower butter would work the same.
Other than that, I don’t recommend making any substitutions because it took so long for me to get the recipe right which means it’s finicky. So it is what it is. But it’s worth purchasing the ingredients for because a) I have many recipes that use the same ingredients and b) it will satisfy your chocolate cravings and let you sneak in a little nutrition while you’re at it.
Also, if you’re looking for a better sprinkle option then I highly recommend checking out Naked Sprinkles! They didn’t sponsor this post, I just truly love what they are doing and want to help support them. :)
Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Yield: 10 slices
Prep Time: 15
Cook Time: 45
Total Time: 1 hour
For the Zucchini Cake
- 1/2 cup soy milk (or almond milk)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons flax + 3 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar*
- 1 cup oat flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup shredded zucchini, blotted dry
For the Chocolate Coconut Cream Frosting
- 13.5-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
- 1o ounces dairy-free chocolate chips
Make the frosting: In a saucepan, combine the coconut milk and chocolate chips then melt over medium-low heat. Whisk together until well-combined. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool. Once cooled to room temperature, cover with a lid and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or up to overnight.
Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F then lightly grease a loaf pan. Combine the soy milk and apple cider vinegar in a measuring cup and allow to sit for a few minutes to curdle. In a separate small bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons flax with 3 tablespoons water. Allow to thicken for a few minutes.
In a blender, combine all of the ingredients (except for the zucchini- allow it to drain on a tea towel or paper towels while you make the cake) in the order listed. Blend for 10 seconds, scrape down the sides with a spatula, then blend for 10 more seconds. Add the shredded zucchini to the blender then use the spatula to fold it into the batter until well-combined. Pour the batter into the loaf pan making sure to scrape down the sides with the spatula to get all of it out. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting, for about 6 hours, or up to overnight.
Using a hand mixer, whip the chilled frosting mixture on medium speed for several minutes until fluffy. Spread on top of the cooled cake, top with sprinkles (optional), serve immediately and enjoy!
*Can also sub organic white or brown sugar. 1/2 cup yields a lightly sweet cake with a rich chocolate flavor. If you are used to sweeter chocolate, you may want to use 3/4 cup.
Frosting makes enough for 3 cakes. You can divide the coconut milk and chocolate chips by a third if you don’t want to have leftover frosting. It also melts so be sure to serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
For best results, I like to make the cake and the frosting the day before so that they both have enough time to cool completely. The frosting will melt if not kept cool so be sure to keep the cake refrigerated if the room temperature is warmer than usual. It can also be frozen for up to 1 month.
Did you try this recipe? Please let me know how it turned out by leaving a comment below or sharing a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #makingthymeforhealth. I love hearing your feedback!
Ok, my next baking endeavor is going to be this! And I love those sprinkles!
OMG! that cake looks delish….can’t wait to make it! Just a quick question…in the ingredients list it calls for 2Tbsp Flax + 3 Tbsp water, but in the Directions it says to stir together 1Tbsp Flax with 3 Tbsp water. Can you please advise if I should use 1 or 2 Tbsp Flax? Thx.
Sorry about that Bonny! It’s 2 tablespoons. Thanks for the heads up! :)
OBSESSED WITH THIS! May have to be our celebratory dessert once we move into our new apartment!
Yes! I wish I could come!! ;)
May have to be our great dessert. I will try make it tomorrow. Thank for share.
YES this looks amazing! That frosting is a genius idea. Can’t wait to try it : ) also thanks for the sprinkles recommendation – love that!
This looks so freaking amazing!! Chocolate cake is my favorite and yours looks delicious! And those vegan cupcakes sound pretty delicious too :)
That’s hilarious because every time I go to my farmer’s market I buy vegan cupcakes from a local baker that are out of this world! If I could bake those I’d never bake anything else! I need some of those sprinkles too. :)
This bread looks so moist and delicious Sarah and I’m dying for a slice. This is chocolate heaven!
What a creative recipe! Sounds and look delicious, and thanks for sharing Naked Sprinkles in this post. I actually had to use sprinkles for freelance recipe assignment recently, and couldn’t find any more natural ones in grocery stores around me. I’m definitely going to check them out!
I haven’t done any baking with zucchini yet this summer – but this looks like an amazing first recipe to make!!
I am loving your recipes!! The simple wholesome ingredients, and no use of gums!!! I am wondering however, if there is any chance you could tell me the weights per cup of the flours you use? (oats, rice & almond) I used the weights in Alice Medrich’s book, but I have your cardamom cake in the oven as we speak and it’s really watery :( It may turn out, but I won’t know for another 20 mins. I wanted to make this one too, but I am a little nervous now. Any assistance would be super appreciated. Thank you! :)
Hi Chrishy! Thank you so much for your comment. I don’t own a scale so I’m not able to give you the weight. Are you using standard measuring cups? That should work just fine.
Also, I’m not sure if you made any modifications to the cardamom cake but I haven’t tested that one with flax eggs so if you substituted them for real eggs then that might have been the problem. Hopefully I can help you troubleshoot what when wrong!
Thanks for your quick reply! Actually, the cake turned out delish!!! I used 100g of Almond flour and 135 of rice flour. (card cake). So my concern was unfounded. I am looking forward to trying this cake!! Have you tried to sub oat flour in your rice/almond blend? Do you think that would work in some of your loaf breads? Thanks again! You are a gift :)
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I really enjoy your website – beautiful photos and terrific recipes. Quick question on your double chocolate zucchini cake – if I wanted to use eggs, would I substitute the flaxseed/water with 1 or 2 eggs? The typical substitution is 1T flaxseed with 3 T waters. But because you have 2T flaxseed, I am wondering whether I use 1 or 2 eggs? Thank you! Looking forward to baking this cake (trying to bake healthier options for my husband who loves chocolate and sweets).
Hi Jennifer! Thank you so much for the kind comment. :)
I haven’t tested the recipe with a chicken egg but I would start with 1 rather than 2. Let me know how it turns out if you give a try!
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I made the cake but it was far too bitter… Isn’t 1/2 cup od cocoa too much? Thanks!
As I mentioned in the post, the the cake isn’t very sweet which is likely why it tastes bitter to you. You can add more sugar but I don’t suggest using less cocoa powder because that would call for more flour, less liquid and more fat (in this case, tahini) which would change the recipe entirely and I can’t guarantee results.
The best option is too add more sweetener which will make it less of a “dark chocolate” recipe. I hope that helps!
Hi Sarah, sorry, I forgot to review my post, I actually tasted the cake after I ate some chocolate (I made chocolate glaze instead of your frosting, so it tasted very bitter, like I ate a spoon of raw cocoa :) When I tried it again in the morning it was really nice, my BF loved it! It is less sweet but I don’t mind that and it didnt taste very bitter. So thanks for the recipe! Will try some other ones as well ;)
No worries, Martina! Thanks for updating me. The frosting definitely helps add sweetness to balance out the chocolate in the cake so I can see why it might taste more bitter with a chocolate glaze. Either way I’m glad it was better the next morning. :)
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hi, If can’t use almond flour due to a nut allergy what do you recommend substituting – coconut flour? GF all-purpose flour? Thank you.
Hello! The almond flour is key to the recipe so it’s hard for me to suggest substitutions with confidence. You might try subbing with AP flour but you will prob need to double to amount of fat (tahini or oil) since almond flour contributes a good deal of fat to the recipe. Let me know how it turns out if you give it a try!
Hi, this is right up my alley. Looks amazing. Both my kids have sesame allergy so tahini is out. Do you think apple sauce would work?
Hey Angie! I’m not sure if applesauce would work since it doesn’t have any fat. That could definitely affect the texture. But you could use any kind of oil you want (olive oil, coconut, safflower, etc) or nut butter. I hope that helps!
Hi. Could i sub oat flour?
Hi Kerry! You could use oat flour but it will change the texture. I usually use a combo of oat and almond flour to help keep it from getting gummy.
Hi Sarah I finally baked this bread and the flavour is beautiful, especially the subtle taste of tahini, it’s my favorite chocolate zuchinni bread to date. I only added 1/4 cup of sugar and that was perfect for my tastebuds. I added a teaspoon of instant coffee and used 1 real egg. Next time I will use 2 because it was on the crumbly side and could do with a bit more rise. Despite of this, it was still delicious.
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Hi! I’m looking for a yummy vegan and gluten free birthday cake recipe. Do you think I could you use this in a round pan for a birthday cake? If I wanted two layers would I need to double the recipe? Thanks for your help!
Hey! Yes, I think you could bake this in a round pan. I’m not sure about doubling it but you can make each one separately. I’ve found that the results can vary when you double baking recipes so I would recommend that route just to be safe. :)
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