Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Brown Sugar Streusel

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Brown Sugar Streusel

Do you still have zucchini left over from this past summer?  Or maybe frozen from a year ago that you haven’t used up yet?  For some reason I’m not a lover of zucchini bread but I always shred and freeze extra zucchini that are given to me by friends and neighbors with good intentions of making something with it.  I sometimes put it in soups or casseroles but most often I throw it away when I clean out the freezer.  I haven’t tried using it to make something sweet.  Until now.

This is a chocolate zucchini cake that is velvety-chocolate, without being too rich, and moist, thanks to the zucchini. And it’s nutritious because it has zucchini in it.  What?  It’s not?  Well, I can dream while I eat another piece.

The topping is refreshing and light and a welcome substitute for a chocolate butter frosting.  The chocolate chips and nuts balance perfectly to give it flavor and texture and the brown sugar melts and hardens just enough to give it a bit more melt-in-your-mouth magic.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Brown Sugar Streusel

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Brown Sugar Streusel

Yield: 9x13 cake


    For the cake:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1-3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs {or 3 medium}
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup mild {or buttermilk}
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • For the topping:
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup chocolate chips {or less ~ I used 1/2 cup}
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar {light or dark}


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer {handheld or stand mixer} cream together the butter, oil, and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix.
  5. Add 1/2 of the milk and mix.
  6. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture, mix, add the remaining milk and mix, and then add the last of the dry ingredients and mix.
  7. Stir in the shredded zucchini.
  8. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.
  9. Sprinkle with the almonds and chocolate chips. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top of everything.
  10. Bake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. {Don't over bake}
  11. Let cool completely before serving. This cake tastes best at room temperature.


If you're using frozen zucchini make sure to drain and squeeze the water out of it before adding it to the batter.

Recipe source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe


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10 Responses to Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Brown Sugar Streusel

  1. Kay October 18, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    I will have to try this recipe Lori! I especially like your simple topping ideal for it.

  2. Leilani October 18, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

    Have you tried making this without the streusel? This cake looks good enough to eat “naked.” 🙂

    • Lori October 18, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

      It would probably still be good but with the topping it’s super delicious.

  3. Chelsea Day October 22, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

    Love it! If you haven’t linked up yet, come share your project on Teach Me Tuesday:

    • Lori October 22, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

      I’m happy to join your party. Thanks for the invite.

  4. Stephanie September 26, 2014 at 1:21 pm #

    Love the streusel idea on top! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

    • Lori September 29, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

      Yea. The cake is really good and the streusel tops it off splendidly.

  5. Kim @ The Baking ChocolaTess September 26, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

    OMG! This looks really amazing! Pinned!!

    • Lori September 29, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

      Thanks, Kim. It’s really delicious. Let me know if you try it.


  1. Making Monday [#10] | A Bright and Beautiful LifeA Bright and Beautiful Life - October 20, 2013

    […] Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Brown Sugar Streusel from A Bright and Beautiful Life […]

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