If there is one thing I have really craved during this pregnancy, cake would be it. Which isn’t really that different from when I’m not pregnant as I’m a cake person anyway, but add a growing human to my body along with a stark increase in hormones and appetite and suddenly I’m a cake-needing monster. With this baby, anyway. With the last, it was chicken wings. The one before that? Brazilian Lemonade. Before that?! a half gallon of milk A DAY. No joke. That was before I stopped drinking milk(see this post for reasons).
Back to the cake. I have made this cake so many times over the last month and with the oncoming crop of zucchini, have started adding it in to give it more moisture and nutrition. I LOVE a good chocolate cake. This one is super easy and quick to throw together, only requires one bowl(for the cake batter, anyway) and is rich and chocolatey, moist, and ultra satisfying.
Now lets talk about the frosting. I am NOT a frosting person. In moist cases, I scrape off 90% of the frosting on cakes/cupcakes and just ago for the cake. But this frosting is so good that I actually frost the cake thickly and eat every. single. bit.
I attribute the wonderfulness of the frosting to three things:
*Using grass-fed butter. Grass-fed butter is so much more flavorful and silky than conventional butter and it makes this frosting taste incredible.
*Excess vanilla usage. Don’t be afraid of your vanilla. It has magical powers to bring out all the best in the butter and chocolate and frankly, I always add double to whatever I’m making.
*Not adding too much sugar. This frosting is just sweet enough. Not so much that it becomes cloying, but more adds just enough sweetness to the cake it blankets. The butter is the star in this frosting.
If you don’t want to add zucchini, but just want a great chocolate cake? You can do that with this recipe, easy. Just omit the zucchini and up the milk by two tablespoons.
- FOR THE CAKE:
- 1 cup Flour (all-purpose or whole wheat)
- 1 cup Raw Cane Sugar
- ½ cup Cocoa Powder
- ½ teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon Espresso Powder
- 1 Egg
- ¼ cup Coconut Oil (liquefied)
- ⅓ cup Milk
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- ½ cup Boiling Water
- 1 cup finely grated Zucchini
- FOR THE FROSTING:
- 8 ounces Grass-fed Butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla
- 4 tablespoons Cocoa Powder
- 2 cups Powdered Sugar
- FOR THE CAKE:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8x8 or 9x9 baking pan.
- Place the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and espresso powder in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add the egg, oil, milk, vanilla, and water to the dry ingredients and whisk in just until smooth, Add the zucchini and stir in just until combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and baking in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until puffed and firm on top and a tester inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean, with a few moist crumbs attached.
- Remove and let cool completely.
- FOR THE FROSTING:
- Place the butter in a large bowl along with the vanilla and cocoa powder. Beat with an electric mixer until the vanilla and cocoa are well combined. Beat on low, adding the powdered sugar a few tablespoons at a time, until all of the sugar has been whipped in. Scrap the bowl down, turn the speed up to medium, and beat the frosting for another 30 seconds.
- Spread thickly on top of the cooled zucchini cake and serve.
- Store covered at room temperature for a few days, or refrigerate for up to a week.
Julia @ Happy Foods Tube says
I haven’t tried using zucchini in baking yet but I see I am missing out here! This sheet cake looks just perfect! I admire you for not drinking milk at all. I tried once – lasted a month. I don’t know but I feel like my body needs it.. Managed to reduce the amount though 🙂
I guess zucchinis give extra moisture… great idea. Thank you so much !
OMG this is amazing! I just made it an hour ago! I also need to be GF so I used my own flour mixture of sourghum, arrowroot and tapioca and I changed out the milk for buttermilk. Added nothing else and it did not need it woot! Currently cutting frosting in half and using half butter and half sunbutter to see how that goes! YUM ty ty! You know it is good when random manly type men scarf it up and want more having NO idea it has veggie OR is GF woot!
Elisa, I want to make this for my mother who is also GF, but I typically use a GF flour. Could you post your GF flour mix? (PS, my mother’s name is Elisa!)
Or Kayley, can you just swap out regular flour for GF flour?
My mom has zucchini’s in her garden so I want to give her this with one from her garden.
Thank you for another delightful recipe Kayley!
you’re welcome! you could try using gluten free flour, but make sure it has binding agent of some sort or the lack of gluten may make it crumbly.
I made this recipe after seeing it on instagram – it came out GREAT and was so easy! I ended up using about 1.5 cups of zucchini (I just used a whole medium zucchini).
Karen @ The Food Charlatan says
This sounds so good. I’ve only tried grass fed butter a few times and definitely never in frosting. That is a great tip Kayley! I need to try it out!
Can I use grapeseed oil instead of coconut oil?
I haven’t tried it so I can’t vouch for how it would work or not, but you could give it a try!
Completely agree with you on the grass-fed butter! Truly makes all the difference!
Can I use dutched cocoa in this recipe, or must it be natural cocoa?
Thank you 🙂
Dutch works 🙂
would this batter work for cupcakes too?
What wouldne the baking time?
Yes! My husband used this recipe to make cupcakes for my birthday this year =) I would start by baking for 18 minutes and then check every few minutes after until they are firm on top.
GINGER BY CHOICE I FOOD & LIFESTYLE BLOG says
I know that frosting problem. Most of the time I don’t like it and just want to have the beautiful sponge without all that stuff on top of it. Therefore, I would love to try your recipe to see if your frosting is something for me, too. I do hope so because it looks super delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Will let you know how I liked the frosting 😉
Ginger by Choice I Food & Lifestye Blog
Anne-Marie Wood says
This recipe did not work for me at all. The frosting was good but the cake was a disaster. Followed it to a T and the cake was a muddy mess. Truly awful. I ate the frosting off the top and tossed the cake. So disappointed.
sorry it didn’t work out for you! It sounds like you may have under-baked it. This cake is one of the most popular recipes on my site and people make it all the time without issue. I myself have made it over 20 times in the last few months and have never had a problem.