This vegan chocolate zucchini cake is fudgy and moist, rich and decadent, with a chocolate fudge frosting. You won’t believe shredded zucchini sneaked into this batter.
Vegan chocolate zucchini cake is the new carrot cake!
If you haven’t heard of it yet, don’t worry, you have now, and it’s the new thing! And if it sounds weird don’t worry about that either. I’m sure once upon a time people thought carrots in a cake was weird and now everyone does it!
Zucchini in a cake will soon be exactly the same. Excuse me if it is already (maybe it’s me that’s a bit behind – always a possibility!).
Shredded zucchini adds heaps of delicious flavorless moisture to your cake, so you get moisture and texture but it doesn’t add flavor, which is good because we don’t really want our deliciously rich chocolate cake tasting like green vegetables.
On the other hand we get to count a slice of vegan chocolate cake as a serving of green vegetables (or do we? – of course we do!).
This cake is ultra rich, fudgy and delectably chocolatey! It’s almost similar to a brownie cake in its fudginess.
It’s not overly dense, don’t get me wrong, the texture is perfect. But the addition of the zucchini adds a density to it that is definitely more brownie cake than a light and fluffy cake.
If you think of the texture of a carrot cake, then you’re getting close. But while a carrot cake keeps the carrot flavor in there along with the texture of the grated carrot, once the zucchini cooks into the chocolate zucchini cake, it’s gone, it’s undetectable, like it was never there.
Except that now you have a super rich, ultra moist, fudgy chocolate cake on your hands that you can’t wait to show off!
How To Make Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Cake
You will find full instructions and measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. This is a summary of the process to go along with the process photos.
- Sift all purpose flour and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl and add light brown sugar, baking soda, baking power, instant espresso powder and salt. Mix together.
- Prepare a flax egg by mixing 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of hot water from the kettle. Let it sit for a minute to become gloopy.
- Add the flax egg, shredded zucchini, vegan mayonnaise, vegetable oil, distilled white vinegar and vanilla extract to the mixing bowl and mix into a thick batter.
- Divide the batter evenly between two 8-inch cake pans (sprayed with non-stick spray and lined with circles of parchment paper on the bottom).
- Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out clean.
- Allow your cakes to cool in the cake pans for at least 10 minutes before you remove them from the cake pans as they will be slightly fragile.
- Transfer them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
- When the cakes are completely cool, frost with chocolate fudge frosting.
Nothing pairs better with a fudgy vegan chocolate zucchini cake than a chocolate fudge frosting. So that’s exactly what we did here.
A super thick, chocolate fudge frosting and lots of chocolate sprinkles and chocolate chips to throw around on top for decoration.
Instant espresso powder. I used a little espresso powder in this recipe, just to add a tiny kick to this recipe and just to enhance those chocolate flavors a little, but this could be omitted or subbed for instant coffee powder if you prefer.
Freshly shredded zucchini. You must shred the zucchini right before making this cake. You don’t want to shred it days in advance as it will dry out and won’t provide nearly enough moisture for this cake.
Vegan mayonnaise. Another rather unusual ingredient that I used was vegan mayonnaise! I had actually been looking around at some recipes online and seeing a few cakes that had used sour cream or greek yogurt in the cake batter, and I just happened to have some freshly made homemade vegan mayo on hand. And I used a ⅓ cup of this. Well – wouldn’t you know – amazing results! You don’t need to make your own mayonnaise, (but you can if you like!) any store-bought brand will do.
But I mean, it does make sense, mayonnaise is mostly oil that’s been emulsified so it’s just added moisture in a different (creamier) way! So bring it on.
Have patience while mixing the batter. The moisture from the shredded zucchinis will gradually seep into the batter creating enough moisture to mix everything together. It will be very thick, but you’ll be able to mix it all in. So if you start mixing and it seems like it’s too thick and will never come together, step away from the bowl for a couple of minutes. When you come back to it, the zucchinis will have released more moisture and you’ll be able to mix it in properly.
Handle with care. This cake is a little more breakable than a regular cake, you have to handle with care and let the cakes cool a bit before removing them from their cake pans.
Storing and Freezing
Keep the cake covered at room temperature where it will stay perfectly fresh for 2-3 days or covered in the fridge where it will stay good for up to 5 days.
It’s also freezer friendly for 2 months.
More Gorgeous Vegan Cakes
- Vegan Vanilla Cake
- Vegan Coffee Cake
- Vegan Carrot Cake
- Vegan Pumpkin Cake
- Vegan Banana Cake
- Vanilla Sheet Cake
Did you make this recipe? Be sure to leave a comment and rating below!
Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Cake
For the Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Cake:
- 2 cups All Purpose Flour (250g)
- ¾ cups Cocoa Powder (65g) Unsweetened
- 1 ½ cups Light Brown Sugar (300g)
- 2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Instant Espresso Powder
- ¾ tsp Salt
- 1 Flax Egg 1 Tbsp Ground Flaxseeds + 3 Tbsp Hot Water
- 2 cups Shredded Zucchini (280g)
- ⅓ cup Vegan Mayonnaise (80ml)
- ½ cup Vegetable Oil (120ml) or Canola Oil
- 1 Tbsp Distilled White Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
For the Chocolate Fudge Frosting:
- ½ cup Vegan Butter (112g)
- 4 cups Powdered Sugar (480g)
- ¾ cup Cocoa Powder (65g) Unsweetened
- 5 Tbsp Soy Milk or other non-dairy milk
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Vegan Chocolate Chips
- Vegan Chocolate Sprinkles
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Spray two 8 inch cake pans with non-stick spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper and set aside.
- Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl and add the sugar, baking soda, baking powder, espresso powder and salt and mix together.
- Prepare your flax egg by mixing 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed meal with 3 Tbsp hot water from the kettle and allowing to sit for a minute until it gets gloopy.
- Add the flax egg, shredded zucchini, vegan mayonnaise, oil, vinegar and vanilla to the mixing bowl. Mix into a batter. It will be very thick. Have patience because the moisture from the shredded zucchinis will gradually seep through the batter creating enough moisture to mix everything together, it will be very thick, but you'll be able to mix it all in.
- Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans and spread it out evenly to the edges with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out clean.
- Allow your cakes to cool in the cake pans for at least 10 minutes before you remove them from the pans as they will be slightly fragile.
- Transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
- Prepare your frosting by adding the vegan butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, soy milk and vanilla extract to the bowl of an electric mixer and starting at slow speed gradually increase speed until it's thick and smooth. This is a thick fudgy frosting. If it's too thick though add a tiny bit more non-dairy milk until you reach a spreadable consistency.
- Frost the cakes and decorate with vegan chocolate chips and sprinkles.
- Instant espresso powder can be subbed for instant coffee powder or omitted altogether if you prefer.
- Weigh your flour (and your zucchini) for the most accurate results.
- Keep the cake covered at room temperature where it will stay perfectly fresh for 2-3 days or covered in the fridge where it will stay good for up to 5 days. It’s also freezer friendly for 2 months.
- Nutritional information includes frosting but excludes decorations like chocolate chips and sprinkles.
I have too much zucchini in my fridge and so thrilled I came across your recipe. It looks so yummy! Can I use Follow Your Heart Vegenaise? Is this cake good without the frosting?
Alison Andrews says
Hi Cristina, yes any mayo will be fine! And the cake is very good without frosting too!