Let me just tell you, we’ve had a lot of squash in our house lately. Now, most of that is due to the fact that we ate every delicious-looking thing in site this summer, and we’re now trying to make up for it by eating our veggies and pulling back on carb-heavy meals. But really, a person can only take so much. After preparing a year’s supply of healthy squash-centered meals over the past few weeks, I had to bust out and make something fun and decadent! Enter Mini Chocolate Zucchini Cakes.
Let’s just start by pointing out that, while I did make six cakes, at least they’re itty bitty and full of zucchini! That totally counter balances all of the chocolate used here, right? Right.
Anyway, sometimes you just need cake. And really, while zucchini does make for a pretty delicious plate of zoodles or side dish, it also kicks chocolate cake up a notch by making it super moist (I KNOW…the m word! Sorry…).
This recipe makes six Mini Chocolate Zucchini Cakes that are perfect for sharing with friends, family, and neighbors. Save one or two for yourself to curb your chocolate craving, and then spread the joy to some of your favorite people. It’s quite the win-win if you ask me.
Also, Landon wants you to know that extra frosting makes for the perfect chip dip (especially for the extra salty, wavy chip variety). You’ve been notified.
Here’s to having veggies for dessert (kind of)!
- 6 small loaf pans (either 5- x 3-inch or 4 ½ - x 2 ½ -inch)
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup canola oil
- 3 large eggs
- 2⅓ cups all purpose flour
- ⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅔ cup buttermilk
- 2 cups grated unpeeled zucchini (from about 2 medium zucchini squash)
- 1 (4-ounce) semisweet chocolate baking bar, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ⅓ cup whole milk
- ¼ cup sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If small loaf pans are lined with aluminum foil, lightly grease pans with nonstick spray.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the sugar, butter, and canola oil at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating each until just blended before adding the next.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and whisk together until combined.
- To the butter mixture, alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix at low speed during additions and only mix until each addition is just incorporated. Stir in zucchini, chopped chocolate, and vanilla until blended.
- Evenly distribute batter between the six prepared loaf pans (each should be approximately ⅔ full).
- Bake mini cakes for 30-35 minutes (5- x 3-inch pans) or 35-40 minutes (4 ½ - x 2 ½ -inch pans), until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool the mini loaf pans on a wire rack for 1 hour.
- When ready to ice, prepare the frosting as follows:
- Combine butter, cocoa powder, and milk in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until butter is melted and mixture is combined.
- Remove saucepan from heat and whisk in sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt) and vanilla.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat frosting base on medium speed, gradually adding powdered sugar (mixing on low initially after each addition to prevent from making a mess), until smooth.
- Frost cakes immediately. Top with zucchini pieces and mini chocolate chips, if desired. Serve and enjoy!