Zucchini chocolate cake – Is it a chocolate cake with zucchini in it or a zucchini cake with chocolate in it? I don’t really care, as long as it is as good as this recipe.
I love a bit of something sweet from time to time, but I also want to eat healthier and this is a healthy cake recipe, well as cakes go anyway. It still has some sugar of course, but less than most cakes. It also uses some whole wheat flour and dark chocolate chips. Plus the zucchini of course.
This chocolate zucchini cake is a great way to get vegetables into those veggie haters in the house. They won’t even know it’s in there.
Zucchini provides us with a wealth of health benefits. With only 36 calories per cup and 10% of the RDA of dietary fiber, it’s a lean and light way to add fiber into your diet. Zucchini contains powerful antioxidants including Vitamins C and A. These vitamins plus the copper found in zucchini are also effective anti-inflammatory agents which help to prevent many disorders, including asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Zucchini is also a vegetable source of iron.
Zucchini is such a versatile vegetable too. You can use slices of zucchini as a replacement for lasagna noodles, chop it and add it to so many soups and stews, scoop it out and stuff it or bake a cake with it as we are doing today. So get out the zucchini and enjoy it.
Zucchini Chocolate Cake
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour, sifted
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cooking oil
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups zucchini, shredded
- powdered sugar, sifted (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Grease and flour a 13x9x2 inch (33cm x 23cm x 5 cm) baking pan and set it aside.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir to combine well. Add the oil, milk, softened butter and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Add the eggs, chocolate chips and shredded zucchini and beat on medium to high speed for 2 minutes.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes or until the cake tests done. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.
- For added nutritional value and a nice crunch add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans to the cake. Add them when you add the chocolate chips and zucchini.
Testing a Cake for Doneness:
To make sure a cake is cooked right through to the middle you need to insert something small into the cake. You can use a toothpick (which is what I do) or any thin metal. You can even buy cake testers, which are thin pieces of metal. Insert the tester into the thickest part of the cake and pull it out. If it comes out completely clean, the cake is fully baked. If there is wet or sticky cake batter on it, put it back in the oven for a few more minutes and test again.
Using Whole Wheat Flour for Baking:
I often replace 1/2 or more of the white flour called for in a recipe with whole wheat flour. It adds extra nutrients and some fiber. The one thing about using whole wheat flour in baking though is that it can make cakes heavier because of all the bran. What I suggest is to pass the flour through a sieve or strainer. That will remove the biggest pieces of bran and make your cake lighter. There will still be some bran left in the flour which means it will still have more nutrients and fiber than white flour.
Please note though that just because this is a healthier cake recipe doesn’t mean it is a diet food. Notice that it still has 47 grams of carbohydrate per serving, so for diabetics that means a very tiny piece. I would suggest cutting it up into smaller pieces and freezing them individually. That way you can reach for one when you just really, really need a treat – and most of us do once in a while.