Chocolate Zucchini Cake – Gluten Free & Vegan

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Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Cake

I have more than my share of zucchinis right now.  Being a savvy gardener, I only planted ONE plant, knowing how prolific a single plant can be.  And I swear, I could time lapse the growth of one, they grow SO rapidly.  One day you have normal 12″ or under zucchini, and two days later, you have Zukezilla…really!  Some people don’t believe me, but it happens all the time!

My Romenesco plant is very happy in it’s fertile, well mulched soil and is churning out 1-2 new zucchinis a day, so of course I have to use my imagination to put all this beautiful veg to use.

I have made some delicious things, but of course, the time is not always ripe to whip out the camera and attempt to capture the scrumptious results for the purposes of my blog!  I have made some zucchini chips that were pretty amazing, and a zucchini casserole that made me swoon….and now this lusciously moist treat: chocolate zucchini cake.  Here is one time I know, my middle child will have NO problem eating some veggies!  Rich dark chocolatey taste with a moist to love it!

If you would like to make this easy to pack in a lunch box, I suggest instead of frosting, mix in a cup of chocolate chips…it will be cleaner AND easier!

Update: we currently use this Paleo frosting for this cake, and many others!  We just add some salt and vanilla extract for flavor balance.

PICKY KIDS TIP:  Lately, for ease, I puree all the wet ingredients in my Blentec blender, then add in the dry ingredients right on top!  No visible vegetables for picky kids!

Would you like some more zucchini recipes?  Here are a couple:

ChocolateZucchiniCake - Gluten Free & Vegan-3351

5.0 from 2 reviews
Chocolate Zucchini Cake - Gluten Free & Vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
  • 1 cup palm sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar (I sub half with liquid stevia equivalent)
  • ⅓ cup oil ( I use melted coconut oil)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup gluten free oat flour (for oat free replace with sorghum or millet, or a combo of the two)
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • ½ cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (sifted if lumpy!)
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon guar gum
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini, packed *Tip - if you have any veggie-phobes in your household, you could puree the zucchini in a food processor so it is not detectable.
  • Frosting:
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (sifted if lumpy)
  • ¼ cup allowed butter
  • 2 cups corn-free powdered sugar ( I would try this with powdered palm sugar next time!)
  • ¼ cup any milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x 13 pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oil, sugars, and vanilla.
  3. Add in the remaining ingredients minus zucchini. Stir vigorously to combine well: mixture will be dry and crumbly.
  4. Stir in the zucchini. The moisture from the zukes should bring the whole batter together like a typical brownie/cake batter on the thick side.
  5. Pour/coax into the prepared pan and bake for about 25 minutes until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. I had to bake mine a little extra, the moisture content of your zucchinis will drive this.
  6. Let cool for about 10 minutes and then invert on a cooling rack. At this point you can make the frosting for the cake.
  7. In a microwave safe bowl or over a double boiler, melt the butter/margarine.
  8. Remove and mix in the cocoa powder, then the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.

ChocolateZucchiniCake - Gluten Free & Vegan-3339

This recipe was shared with Mostly Homemade MondaysNatural Living MondaysFat TuesdaysGF TuesdaysTotally Tasty Tuesdays,  Hearth & Soul,  Waste Not Want Not, GF Wednesday, Real Food WednesdayPennywise Platter,

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When her third child was born with severe food allergies, Tessa took to the kitchen to figure out how to feed her family well. Always up for a culinary challenge, their journey has taken many twists and turns! Lots of Paleo, and lots of top 8 free. Good food for families, that's what she's about!

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30 comments on “Chocolate Zucchini Cake – Gluten Free & Vegan
  1. Anonymous says:

    Odd question – but how much brown rice flour did you use? 1/2 plus 2 tablespoons brown rice flour – is that 1/2c + 2T? OR 1 or 2c? Thanks mucho!

  2. Tessa says:

    No not odd, thanks for catching my error!! 1/2 CUP plus 2T!

  3. Leslie says:

    I made this today, and it tastes awesome! Thank you so much. Your site is a great resource!

  4. Thank YOU leslie for letting me know….you're making me crave this yummy treat!

  5. Laura W says:

    We can’t do oats (or nuts). What would be the best sub for the oat flour? More brown rice? Or I have quinoa flour or millet. Thanks.

    • I would do an equal mix of all three Laura…only if you like their flavors. (by mixing them, none of the flours stand out too much) I have yet to find a way to use quinoa flour in a way I enjoy, is that one you know you like?

  6. Laura W says:

    Here is the secret to making quinoa flour palatable: you have to toast it. Seriously! I’m afraid I can’t take credit for that discovery though.

    I do just toast mine on the stovetop though, wait till you smell the nuttiness & it turns a bit golden.

  7. Jamie says:

    Seriously the BEST cake I’ve had in a LONG time! I’m not GF any longer but still bake GF. I did not expect this to taste so gosh darn good! I took your advice and used my food processor to blend the zucchini all the more and I think that was the secret! THANK YOU for this amazing recipe!

  8. Raeleen says:

    Looks fabulous! Will have to hit my neighbor up for a zuc and make some soon 😉

    • Raeleen says:

      Well, Tessa, you did it again! This was absolutely addicting! I did make a couple of tweeks based on what I had on hand… made my own oat flour, used agar in place of the guar gum, added about 1/4 cup of almond milk, and made the frosting on the stove top in a regular pan (opposed to the double boiler method). When the cake was done, and still hot, I poured the frosting over the cake (like an old-fashioned sheet cake.) Oh! And pureeing the zucchini beforehand was a stellar idea!

  9. Krissy says:

    Strange question, but is there something I could substitute the tapioca flour for? I can’t tolerate tapioca flour or starch. (it puts a damper on a lot of baked goods!)

  10. Allison says:

    Yum! This looks great! Thanks so much for sharing!

  11. Erika says:

    Is there something I could replace for the guar gum, I don’t have any? Thanks:)

  12. What a great way to use up zucchini! And chocolate always makes things better. Just stopping by from Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays :)

  13. Amber says:

    Yeah! I just stocked up on zucchinis from the local farmers market! Totally going to try this one! Thanks for Sharing!

  14. Joyce says:

    How much Stevia liquid sweetener do you use. I have the Sweet Leaf brand. Not sure if that is what you used, but I would love to use 1/2 Stevia and half palm sugar.

  15. Perfect timing, I have a ton of giant zucchinis from the farmers market (3 for $1, how could I turn that down?!). Thanks for sharing this on Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, I’ve pinned it :)

  16. Mary Pichotta says:

    Could you powder coconut palm sugar for the powdered sugar for the frosting? Looks good, can’t wait to try it.

  17. Mary Pichotta says:

    Tessa, I made this cake yesterday for my son’s 19th birthday. I pureed the zucchini and you couldn’t tell it was in there. I did powder the coconut sugar and it turned out great. Even my picky 12 year old who won’t eat my healthy desserts ate it. I just told him it was chocolate cake. The whole pan went over good. It was so moist. I might try the avocado chocolate frosting with it next time. Thanks for the great recipe.

  18. Pattie says:

    I have some friends with cocoa issues and was wondering if carob powder would work as well. I have read that they are almost interchangeable to use but have not tried it yet. Thanks for this receipe we have a ton of zucchinis in our garden this year as well.

    • Hi Pattie! Carob will function exactly the same in this recipe. It is however, a very distinct flavor all it’s own….i thinking expecting chocolate lets some people down. Carob is delicious in it’s own right, but it doesn’t taste like chocolate, at least to me! you’re a good friend for thinking of them!

  19. Sandy says:

    Oat flour is not gluten free due to processing. Substitute sorghum flour.

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Welcome, I am happy you are here!

My name is Tessa, and I have learned to cook without almost all major allergens! I have a focus on making family foods as healthy as possible. Real food is my obsession. Gluten free, casein free, vegan, Paleo, sugar free: I have a little of something for anyone with restrictions., Take a peek, you're sure to find something delicious, and if you need any help, I am always willing to help you tweak things to YOUR tastes and dietary needs!

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