Chocolate Zucchini Cake


Several years ago, I co-hosted a recipe contest with ZenSoy, makers of dairy-free organic puddings and milk beverages. One of the winners was this delicious vegan Chocolate Zucchini Cake by an entrant named Maiah.

Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe with Optional Chocolate Drizzle

Leah decided to make this dessert in her kitchen, and took these beautiful photographs to celebrate it. She said:

I whipped up this Chocolate Zucchini Cake yesterday. It is so decadent and delicious! I really love the touch of spices in it. I left it out for my roommates to enjoy and they’ve devoured just about the whole thing. I’m happy to have people to share it with so I don’t devour the whole thing myself!

Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe with Optional Chocolate Drizzle

Leah made a couple of minor modifications to Maiah’s chocolate zucchini cake recipe. I’ve added her changes, but included notes with Maiah’s original ingredients. Whichever version you choose, you’ll be rewarded with a lovely, chocolaty, vegan cake that’s perfect for enjoying a bounty of zucchini.

Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe with Optional Chocolate Drizzle

Special Diet Notes: Chocolate Zucchini Cake

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, optionally soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian.

Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This was a winning recipe from the Go Dairy Free / ZenSoy recipe contest back in January 2011! The recipe was originally submitted by Maiah, but Leah has tested some modifications and took some more lovely photos.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1 9x13-inch cake
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Optional Chocolate Glaze:
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease a 9X13-inch baking dish.
  2. Whisk the water and flaxmeal together in a small dish.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt together into a medium bowl.
  4. Place the sugar, oil, chocolate milk beverage, flaxmeal-water mixture, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Blend with a stand mixer, hand mixer or whisk until combined.
  5. Stir the dry ingredients and zucchini alternately into the ingredients in your mixing bowl. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Pour the batter into your prepared baking dish and even out.
  7. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  8. Let cool completely.
Optional Chocolate Glaze
  1. While the cake cools, whisk the sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate milk beverage, and vanilla together in a medium bowl, adding as much milk beverage as needed to get your desired drizzly consistency.
  2. Drizzle the glaze on the cake slices just before serving.
*Maiah's original recipe uses 1 teaspoon baking soda and no baking powder, which rises best. Leah wanted a more traditional tender cake texture, so she used a baking powder/baking soda combo. Both work well!
**Since Maiah used buttery spread and more baking soda in her original recipe, she did not use added salt.
**Maiah's original recipe uses ⅓ cup melted dairy-free buttery spread or margarine + ⅓ cup oil (such as grapeseed, rice bran or vegetable). Leah swapped in coconut oil for both, and it worked well. Choose the option that you prefer! But if using coconut oil, remember that all ingredients must be at room temperature. If not, the coconut oil will solidify. If this happens, just leave the batter at room temperature until the ingredients warm and can be properly stirred together.
Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe with Optional Chocolate Drizzle

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. This recipe was a disaster for me. Not sure if it was the flaxseed mixture or the coconut oil but the batter was hard and clumpy. I couldn’t “pour” it into a pan because it was too solid. I added enough more nut milk to make it soft enough to put into a pan. I am waiting for the results as it cooks. Was that supposed to happen? There was no mention of how hard and clumpy the dough would be.

    • Hi Tina, did you use coconut oil and then add any cold ingredients – ie refrigerated zucchini, cold nut milk, etc? Coconut oil has a high melt point, so it sets up firmly at cool temperatures, below 75 degrees. If you are using cold ingredients, you need to bring them to room temperature whenever working with coconut oil. It would have cooked fine (the coconut oil melts very quickly in the oven – once all ingredients are warm), but I can’t say if it will set up since you added more nut milk.

  2. This chocolate cake looks amazingly decadent! I don’t follow a restrictive diet, but always like to have recipes to use for when I have guests that do. This one is a keeper!

  3. Always looking for great recipes to use up that plethora of zucchini in the garden! I bet this could easily be made Gluten-Free using Cup 4 Cup or Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour

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