This ingenious dairy-free chocolate zucchini bread recipe was the Runner-Up Winner in a recipe contest that we hosted in 2017. It won for some of the special ingredient touches – like an infusion of spices – and it’s unique usage – as the bread for dairy-free ice cream sandwiches. But of course, you can enjoy a slice of this delicious bread straight up.
Chocolate Zucchini Bread that’s Moist, Rich, and Dairy-Free
This recipe was created by personal trainer Andie Thueson of Maybe I Will., but we’ve recently updated it with more details, ingredient notes, and options.
What is Natural Cocoa Powder?
It hasn’t been treated with alkali (like Dutch processed cocoa powder), so natural cocoa powder is more acidic and more bitter. That acidity reacts with baking soda (an alkali) in your cookie dough, giving it a little lift, better texture, and neutralizing the bitterness in the cocoa and the naturally acrid flavor of the baking soda. You can find natural cocoa powder from brands like Hershey’s, Scharffen Berger, Ghirardelli Unsweetened, and Anthony’s.
What Dairy-Free Yogurt do you Recommend?
Andie uses So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt, and so did we. It has a little bit of fat in it, which I think helps the texture of this dairy-free chocolate zucchini bread. It’s also one of the less expensive vegan yogurt options on the market, and it’s sold in larger tubs.
Is it Okay to Use Some Oil?
This is a lower fat baked good, which means the texture tends to be best when warm, toasted, or chilled (like with the ice cream sandwiches), rather than cooled at room temperature. If you do prefer to add a little fat, you have a couple options. You can substitute part oil for some of the dairy-free yogurt or you can simply add a couple tablespoons of oil. A little bit goes a long ways in tenderizing bread.
How Does this Chocolate Zucchini Bread Taste?
We did test out Andie’s chocolate zucchini bread recipe for the contest, and even made the vegan version. Here’s what Sarah and her family had to say.
We really liked this zucchini bread recipe. It has really good flavor. I wasn’t sure how the spices would work with the chocolate, but they do work together. The recipe makes two loaves of zucchini bread, which is a lot! The kids ate the leftover bread for breakfast yesterday and today. It’s very good toasted! It’s a very good bread recipe that we’ll make again.
Ice Cream Sandwiches? Does that Really Taste Good?
Andie uses this dairy-free chocolate zucchini bread to make ice cream sandwiches with So Delicious Vanilla Coconutmilk Frozen Dessert. It seems like an obvious concept, yet I’ve never seen it done before – using actual bread to make ice cream sandwiches! We’ve included her option in the recipe, and here’s what one of our contest recipe testers had to say about the actual results.
The coconut vanilla was the right choice of ice cream. It’s nice and light with the rich bread. Honestly, I love the ice cream sandwich idea. I’m already thinking of other bread/ice cream combinations.
Special Diet Notes: Chocolate Zucchini Bread
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, optionally egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, optionally vegan, oil-free, and vegetarian.
For gluten-free dairy-free chocolate zucchini bread, I recommend substituting your favorite gluten-free baking blend for the flour, and using the eggs (not the egg substitute). Please note that we have not tested this recipe without gluten.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (can substitute white-whole wheat flour)
- ½ cup natural cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 cups sugar or your granulated sweetener of choice
- 1 cup plain dairy-free yogurt (see post above for options)
- 3 large eggs or 3 vegan egg replacers (tested with Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacer)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups grated zucchini
- 1 (10-ounce) bag dairy-free chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease two 9x5-inch loaf pans.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice, salt, and baking powder until all clumps of cocoa powder are gone.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar, yogurt, eggs or egg replacers, and vanilla with a hand mixer to combine. Stir in the zucchini.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, stirring to combine. The batter will be very thick. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Divide the batter between the loaf pans and level it out.
- Bake the bread for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each loaf comes out clean.
- Let the bread cool for 10 minutes in the pans, before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.