This gluten free chocolate zucchini cake is simply the richest, most moist chocolate cake ever. What else were you going to do with all that zucchini?
Zucchini, Summer’s Pushiest Vegetable
Every solid recipe using at least a few cups of shredded zucchini is nothing short of a public service. Take this gluten free chocolate zucchini cake, for example.
It tastes approximately, well, nothing like zucchini. The garden veg is just a delivery system for moisture in each morsel of cake. The chocolate ganache on top doesn’t hurt either (duh).
This cake makes good on 3 whole cups of shredded zucchini and makes you happy that your husband planted 3 zucchini plants again this year even though you asked him to plant 2 at most. Very nicely. And then not so nice.
I’d like to recommend that you enjoy a slice of this crazy delicious gluten free chocolate zucchini cake with some summer berries, like strawberries. Since you’re only likely to be making this particular gluten free chocolate cake in the summertime, you should go all the way.
So rich, with deep chocolate flavor. The zucchini keeps every dense, rich bite moist and tender without being “fluffy.”
Ingredients and Substitutions
Whenever I can, I like to provide you with as much information as possible on modifying this recipe to suit all of your individual dietary needs. These are educated guesses, though, since I haven’t actually made this recipe successfully in any way other than as it’s written in the actual recipe below.
The actual cake in this recipe is naturally dairy free, as it’s made with oil, not butter. If you need to be dairy free, just be sure that the bittersweet chocolate you’re using is, in fact, dairy free.
The chocolate ganache on top is made with heavy cream, though. If you’re lactose intolerant, you might be just fine with that, as it’s almost 100% fat. If not, you could most likely use coconut cream in place of the heavy cream. Or just leave the ganache off entirely.
Since this recipe calls for 2 whole eggs, it’s at the upper limit for what I am comfortable suggesting a “chia egg,” which is just a tablespoon of ground chia seeds mixed with 1 tablespoon of cool water until it gels. It’s worth a try.
One chia egg per actual egg, please. No flax eggs, though, please. That adds an unwanted flavor.
If you’d like a plainer version, without chocolate, there really isn’t a substitute for the chopped, melted chocolate and cocoa powder. Instead, I have a recipe for gluten free zucchini cake with the most tender texture—and it’s kind of a blank canvas.
Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Cake
For the cake
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (112 g) vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups (280 g) all purpose gluten free flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1/3 cup (27 g) unsweetened cocoa powder, Dutch-processed preferred (if using natural, add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) warm water
3 cups (330 g) shredded zucchini (from about 2 large or 3 medium zucchini)
For the ganache topping
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) heavy whipping cream
First, make the cake. Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease or line a 9-inch square baking pan and set it aside.
Place the 3 ounces chopped chocolate in a small, heat-safe bowl over a pot of simmering water (making sure the bowl does not touch the water, and the water does not boil). Stir until almost all of the chocolate is melted. Remove from the heat and continue to stir until all of the chocolate is melted and smooth. Add the oil and vanilla, stir to combine and set aside to cool briefly.
In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the melted chocolate and oil mixture, and mix to combine. Add the eggs and water, and mix to combine. The batter will be thick. Add the shredded zucchini, and mix to combine. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth into an even layer with a wet spatula or knife.
Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes.
Once the cake is cool, make the ganache. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium-sized, heat-safe bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and allow to sit for a couple minutes so that the chocolate begins to melt. Mix until the chocolate is melted and the ganache is smooth. Immediately pour evenly over the top of the cake. Allow to sit at room temperature until the ganache is set. For a firmer ganache, place the cake in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before slicing into squares and serving.
Originally published on the blog in 2013. Most photos, video and some text new. Recipe unchanged.