Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Cake – This almond flour chocolate zucchini cake is ULTRA fudgy and delicious. It’ll be your new favorite way to eat zucchini. (Gluten free, dairy free, paleo-friendly)
We’re banishing the Mondays today with a chocolate cake. Not just any chocolate cake. A gluten free chocolate zucchini cake. That tastes amazing. (And did I mention the chocolate part? Because it’s GOOD.)
I personally think that any Monday that starts with baked goods can’t possibly be bad. Seriously–fill your house with the smell of chocolate and try to tell me it doesn’t make you feel better. Let’s make this a new tradition, yes?
Even if you have to wait till dessert to pull this lovely chocolate zucchini cake out, I think you’re going to love it.
It’ll definitely be your new favorite way to eat vegetables. (Kidding! …sort of!)
WHAT MAKES THIS GLUTEN FREE CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKE AMAZING:
IT’S SUPER EASY TO MAKE. Like, just a food processor or a single bowl will do the job. No sifting, no extra bowls. I literally make it in the food processor (you could use a blender, stand mixer, or bowl with a hand mixer). Easy-peasy and no fussy techniques to worry about.
IT’S GOT AN AMAZING TEXTURE. This chocolate zucchini cake is incredibly light and fluffy. Zucchini keeps it moist and the combination of almond flour and arrowroot help keep it light. It’s so hard to have just one slice!
IT’S ULTRA CHOCOLATEY. I *hate* when I bite into a chocolate cake and it doesn’t taste chocolatey. You won’t run into that problem here! There’s plenty of rich chocolate flavor in the zucchini cake, then it’s topped with an unbelievable chocolate frosting that’ll blow your mind. (Aaaaand maybe I garnished the cake with some chopped up chocolate, too.)
IT’S NATURALLY SWEETENED. One bite in and you won’t believe me! I used a combination of pure maple syrup and coconut sugar for the cake, then pure maple syrup in the frosting. It’s everything chocolatey and sweet without a single grain of white or powdered sugar.
IT’LL GET YOUR KIDS TO EAT ZUCCHINI. (Kind of a funny perk, and yes, I know that just because there’s zucchini in it doesn’t mean this cake is healthy.) But, my children are NOT zucchini fans, and they’ve BEGGED for seconds on this cake every single time we’ve made it. It’s like magic, and has actually gotten them to enthusiastically eat other things with veggies blended or “hidden” inside (like this smoothie) when I tell them, “it’s like the chocolate zucchini cake! You can’t even taste the veggies!”
MY MAGIC CHOCOLATE FROSTING (REFINED SUGAR FREE!)
I’ve gotten several requests over the years for a chocolate frosting recipe without refined sugar, and I’ve finally got one I LOVE! I got the idea from my No-Bake Chocolate Berry Tart filling, and finally got the amounts right where I like them. All you need is 5 simple ingredients to make it!
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- Pure Maple Syrup
- Coconut Oil (soft, but not melted)
- Vanilla Extract and
- A Pinch of Salt
I puree everything together in my food processor or blender (though you could totally just whisk it in a bowl!). It’s sweetener than my tart filling, and has rich chocolatey notes that make it so good you’ll have to fight the urge to just eat it by the spoonful.
If you prefer, you could also swap in the ganache I used in my Almond Flour Banana Cake. It’s made from melted chocolate chips, milk, and vanilla and tastes great on this cake.
FAQ + TIPS FOR PERFECT GLUTEN FREE CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKE
AN EASY WAY TO GRATE ZUCCHINI. You can grate zucchini in 10 seconds or less with a food processor. I use mine for everything from energy bites to grating veggies to making cakes. But the grating blade makes this a cinch. Otherwise, I love a grater like this one that catches everything it grates.
CAN I SUBSTITUTE A DIFFERENT KIND OF FLOUR? I don’t really recommend it. I *have* tried this with gluten free 1:1 flour in place of the almond flour/arrowroot mixture and while the flavor is similar, the cake was less moist. You CANNOT substitute coconut flour in this cake. (Coconut flour absorbs several times its volume in liquid, so you’d need to adjust the amount of coconut flour and/or the amount of liquid in the recipe to make it work)
WHAT KIND OF COCOA DO YOU USE IN ZUCCHINI CAKE? I use unsweetened cocoa powder. You can use dark cocoa powder (sometimes labeled Dutch process or alkalized cocoa powder), if you like for a darker look.
CAN I MAKE THIS CAKE A DIFFERENT SIZE OR BAKE IT IN A DIFFERENT PAN? I haven’t tried it yet. This makes enough for one 8×8 or 9×9 square cake (I use this one). It won’t work as a layer cake unless you want very thin layers or you double the recipe. And for a 9×13, you’d need to double it and extend the baking time. As for cupcakes, I *think* it’d work for about 12 cupcakes, but I haven’t tried it yet to be sure.
CAN I MAKE THIS VEGAN? Again, I haven’t tried it without eggs yet, but my go-to egg substitute for recipes like this is a powdered egg substitute, like Ener-G egg replacer or Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer. If you try it using flax eggs or another egg substitute, I’d love to know how it goes!
LOVE THIS CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKE? YOU MIGHT LOVE THESE OTHER YUMMY TREATS:
- Almond Flour Banana Cake with Chocolate Ganache
- Almond Flour Lemon Cake
- The BEST Gluten Free Brownies
- Vegan Chocolate Pudding
HELPFUL FOR THIS RECIPE (PRODUCTS I USED):
For the Chocolate Zucchini Cake:
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup blanched almond flour
- 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (softened but not melted)
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
For the Frosting:
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (softened, but not melted)
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Generous pinch salt
Make the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line an 8×8″ or 9×9″ pan with parchment paper.
- In a bowl or a food processor, combine cocoa powder, almond flour, arrowroot, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pulse or whisk to combine.
- Add coconut oil, eggs, milk, syrup, and vanilla. Pulse or whisk until well combined and smooth.
- Fold or stir in the shredded zucchini.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool while you mix up the frosting.
Make the Frosting:
- In a food processor (or a bowl with a hand mixer), combine cocoa powder, syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt.
- Pulse or mix until completely smooth.
- Spoon onto the cooled cake and spread with a spatula over the surface. If desired, garnish with shaved or chopped chocolate, mini chocolate chips, or sprinkles.
- Category: Dessert, Cake
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
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