Grain-free Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe and VIDEO

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You’re either going to love me or hate me for this post.  Why?  Because this grain-free chocolate cake which just so happens to have zucchini in it is AMAZING.  You will love how rich and chocolaty it is,  how moist and tender.  You will be utterly amazed that this cake has no flour of any kind and that there is zucchini in it.  Zucchini!   It is sweetened with maple syrup and that’s all.  After your first bite, you might exclaim, “Three cheers for Pamela!”

All the ingredients -- one bowl

Orrrrrrr, you will find this cake, which is more like a cross between a brownie and cake, completely irresistible and TOO amazing.  You will walk by it on the countertop and find the uncontrollable need to even out all the edges until you are left with a mere crumb.  But you’ll convince yourself it’s healthful!  It contains almond butter and zucchini.  Zucchini!  And you will not be able to stop eating it.  The next time you make it you will freeze most of it so that you are not tempted by its chocolaty goodness and inhale three-fourths of it before the kids get home.  But you cannot stop dreaming about this cake so you find out it even taste good FROZEN because there is no waiting when it comes to this cake.  And after you eat all of the frozen cake, you might exclaim, “I curse the day I met Pamela!  Darn this chocolate amazingness!”



Grain-free Chocolate Zucchini Cake | Pamela Salzman

And that’s what I’m talking about.

Even Mr. Picky himself went crazy for this cake.  I actually came clean and told him there was zucchini in here and he didn’t care!!  If you are nut-free, don’t sweat.  Substitute sunflower butter in an equal amount and it will work perfectly.  Sunflower butter does have a slightly nuttier flavor, almost like peanut butter.  But I when I made the cake with sunflower butter for some nut-free people, they couldn’t detect it.  Make it.  Devour it. Love it.  Share it.  Tell me all about it.

Grain-free Chocolate Zucchini Cake | Pamela SalzmanGrain-free Chocolate Zucchini Cake | Pamela Salzman

Grain-free Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe and VIDEO
Serves: makes 1 8 x 8 or 9 x 9-inch cake
  • coconut oil or butter for greasing pan
  • 1 cup creamy, unsweetened, unsalted almond butter, raw or roasted
  • ⅓ cup pure Grade A maple syrup or raw honey
  • ¼ cup raw cacao or cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon fine ground sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups of shredded zucchini, about 2 small
  • 1 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9-inch pan. If you want to remove the cake from the pan in one piece, line it with unbleached parchment paper as well.
  2. In a large bowl combine the almond butter, maple syrup, cacao powder, salt, coffee powder, egg, vanilla, and baking soda until smooth.
  3. Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips.
  4. Pour into prepared pan and bake until just set and a toothpick comes out clean or with dry crumbs. Do not overbake. A 9 x 9 pan will take 35-45 minutes. An 8 x 8 pan will take 40-50 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.
Notes:  You can also add ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans to the batter.

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    • Pamela says

      I think it would do fine in a 13 x 9, although I haven’t tried it. The only thing that gives me a little pause is that the base of this cake is almond butter (which can burn easily) and you would have to bake it slightly longer in a larger dish. I do think it would work, but I can’t say 100%.

  1. Beth says

    Omg! I made this with the zucchini fries! It was a zucchini night! I really don’t know how this recipe is possible. It tasted just like a brownie cake!!! The flavor was super choclolatey and it cooked perfectly! I’m obsessed! Thank you so much for this!!!!

  2. Peggy says

    This is amazingly delicious! When I read the ingredients I was skeptical it would taste like cake, but I am happy to report I was wrong. I do cut it up & freeze it, so I am not tempted to sit down with the pan & a fork.
    Great recipe – it’s so fun to see the surprise on someone’s face when I tell them what’s in it (and what’s not in it).
    Also love the pizza zucchini boats – my 2 new go to recipes for my zucchini harvest. Keep them coming!

  3. Niloo says

    This cake is probably one of the best chocolate cakes I have ever had. We had some guests come over that were in a specific diet with no grains or dairy allowed so I made it using dairy free chocolate chips by enjoy life.
    No one knew what was in it and the ate the entire thing because it was so moist, chocolatey, fudgy, just AMAZING !!!

    Thank you for this recipe!!!!

    • Pamela says

      I would try a flax egg and see if that would work. One “flax egg” is 1 Tbs. ground flax meal mixed with 3 Tbs. warm water. Allow the mixture to sit for 15 minutes until it starts to gel.

      • CG says

        This worked alright – I think the only thing to make sure is that the flaxseed meal is really fine. I used a store-bought one which wasn’t all that fine and later flaxseed bits were pretty evident in the cake. But still it was a big hit! :)

  4. Lillian says

    Amazing recipe!!! I’m not a baseball fan but got to say this is a Home Run of a dessert! Made it for dinner dessert today and no one believed me that there was no grains. I try not to eat any grains so this recipe appealed to me. So glad I tried it and so easy!! Thank you!!

  5. Erin says

    I am currently making this for the third time (in a month!). It’s amazingly delicious. I’m going to try them as cupcakes for my 2 year olds birthday. Thanks for a great recipe!

  6. Sharon Kennedy says

    Delish and wonderfully moist!
    My kids loved it and no one knew it
    had zucchini in it!
    Thank you for another great recipe!

  7. Minta says

    I baked it this afternoon…used grade a maple syrup, dark cocoa powder, guittard chips…turned out absolutely delicious. I poured 1/2 the batter in, sprinkled 1/2 cup of chips, then the other half and the rest of the chips on top….so it looked really “chippy.” My kids loved it. Great recipe – thank you!

  8. rafaela says

    THREE CHEERS FOR PAMELA!!!! Having said that, I am very very afraid to make this as I know the result will be EXACTLY as you described it….but of course cannot resist…looks AMAZZZING. Yummm.Thanks!!!

  9. says

    Hi Pamela,
    I wanted to suggest a coffee substitute that is gluten free – Dandy Blend. Of all the coffee alternatives I think it’s the closest taste-wise. It’s especially delicious with a splash of coconut milk over ice!
    Thank you for the recipe, perfect timing as we head into the summer zucchini glut!

  10. says

    Only because EVERY SINGLE dish of yours that I have made is a keeper will I be trying this cake, haha. And I already know it will be delicious!!!

  11. Barbara says

    First let me start off by saying that I love you no matter what! However, any suggestions for decreasing the choc chips or substitutions for making this a little more ‘diabetic’ friendly?

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