Bake Someone Happy !

Chocolate Zucchini Cake {Guestpost}

The C-Z cake I made for my cousin

The C-Z cake I made for my cousin’s birthday

My fellow pharmacist/part-time baker Juliana “Jules” Osman has been posting delectable crumbs on Facebook. Then one fateful day, she posted a visually-arresting photo of a devilishly delish dark cake which I just had to have…..and happily enough, she brought me some the very next day when we met up at a pharmacy conference. And the rest, they say, is history. I am very happy to share with you Jules’ recipe, which she tweaked to great effect, and as a footnote, I will also share with you my tweaks, which resulted in the cake I made for Sophia (celebrating her 21st birthday for the nth time, heh heh) – which is my featured image.

Zucchini | Nat Yusop

As she wrote it:

I found this recipe on Pinterest, from King Arthur Flour, and decided to give it a try as I have a craze for everything with zucchini at the moment.

The zucchini gives this cake the softest, moist-est texture I have ever baked. Once baked, you can’t even see or taste the zucchini; hence a good way to get kids (and adults) to eat zucchinis.


Jules' mise en place (Photo courtesy of Juliana Osman)

Jules’ mise en place (Photo courtesy of Juliana Osman)

½ cup butter*

½ cup vegetable oil  (*I omitted the butter and used 1 cup canola oil instead)

1 2/3 cups loosely packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

½ cup Greek yogurt or sour cream 

2 ½ cups all purpose flour 

¾ cups cocoa powder

2 teaspoons espresso powder (I used Indocafe powder dissolved in about 2 tablespoons of boiling water and let it cool)

3 cups grated zucchini

1 cup chocolate chips


1. I did not exactly follow the directions in the original recipe! I simplified it by mixing all the wet ingredients together (minus the zucchini)  – using a whisk – until the sugar is dissolved. Then I prepared the dry ingredients.

2. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and cocoa powder, and combine all together with the chocolate chips and salt. 

3. Fold the dry ingredients into the batter in batches, mixing until smooth.

4. Lastly fold in the grated zucchini and mix well.

5. Pour the batter into a 9” x 13” cake pan and bake at 325°F for about 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. (I baked some in a muffin tray and those took about 20 minutes to cook).

6. Remove from oven and let cool.

Freshly baked C-Z cakes (Photo courtesy of Juliana Osman)

Freshly baked C-Z cakes (Photo courtesy of Juliana Osman)

You can put chocolate frosting on the cake for an extra oomph.

For a scrumptious chocolate frosting, you will need:
6 oz heavy cream
9 oz chopped milk chocolate / milk chocolate chips
1. Heat cream in saucepan over medium heat until simmering.
2. Remove from heat and pour over chopped chocolate.
3. Stir to combine. (May take a few minutes!)
4. Once slightly cool, pour the chocolate over the cake and smooth over with a spatula. Allow frosting to set about 30 minutes before serving.

Without the frosting, the cake can keep at room temperature for about 2 days; with frosting, it is best kept in the fridge. 

BakeSlave’s footnotes:

It goes without saying, I had a go at Jules’ recipe, and man, this is a lovely, fudgey chocolatey cake.

I figured, hey, since we had a vegetable cleverly concealed within this moist chocolate delight, why tax the waistline further with use of butter.

And it got me thinking, how else can we up the ante to make this an even healthier bake?

Now don’t get me wrong, if you have been reading my posts, you know I love butter. Applesauce, on the other hand, is also intriguing as a butter substitute.

I made homemade applesauce by peeling, coring and dicing two medium-sized red apples. This went into a heat-proof bowl; I poured in enough potable water until the apples were covered. Next, the apples were nuked on high for 2 minutes. I had to repeat this step, testing each time to ensure the apples were suitably softened (as if stewed). Once the cooked apples were cooled down, I blitzed them until finely pureed. The two medium apples yielded 3/4 cups of applesauce. 

I substituted the 1/2 cup of butter with my 3/4 cup of applesauce. Other tweaks included:

  • Using only 1 cup of sugar
  • Doubling the amount of vanilla extract
  • Using low-fat yoghurt
  • Using 2 cups APF, and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • Using semi-sweet chocolate chips
I love a cake that calls my name

For the same amount of batter yield, I put mine into a 6-inched round cake tin, and the remainder into a small loaf tin. Baking times varied though, with the loaf tin out in 20 minutes, and the cake tin took 50 minutes under the cover of aluminium foil.

It works, ladies and gents. Tweak it as we did, both versions were gooooooood.

You have to love a cake that gets you five syllables out of “good”.

XOXOXO Happy Baking !

6 comments on “Chocolate Zucchini Cake {Guestpost}

  1. Nina Che Rus
    May 31, 2013

    Hey there Nat.. hmm zucchini maybe I should try this … never tried putting vege in my bakes yet! Sooo with your tweaks.. that means you only used 3/4 cup of applesauce to replace butter and oil?

    • Nat Yusop | BakeSlave
      May 31, 2013

      I used my homemade applesauce to replace only the butter. I guess you’d have two options – probably double the amount of applesauce to about 1.5 cups (and so omitting both butter and the oil), or, as I did, used both applesauce and oil. 🙂

      PS: If you did omit both the butter and the oil, the cake will be a lot more “dense”; I think if eaten freshly baked, it would still be nice and fudge-y but leftovers will have a heavy mouthfeel.

  2. radhika25
    June 3, 2013


  3. radhika25
    June 17, 2013

    The pale green and the chocolate brown look stunning together. Am going to try this tomorrow. Where have you been? Missing your posts!

  4. vinicooksveg
    July 19, 2013

    I guess ,have missed it while I was absent on blogsphere! I always think ‘your recipes are delicious and pretty’! 🙂

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This entry was posted on May 31, 2013 by in Bake, Cakes and tagged , , .
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