As I was wandering about my local grocery store the other day I came across fresh zucchini. As it's now out of season, it was a bit pricy but I had a hankering for a Zucchini Chocolate Cake, so I bought a couple. There are two grocery stores in my town and usually only one regularly carries zucchini, so you can imagine my surprise when I visited the second store and they had a special on zucchini at $1.99 a pound. Now, in my opinion, that's not special enough to have a store bragging about such a (non) bargain. But, as they were actually in the store, I bought a couple more and went home and made a Zucchini Chocolate Cake and put the extra squash in soup.
Chocolate cake is not a favourite of mine but I really like this Zucchini Chocolate Cake. It might even be my favourite chocolate cake. I think it's because it isn't a deep, dark chocolatey cake and I like the taste of cinnamon in every moist and delicious bite. Just the fact that there's zucchini in a cake makes it quite likable in my opinion.
This is a great cake for family gatherings and potluck dinners as it makes a large 9x13-inch cake and can be toted in and served right from the pan. It can be served as is or a smear of chocolate frosting can be spread over the top for a fancier presentation. I've even made it into a layer cake with great success. The chocolate chips between the layers makes for an interesting contrast of textures in the cake.
For those of you who have never tasted a Zucchini Chocolate Cake don't be put off because of the zucchini. This is a delicious and moist cake with a hint of cinnamon making it reminiscent of Mexican chocolate. The zucchini keeps this cake moist and there is no hint of "healthy" when eating the vegetable in a cake.
Zucchini Chocolate Cake
½ cup soft butter
½ cup oil
1¾ cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup sour milk
2½ cups flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded zucchini, about 2 medium
½ cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9x13-inch pan. If you plan on removing the cake from the pan, line it with parchment paper as well, for easy removal.
In a large bowl, cream margarine and add sugar, oil and beat until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, vanilla, and sour milk. The mixture may curdle but it will come together when the flour is added.
Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. It is important to sift the cocoa to remove any small lumps. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Mix to combine.
Stir in zucchini and combine well.
Spoon into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with ½ cup chocolate chips. Bake 40-50 minutes at 3250 F.
Cool and serve as is or frost with your favourite chocolate icing if you wish.
Scrub the zucchini and shred leaving on the skin. I used about 2 medium zucchini to yield 2 cups of grated. Gently press the shredded zucchini in the cup when measuring.
Cream the butter, oil and sugar together.
Make sure you sift the cocoa with the flour. Cocoa is notorious for lumps that will not beat out in a batter. There's nothing worse than biting into a piece of cake that contains dry lumps of bitter cocoa. Not nice at all!
Once the cocoa and flour are mixed in with the butter/sugar mixture add the shredded zucchini and mix well.
See the specks of green zucchini peeking through the batter.
I like the cake without frosting but please yourself and put on as much frosting as you like.
Moist and Delicious!