Guys, it’s me again. Back for day 3 of zucchini week with a HEALTHY CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKE.
Let’s get crazy about it like we used to be for Justin Bieber.
Jokes. We’ll get crazy about it because I know you guys are chocoholics. I looked at my Instagram stats the other day and most of my posts that do well just so happen to involved some sort of chocolate. Man, I just love you guys.
But truth be told, we shouldn’t think of chocolate as indulgent all the time. Sure it can be, but it’s also REAL FOOD that contains nutrients. YAY FOR THE CHOCOLATE. In fact, did you know that 1 serving of cocoa powder contains nearly 8% of your daily recommended iron intake? It’s even better if you use raw cacao powder, which includes many health benefits including additional fiber and antioxidants (try adding it to your morning smoothie!). Personally I love to use this cocoa powder (it’s not raw, but it’s DELISH).
But look I’m just out here trying to advocate for more chocolate in our lives, you know? So I’ve made you this beautiful healthy chocolate zucchini cake that naturally sweetened (plus a few chocolate chips). It’s SO moist, dense yet fluffy, and absolutely AMAZING.
SO let’s talk about a few ingredients, cause I know you’ll have questions:
Whole wheat pastry flour: I love using this whole grain flour in my recipes. It’s lighter than regular whole wheat flour, yet still contains the nutritional benefits. If you don’t have it available, you can always use half whole wheat flour and half regular flour.
Agave nectar: I prefer agave nectar in this recipe over honey because it doesn’t have the intense flavor that honey does. However you can absolutely use honey, maple syrup, coconut syrup or date syrup here to sweeten the cake.
Coconut oil: Coconut oil works here for a boost of flavor, but so does butter or vegan butter. Or even browned butter (yummmm).
Avocado chocolate frosting: So I realize that not all of you will be keen on making a frosting with avocados, but it’s SO SO good. There is a hint of avocado flavor at the end, but you can’t tell especially when it’s on the cake. If you don’t love it, try using another chocolate frosting: I recommend Simple Mills Chocolate Frosting.
I’ve also included ways to make this recipe vegan and gluten free in the notes section below, if desired.
Personally I think this recipe makes the perfect chocolate birthday cake if you’re looking for something on the healthier side (especially for kiddos). Hope you love it as much as I do! xoxo.
Come back tomorrow for another delicious savory zucchini recipe that you’re gonna LOVE!
More healthy desserts you’ll love:
If you make this recipe, please leave a comment below letting me know how you liked it, or post a photo to Instagram and tag #ambitiouskitchen!
Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Avocado Chocolate Frosting
- 1 cup zucchini, shredded and squeezed of excess moisture (from 1 medium zucchini)
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons melted and cooled coconut oil (can also use butter or vegan butter)
- ½ cup agave nectar (can also sub honey, maple syrup, coconut or date syrup)
- ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour
- ⅓ cup good quality cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup mini dairy free chocolate chips (best for chocolate in every bite)
- For the chocolate avocado frosting:
- 1 avocado
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup or agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x9 inch pan with parchment paper. Spray the inside of the pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, mix together the zucchini, egg, coconut oil, honey, unsweetened vanilla almond milk and vanilla until well combined.
- Next add in whole wheat pastry flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gently mix together until ingredients are just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Allow cake to cool on wire rack before frosting.
- To make the frosting: Add all of frosting ingredients to bowl of a food processor or high powered blender. Blend until smooth and no chunks of avocado remain. Taste and adjust sweetener as necessary (you may want to add a tad more maple syrup).
- Once ready to frost, spread avocado chocolate frosting all over cake. Store cake in the fridge until ready to serve. Serves 16.
Feel free to double the recipe and bake in a 13x9 inch pan. It should take around the same time to bake.
Instead of honey, you may sub 3/4 cup sugar (coconut, brown or white sugar will work).
Want to decrease the sugar in this recipe? Leave off frosting.
To make this vegan: Veganizing this: Be sure to use agave or maple syrup and sub a flax egg (1 tablespoon flaxseed meal + 3 tablespoons water) in place of the regular egg.
To make this gluten free: I recommend using chickpea flour or a gluten free oat flour. You can also use an all purpose gluten free flour.
Toppings: Feel free to add fun toppings on the cake such as toasted nuts, sprinkles, chocolate chips, coconut, or anything else your heart desires.
If you are not a fan of avocado, feel free to use another chocolate frosting of choice, or just drizzle 1/4 cup of melted chocolate chips over the top.