WHO DOESN’T LOVE CHOCOLATE CAKE? I know I always find myself holding back from indulging in the sweetness of a good late night-sweet but we all need a little “yum” sometimes. When I first stumbled upon this recipe I found myself both intrigued and confused of how incorporating a vegetable like zucchini could possibly translate into a tasteful dessert. To my surprise however I was quick to learn not to judge a recipe by its ingredients. The result? A protein packed grain-free dessert that both my kids and I can enjoy without the hour delayed regrets that often follow sugary indulgence.

Zucchini chocolate cake

by Pamela Salzman

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
  • 1/3 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

Summer Harvest 2014 cucumber & zucchini (3)


  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 over bake.  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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