Have you had chocolate zucchini cake yet?? And with streusel topping? If not, you are seriously missing out.
This cake is just about the perfect thing. It is topped with this slightly sweet, crunchy, caramelized crust of brown sugar streusel, mixed with rich chocolate chips and pecans. It’s truly genius – in fact, I think it might be better than cake with buttercream frosting. Yep – it might be…
I’m on a bit of a zucchini roll right now… I am growing my first ever zucchini plant in my patio garden this year, so I’m a little zucchini crazy around here. I’ve posted a couple recipes zucchini recipes already, Sunny Lemon Zucchini Muffins and Zucchini Mozzarella Saute, which covers your breakfast and a veggie side dish. Today’s recipe covers snacks/desserts. And I have a great zucchini recipe I hope to post later this month that’s one of my favorite main dishes ever. So, you can literally eat zucchini all day long. Ha!
So, let’s talk about this cake first, because if we get all caught up in the delicious topping, we might forget that this cake is great all on it’s own. Chocolate cake is sometimes tough to get just right – but I think this cake might be it. It’s rich, moist, and not too sweet. It has complex flavor from the mixture of zucchini, coconut oil, vanilla and cinnamon. I love, love, love cinnamon in my chocolate cake. Don’t worry, the cinnamon flavor is mild, and barely there, but it makes the flavor richer, warmer and more interesting. Don’t skip it… I will find you!
Then, the streusel topping…. See all that delicious texture? The brown sugar just melts into the surface of the cake, creating the most delicious crackled, caramelly crust, speckled with creamy dark chocolate and crunchy pecans. It’s so simple and easy, but the results are amazing. I mean, who needs frosting on their cake when you have streusel? In fact, without frosting weighing it down, this cake could maybe be categorized as… snack cake?? And of course, snack cake means it’s healthier and can be eaten for a snack anytime, maybe even for breakfast if one is desperate… right?
Don’t you want to just face plant into all that deliciousness??
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ⅓ cup coconut oil
- 1¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- ½ cup cocoa
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 2 cups shredded zucchini
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter, coconut oil and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until slightly thickened and light yellow, about 2 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt until thoroughly mixed. Add about ⅓ of the flour mixture to the batter and mix until combined. Add ½ the buttermilk and mix well. Repeat with another ⅓ of the flour mixture, then the remaining buttermilk, and finally add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Fold in the shredded zucchini.
- Gently spread the batter into your prepared pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the batter. Use the tines of a fork to gently break up any larger chunks of sugar. Then sprinkle with the chocolate chips and the pecans.
- Bake at 325 degrees F for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Be careful not to overbake.
- Cool completely on a wire rack.
I usually halve this recipe, because a 9x13 in cake is too much for the two of us. I bake it in an 8x8 inch pan and start checking for doneness around 28 minutes to be sure I don't overbake.
The original recipe calls for sliced almonds rather than pecans. I like the flavor of the pecans better in this recipe, but the almonds look very pretty. You can choose whichever nut you prefer, or have on hand.
Slightly adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.