An easy and delicious chocolate zucchini bread, that is wonderfully moist and perfectly chocolatey. Double the recipe to make 2 loaves, a 9×13-inch cake or bundt cake.
Why you’ll love this chocolate zucchini bread
I have been making this classic chocolate zucchini loaf for many years, ever since I discovered it in a Best of Bridge cookbook! It’s a family favourite – always moist, perfectly chocolatey and a darned good way to use up Summer zucchini. I love the double hit of chocolate, both from cocoa powder and chocolate chips.
I have reduced the original recipe by half to make a single loaf here, but if you have more zucchini to use up, double the recipe and bake up two loaves. It freezes well or keep one for yourself and give one away. You can also double the recipe to bake this as a 9×13-inch snacking cake or to make it as a bundt cake.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Zucchini – green or yellow, any size. You’ll only need 1 medium/large zucchini for 1 loaf, or more if doubling the recipe. I don’t peel the zucchini, but you will spot the odd bit of green (or yellow) in your loaf. You can peel if you’d prefer.
- Cocoa Powder – any variety is fine here. Use what you have.
- Chocolate Chips – just your garden variety, semi-sweet chocolate chips. You can use mini chocolate chips, if that’s all you have, but you will miss the lovely little pools of melted chocolate in the cake.
- Buttermilk – Real buttermilk is best, if you have it. If not, simply add 3/4 tsp of lemon juice or vinegar to 1/4 cup of regular milk and let stand 10 minutes. I haven’t tested this recipe with non-dairy milks, but I suspect they would work here.
- Flour – all purpose flour is specified. I haven’t tested this recipe with gluten free flour, though I suspect a cup-for-cup gluten free flour would work here.
- You’ll also need: Baking powder, baking soda, salt, butter, vegetable oil, vanilla and cinnamon.
- The original Best of Bridge recipe called for some cloves. I don’t care for cloves much, so I omit. If the idea appeals to you, add 1/4 tsp of ground cloves to the batter.
- With the specified amount of sugar, this loaf is not overly sweet. While you can dial back the added sugar a bit further (maybe down to 1/2 cup), you may not find the balance of flavours as nice. In addition, it’s always important to remember that sugar in baking recipes does more than sweeten it. Sugar contributes to both the moistness and finished texture of the loaf, both of which would suffer somewhat when the sugar is reduced.
- I’ve used my favourite loaf pan here, a “tea loaf” pan, which is about 3 1/2 x 10 inches. I love the longer, narrower loaf size. Alternately, a standard 8×4-inch loaf pan works well.
- As noted above, to make this into two loaves, a 9×13-inch sheet cake or for a bundt cake, simply double the recipe (Use the handy “2X” button above the ingredients to do that easily. Note that the baking time may change slightly. A 9×13-inch cake will probably be close to the 45 minutes, but a bundt cake may vary depending on the pan size. Watch closely and test often :)
- I have never made this in a bundt pan and as bundt pans differ in size, use your best judgement in terms of not over-filling the bundt pan. A general rule is to fill only 2/3 full. Hold some batter back, if necessary.
Making ahead, Storing and Freezing
This moist zucchini bread keeps well stored in an airtight container for several days. It will also freeze well up to 2 months.
Get the Recipe: Chocolate Zucchini Bread
- 2 Tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted, at room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil, or other neutral tasting oil
- 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup buttermilk, or see *Note 1 below to make your own
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch salt
- 1 cup zucchini, peeled or unpeeled, grated and squeezed to remove liquid
- 2 Tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 325F (regular bake setting/not fan assisted), with rack in the centre of the oven. Grease a 8x4 or 4x10-inch loaf pan and line the bottom and long sides with a sheet of parchment paper, overhanging the sides by an inch or so (to use as handles to remove the loaf later). Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
- Grate your zucchini and squeeze as much liquid out of as you can. Measure after squeezing. Set aside.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, oil and white sugar at medium speed until it becomes creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix to combine. Scrape down the bowl well and mix to combine.
- With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk and mix just until combined. Add the chocolate chips and zucchini and mix just until combined.
- Spoon batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth the top.
- Bake in preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre of the loaf.
- Allow loaf to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then lift out of the pan by the parchment paper and place onto a cooling rack. Pull the parchment down from the sides. When the loaf has cooled a bit further, carefully remove the parchment from under the loaf and allow to cool completely.
More Chocolate Loaves to Love!
Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!