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Mom’s Chocolate Zucchini Cake ~ Gluten-Free & Vegan options

Mom’s Chocolate Zucchini Cake is a great reason to grow zucchini. This easy chocolate cake will likely have you going back for seconds.

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If you prefer a lighter version, substitute the butter with 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce; no one will ever know.

And if cake isn’t your thing, bake some cupcakes with chocolate drizzle. They take just 25 minutes to cook.

There are a lot of things you will love about this chocolate zucchini cake:

  • The rich chocolate flavor
  •  It’s easy to make the egg, dairy, and gluten-free versions
  •  There are low-fat and low-sugar options

Can you think of a better way to use up extra zucchini?

chocolate zucchini cake

To make Mom’s chocolate zucchini cake gluten-free:

  • Substitute the flour with a gluten-free flour blend. Gluten-free flour blends can be purchased at almost any major grocery store, or you can make your own by purchasing the flour separately. Here are some examples at this link: Flour Blends ~ Pre-made mixes to make at home.
  • Gluten-free flour blends usually already contain xanthan gum or guar gum, but if not, you will need to add it to the recipe. For this recipe, you will need to add 1 1/4 teaspoons.
  • Xanthan gum and guar gum are used in gluten-free baking as a thickening, binding, and stabilizing agent.
  • I have always had great success with King Arthur Measure For Measure Gluten-Free Flour and Pamala’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour.

If you like, divide the batter into two 8-inch square pans. Adding nuts and chocolate chips over the top before baking is optional but delicious. Lining the pans with parchment paper will make removing the cake simple and easy.

chocolate zucchini cake


What About Egg Free?

  • Make this recipe without eggs and get the same satisfying results. Honestly, no one will even know.
  • My favorite egg substitute is aquafaba, the liquid from canned garbanzo beans. Other substitutions are flax eggs and chia eggs. See more substitutions for eggs and dairy at this link: Milk & Egg Substitutes In Baking and Meal Preparation.

Here are two options that will give you delicious low-sugar results:

1.  Monk Fruit Sugar is a simple way to reduce sugar in baking because the measurements are straight across one-for-one.
2.  Stevia In The Raw or Splenda. When using these products, I only replace part of the sugar. I chose to substitute 3/4 cup of sugar, but you could substitute 1 cup and still have good results.


chocolate zucchini cake

Mom's Chocolate Zucchini Cake ~ Gluten-free option

A treasured chocolate cake recipe that is delicious, moist, and decadent yet allergy-friendly too.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: allergy-friendly, chocolate zucchini cake, dairy-free, dessert, egg-free, Gluten Free Chocolate Cake, snacks
Servings: 12 Servings
Calories: 450kcal
Author: Mary Krick


  • ½ cup butter or non-dairy substitute; softened
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar or Monk Fruit Sugar for sugar-free
  • 2 eggs or 6 Tbsp aquafaba for egg-free
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sour milk or non-dairy substitute, I use soy milk with 1 Tbsp vinegar
  • 2 ½ cups flour or gluten-free blend; add 1 ¼ tsp xanthan gum to the gluten-free flour if it is not included in the blend
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp instant coffee ~ optional
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • ¼ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips I used allergy -friendly semi-sweet mini chocolate chips.
  • ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips I used allergy friendly dark chocolate chips.
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts ~ optional omit for nut-free


  • Pre-heat oven to 325 and prepare 9"x13" pan with a non-stick spray or parchment paper.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl cream together butter, oil, and sugar.
  • Add eggs, vanilla, and sour milk. Mix together well.
  • Add flour, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix until just combined, being careful not to overmix.
  • Stir in grated zucchini and ¼ cup mini-chocolate chips.
  • Pour into prepared pan.
  • Sprinkle ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and chopped nuts overall.
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Let cool to room temperature on a wire rack.


I found that the King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure For Measure Flour gave the best results and xanthan gum is already in the blend.
For a less fat option substitute 1/2 cup applesauce for the butter and do not add the nuts and chocolate chips on top.
For the egg-free version, I used aquafaba which is the liquid from a can of garbanzo beans.
This recipe can also be made into muffins. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Test for doneness at 20 minutes.


Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 450kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 288mg | Potassium: 193mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 334IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 2mg

mom's chocolate zucchini cake

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