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Chocolate zucchini bread

/ Source: Courtesy of: "Let Them Eat Cake" by Gesine Bullock Prado
two 7-by-3½-inch loaves
Chocolate zucchini bread
Mmmm...chocolately zucchini bread is a tasty treat!Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
two 7-by-3½-inch loaves


  • 2 cups peeled and grated zucchini (2 to 4 zucchini)
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder (like King Arthur Flour's Black Cocoa)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • Chef notes

    At the end of summer in these parts, we send out email warnings: "It's that time. Lock your doors." You see, Vermont is a pretty darn safe place. It's a rare thing for anyone to lock up either house or car. But come zucchini season, the danger of someone cracking open your unbolted entry and tossing in a half dozen squash is a real risk. They grow so abundantly in our gardens that it's virtually impossible to use up the bounty. But here's a way to get rid of your zucchini and enjoy it too. With chocolate! It's fudgy, moist, and delicious; as a friend said, "It's a damn good chocolate cake." This recipe may seem like it makes an odd number (two smaller quickbread loaves), but I have good reason for writing it this way: You'll have one to freeze for later and one to eat ASAP. The other option is to give one away, but this is zucchini you'll want to keep for yourself.


    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray two 7-by-3½-inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.

    Put the grated zucchini in a sieve and allow any excess moisture to drain.

    In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, espresso powder, and salt for 30 seconds to evenly distribute the leavening.

    In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the zucchini, egg, both sugars, the melted butter, oil, vinegar, and vanilla until combined. Add the flour mixture and pulse until a homogeneous batter forms. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes.

    Gluten-free version

    • Reduce the zucchini to 1½ cups. 
    • Replace the flour with 1 cup finely milled brown rice flour, 1/4 cup sweet white sorghum flour and 1 teaspoon xanthan gum. 
    • Increase the eggs to 2. 
    • Replace the oil with 4 tablespoons unsalted butter to make 1/2 cup butter total. Melt the butter and let cool slightly.

    Vegan version

    • Replace the egg with 1 large eggs worth of flaxseed meal mixed with water (see recipe below).
    • Replace the butter with another 1/4 cup canola oil to make 1/2 cup canola oil total.
    • Ener-G-egg replacer: 1½ teaspoons egg replacer powder stirred or whisked thoroughly with 2 tablespoons warm water = 1 large egg

    This mixture is often lumpy, so it’s worth running the finished mixture through a fine sieve before using. You can use this mix­ture immediately. This egg replacer is wonderful when more than one egg is called for. It is relatively flavorless and contains a measure of leavening (it’s gluten free as well). It acts as both a leavening agent and a binding agent.

    Healthier version

    • Replace the flour with ¼ cup (40 grams) Sprouted Super Flour and 1 cup organic whole-wheat pastry flour. 
    • Replace both sugars with 3/4 cup organic granulated palm sugar. 
    • Replace the butter with 1/4 cup pureed black beans (from a can of cooked organic black beans, pureed in a blender or food processor).
    • Replace the oil with 1/4 cup organic grapeseed oil. 
    • Add 2 tablespoons orange juice to the wet ingredients.
    Source: Courtesy of: "Let Them Eat Cake" by Gesine Bullock Prado