Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Cake

I might have gone a little overboard with the picture thing. Sorry about that. Or, well, no. Not really.

I figure if these pictures have me drooling big time, chances are they’ll have you drooling too. At least some of you. And surely a little chocolate cake porn can’t be bad for you every now and then, now can it?

I feel I could very well write this entire post with nothing but Oh! and Ah! and more Ooooohs! and Aaaaaahs! and it would do the trick. For seriously, who is ever going to take their eyes off the pictures to actually read the words? Hey, we’re talking CHOCOLATE CAKE here!

When it comes to chocolate, words are completely superfluous.

Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Cake |

What’s that you say? Zuki what? Oh, yeah! That’s right. I have added zucchini to this cake, and quite a healthy dose, too! But don’t worry about it. No one will ever know. And I swear, it doesn’t take away from the outstanding scrumptiousness of this cake in the least. And unless someone was to get their magnifier out to examine the cake very “up, close and personal” after it’s been baked, they will never even be able to spot the sneaky veggie. Promise!

Alright, ready to drool some? You might want to gather a few tissues first, just in case. Go get the box, I’ll wait!

Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Cake |

When baking, it’s always a good idea to have your mise-en-place ready before you start.

  • Dry ingredients in a bowl? Check!
  • Wet ingredients all “food-processored” and ready to go? Yesiree Sir!
  • Zucchini grated, walnuts chopped, cake pans greased and parchment paper lined? You got that one right!
  • Sieve and spatula ready for use? Absolutely!

I think we’re good to go!

Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Cake |

It’s always a good idea to sift the dry ingredients first. While this step is not absolutely necessary, it helps in breaking down the lumps (coconut flour is especially lumpy) and will also catch any potential unwanted debris.

I choose to sift, so into the meshed sieve go the dry ingredients!

Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Cake |

The wet ingredients then get added to the dry ingredients. I don’t know about you but looking at that ribbon of goodness cascading right down into that bowl, I think I could just sit myself down with the whole thing and go at it with a spoon.

Forget that whole cake baking thing… Save us some time, trouble and electricity!

Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Cake |

Dry and wet have now been incorporated. As you can see, that batter is fairly thick.

Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Cake |

Now let’s stir in the zucchini and walnuts.

Yes, that may seem like a lot of zucchini, but trust me, it will kind of mysteriously vanish eventually. And this still qualifies as food porn to me, if you ask me!

Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Cake |

See? You can hardly even tell that there is zucchini in there already.

Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Cake |

Divide the batter between the 2 prepared cake pans

Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Cake |

…and spread it as evenly as possible with a rubber spatula. Throw those in the oven without delay.

Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Cake |

Once the cakes are cooked, set them to cool on a cooling rack but do not remove the parchment paper until you are ready to get busy frosting them. This will help retain a maximum amount of moisture inside the cakes.

Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Cake |

OH! Speaking of frosting… That, my dears, IS the frosting. Does it look yummy enough for you? The good news is it couldn’t be easier to make: just throw everything in the food processor and let her rip.

Then (yeah, I admit, that part is tough. Real tough!) try not to eat the whole thing. You need some for the cakes. Put it in the fridge for now and step away.

Step away, I said!

Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Cake |

When you are ready to assemble the cake, place one of the cakes onto a cake plate and brush it generously with coffee syrup over its entire surface. Don’t be afraid to go liberally with the syrup; the cake will soak it all up and will be that much moister as a result.

Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Cake |

Now mound about half of the frosting right in the center of the cake and spread it evenly, all the way to the edge, creating little swirls in the icing as you go.

Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Cake |

Place the second cake on top, brush generously with syrup then mound the remaining frosting right in the center.

Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Cake |

Again, spread that frosting all the way to the edge, making pretty little swirls with your spatula as you go.

Now, I totally admit. Those last 2 shots were probably not really necessary, but I HAD to include them… just a little bit of gratuitous cake porn for ya!

Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Cake |

Sprinkle chopped walnuts over the entire surface of the cake and place in the fridge until ready to serve.

Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Cake |

Now, just look at that picture. Do I really need to tell you in words that this cake means serious business?

Despite being totally heavenly, this is NOT your fluffy and light, featherweight angelfood cake. No way, Jose! This cake is seriously dense, it is heavy, it is chewy, it is fuh-dge-y, it is VERY chocolate-y and it is a PURE TREAT to your taste buds every time a new bite is delivered to your mouth. And when that happens, I can guarantee that your brain will start performing some pretty severe break-dancing, complete with headspin and all, hoping for more to come!

Honestly, I’ve had nothing but praises from everyone who was lucky enough for me to share a piece of this precious dessert with them. All very nice people who fully deserved a slice of course! I wasn’t so generous as to allow for seconds, though. One slice was all they got.

Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Cake |

All joking aside, I actually made this cake when my daughter and her boyfriend came to visit me last week. Of course, I sent them home with a huge chunk of it (I did NOT want to be left alone with all that cake in my fridge!), and apparently, when my son-in-law’s mother got a taste of it, she immediately stated that no one was to touch what was left of that cake ever again. It was hers, hers, hers and hers alone. People had better keep their hands off!

Gawd I love it when non-paleo people totally dig my paleo creations like that! Music to my ears, is what it is. Every.single.time. Never fails.

Now I can’t wait to hear what you guys think!

Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Cake

Yield: Serves 12-16

NF based on 1 of 16 servings

Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Cake



  1. Preheat your oven to 350F
  2. Grease two 9” round cake pans with coconut oil and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  3. Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl and sift them through a mesh sieve to get rid of any potential lumps, and then mix until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
  4. Add avocado, date paste, honey and vanilla extract to the bowl of your food processor and process until well combined and creamy.
  5. While the motor is running, drizzle the melted coconut oil and once it’s fully incorporated, add the eggs, one at a time waiting until each one is fully incorporated before adding the next.
  6. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry with a rubber spatula. Stir in grated zucchini and walnuts.
  7. Divide this batter between the 2 prepared cake pans and spread evenly.
  8. Place in a 350F oven and bake for 33-35 minutes, or until cake is completely set and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  9. Turn the cakes over onto a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely. Leave the paper in place until you are ready to frost your cake.
  11. Add all the ingredients except for coconut milk to the bowl of your food processor and process until thoroughly combined, smooth and creamy. Add coconut milk and resume processing until fully incorporated.
  12. Place the icing in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes to chill and firm up.
  13. During that time, make the syrup: bring water and honey to a boil over medium heat. Stir in coffee and let this syrup simmer for a minute then kill the heat.
  15. Carefully remove the parchment paper from on the cakes. Place one of the cakes onto a cake plate and brush a few tablespoons of the coffee syrup over its entire surface. Do be fairly generous with the syrup; the cake will soak it all up and will be that much moister as a result.
  16. Mound half of the frosting right in the center of the cake and spread it evenly, all the way to the edge, creating little swirls in the icing as you go; Place the second cake on top, brush with syrup then mound the remaining frosting in the center and again, spread that frosting all the way to the edge, making pretty little swirls with your spatula as you go.
  17. Sprinkle chopped walnuts over the entire surface of the cake and place in the fridge until ready to serve.


  1. says

    OH MY GOSH Zucchini Cakes have been on my recipe to-do list for forever! Thank you thank you thank you!
    You adding CHOCOLATE to the cake kind of doubles… no, quadruples, my excitement level…
    Once I’m at a normal altitude I’ll get right on this recipe. Love how you used avocados too :)

    • says

      LOL! Good to see you so excited over one of my recipes, Jessica. Quite flattering, in fact! I certainly hope that you’ll share your impressions if you ever get to give it a try! And poor you having to deal with this altitude thing. Not being able to bake when I want to? It would drive me INSANE!!! 😀

  2. Loretta says

    Amazing! I was worried that this massive-looking cake would have 2+ cups of almond flour (I tend to hoard mine), so I was shocked that it only calls for 1 cup! This cake looks completely conventional and I would have never guessed how healthy it is :)

    Pinned for this chocolate lover!

  3. Celia says

    Preparing the ingredients tonight and making tomorrow… This looks sinfully good! GO SONIA!!!! Love it! Just in time for yet ANOTHER BLOODY SNOW STORM tomorrow night… oh well, when snowed in, let them EAT CAKE!

    • says

      Aw, thanks much, Celia! I so can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this cake. No doubt it’ll make that darn snow a hell of a lot more bearable. DARN SNOW! SHOO! GO AWAY! We’ve seen enough of you as it is! 😀

  4. Carolyn says

    Sonia, this looks awesome! Pinning to my paleo board. Have I already invited you to be on that board? It’s pretty popular, I’d love to have you pin with us.

    • says

      Thank you Carolyn! And I don’t believe you have, no. As a matter of fact, I haven’t received any invitations to pin to other people’s boards in MONTHS! I’m thinking there might be something wrong with my Pinterest settings… :/ I would love to contribute to your board!

  5. says

    You know when you can’t seem to find the right words to express your feelings? That’s me right now.
    I would like to say that this is the most legit/awesome/dope/scrumptious cake I’ve laid my eyes on in like forever…but it would not do it justice.
    You’ve outdone yourself Sonia, this is THE ULTIMATE PALEO CHOC CAKE (and there’s even zucchini in it!)

  6. says

    Holy crap, this looks insanely delicious Sonia! This would be a perfect paleo wedding cake or for some other fancy event. It’s so decadent and beautiful, it would fit right in at any elegant event. :-)

    • says

      Aw, thank you Louise. That’s very kind of you to say. As for the photo instructions, no need to thank me, really. I had so much fun doing them, I’m the one who should thank you guys for being there to look at them. Wouldn’t be half as fun if I just did them for myself! 😉

  7. says

    Looks outstanding! I’ve used zucchini in a few muffin recipes before, and they turned out very tasty and moist. I’m sure that the consistency of this cake will be similar. Added to our Pinterest board!

  8. Melanie says

    Hi, Sonia, I am allergic to dates. Could you please give me a substitute with amount? Many thanks.

    • says

      I’m real sorry, Melanie, but I really have no idea. This cake uses a substantial amount of date paste and baking tends to be very tricky, so without testing it first I can’t really tell for sure what would work… Unless you made a paste with another kind of dried fruit, like raisins, apricots or dried plums? That might work just as well…

      • Melanie says

        Thanks Sonia, Unfortunately, it is all dried fruits that my body won’t tolerate. I’ll experiment with other sweetener possibilities such as honey or agave but had hoped perhaps you had some experience with substituting such ideas. Again, thanks for getting back with me. The cake sounds AMAZING!

        • says

          Pleasure is all mine, Melanie. Wish I could’ve been of more help. Please keep me posted as to what you did if you end up making this. I’m real curious to know how the cake would turn out without the date paste…

  9. Lucy Caron says

    My daughter made this cake for my birthday and I must say it was moist and decadent, and the best chocolate cake I have ever had the pleasure of eating!

    • says

      Oh my goodness, Lucy, thank you so much for this amazing feedback. That is true music to my ears. You are one real gem, my dear. And real glad you thought this cake was a complete success. Thank you, thank you, thank you! :)

  10. nicole says

    Is this cake really as heavy as it sounds? I’m torn between making this cake and another one I found online. My boyfriend’s birthday is coming up next weekend and I know he wouldn’t want a cake that is too filling. This cake looks absolutely delicious! :)

  11. Katie says

    Long time reader, first time commenting!
    So my fiance and I made this cake the other day, and OMG. Love, love, LOVED it!

    We recently made the transition to paleo, and I was beginning to miss baking and I re-saw this on your new website (love it btw) and knew this would be the one I had to try. And I am so glad we did!

    Thank you so much for sharing all your wonderful recipes!

    • says

      Katie, thank YOU so much for taking the time to share this! Feedback such as this is simply priceless to me. So, so happy to hear that this lovely cake worked for you. And now you just reminded me that I have some in the freezer… need to test freezability, you know. Maybe now would be a good time to take it out! :)

      Oh, and congrats on transitioning to paleo! I hope you’ll find many more recipes on my site to make your life easier! :)

  12. Anita says

    Do you think this would freeze well? I want to make it ahead of time into cupcakes. Minus the frosting of course. Thanks for such a fantastic blog!

    • says

      I don’t know yet, Anita. I have a couple of slices in the freezer so I will get to test it eventually… I really wouldn’t see why not, there’s no reason why it wouldn’t. Even with the frosting. I’ll keep you posted!

    • says

      Since avocados are sold by the unit and not by weight, I always buy the largest ones I can find! 😀 Not that their size vary all that much, though, except for the odd occasion when they are really, really small, in which case I just pass and wait for the next batch. Generally speaking, my avocados weigh around 7 to 8 ounces a piece. Hope this helps!

  13. Jessica says

    Hi! I am making this cake a day ahead of a get-together. Any ideas on what is the best way to store it? In the fridge or on the counter? And should I wait and ice the cake on the day I serve it? Any tips you have would be great, thanks!

    • says

      I always store cake in the fridge, especially those that are entirely natural and don’t contain added sugar to help preserve them! So I definitely recommend you keep this one in the fridge. You can ice it ahead of time, it’s not going to be a problem, so long as you keep your cake refrigerated afterwards.

      Hope your cake turns out great, Jessica. Make sure you let me know how you liked it! :)

  14. Lee says

    I made this cake for a friend who can not have avocados. I replaced the avocado in the cake with beet purée and the avocado in the frosting with coconut oil. It turned out amazing and was very popular. Thanks for the great recipe.

  15. says

    Ahhha! Bummer, I would love to try this cake but I am following the no eat portion of the blood type diet as well as being paleo and unfortunately coconut and avocado are both on that list. I am so disappointed.

  16. Beata says

    Made it few days ago for my grandson’s birthday. It turned out PERFECT. The cake “matures” and in a day or two it becomes even better – if you can wait, that is… :)
    Thank you for this recipe. It is a keeper – and I already have requests to make another cake; not for any birthday – but just to celebrate the goodness of this fabulous invention.

  17. Anouk says

    I’m planning to make this for next Saturday. I’m just wondering if I can make the icing a day ahead and keep in the fridge until the cake is ready?

  18. Ksenia says

    Hi there! So I set out to make this cake for my birthday today and I made the cakes and they’re fantastic! Then I got to the frosting and something fell through. It is silky, but it has a completely bitter taste and weird aftertaste. So I’m just wondering, what do you recommend in adding to try to fix it? I used maple syrup instead of honey, but I don’t think that’s the cause (hopefully). Also I tried adding a banana which helped a little bit. But it’s still pretty weird tasting. So any thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much for your time!

    • says

      I’m suspecting your cacao powder, Ksenia. Not all cacao powders are created equal and some are extremely bitter. If it were me, I think I would try adding date paste and honey, to increase the level of sweetness but maintain the firm and creamy texture of the icing.

      Hope you manage to save it! Keep me posted!

  19. elise says

    Fantastic! I made this for a group of teen boys and didn’t tell them what was in it. Most of them loved it. A few were VERY picky and probably only eat processed sugar, Betty Crocker mix stuff. This was so moist and delicious. I added a bit of almond extract in the frosting which was really nice as well.

  20. Dany says

    Hi there!
    got a question, is there any way to substitute tapioca starch? like corn- or potato starch?

    thanks in advance :)


  21. cat says

    Just wanted to tell you the cake looks beautiful. I was going to make it – then read the ingredients fully. I’m allergic to avocados, with sensitivity to dates. So I will just admire your handiwork. Too many substitutions…

      • Cat says

        Well, I saved the recipe, anyway, in case I ever feel like taking on a challenge for a full day or two of baking and decorating a cake. I love to bake things that I can’t eat and then force them on other people, making them eat them. ha! 😉 The hardest part is not being able to taste to make sure the results taste okay!

  22. Lauren says

    Hi Sonia, I’m making this for my mother-in-law who has an inflammatory disorder and cannot have coffee, will it affect the frosting or the cake if I omit the coffee? And do you have any suggestions to replace the coffee with?

    Thanks :)

  23. Charlotte says

    Hi there!

    I just finished baking this masterpiece, and may I just say what a fantastic recipe you have produced! It is absolutely Devine! It’s the closest I have come to finding a Paleo “chocolate” cake that ticks all the boxes to being as close to a “normal” chocolate cake as possible! Everything worked perfectly, the only thing I changed was the walnuts for pecans instead, and that’s purely because I prefer them. Other than that, what a beautiful cake, thank you kindly for sharing it with the world!

    Charlotte Xxx

  24. Breea Ingram says

    this cakes looks AMAZING! Im going to give it a go for mothers day but was wondering if i can replace the eggs in it? I have a family member with a bad allergy to them. Any ideas what i can replace them with?
    Thanks in advance.

  25. Veronica says

    Hi, I want to make this cake for my son´s birthday, but I want to know if the chocolate cake is really sweet, because I tried other chocolate cake recipes and they all are very bitter and he did´t like them. Thanks!

    • says

      It’s all a matter of taste, really… I wouldn’t say it’s super sweet, as I am a true lover of dark chocolate, but I wouldn’t say it’s bitter either. It’s very intensely chocolate-y…

  26. Margy says

    This looks a wonderful recipe, what can I replace the tapioca with?
    I am making it this week for a family gathering.
    Thank you Margy

  27. Jules says

    I actually hate the taste of coconut in anything, even coconut milk/cream gives me the willies. Would I be able to use Zucchini milk in the frosting instead of coconut milk?

  28. Vicky says

    Dear Sonia,
    I made the cake for my boyfriends birthday two days ago and it was sooooooo goooooood :)
    Unexpected sweet and moist and chocolatey and just delicious! I used arrowroot starch and ground vanilla instead of pure vanilla extract (recognized too late I could have made that by myself). I was quite sceptical when I added zucchini to the dough – first everything was green and looked like salad but after I stirred on and on everything looked like on your pictures and I calmed down. Especially the frosting tasted so good – I tried so much of it, I think I suffered from a chocolate overdose 😀
    To sum up: the baking process went well even though it needed quite some time.
    Thank you for this amazing recipe! You didn’t promise too much. We are currently trying to fit in our bathing suites till next week for our summer holidays – so it was the perfect birthday treat without remorse 😉
    Many greetings from Germany!

  29. Jackie says

    Oh my!! I’m in the UK and had an abundance of courgettes (zucchinis) and Googled courgette, chocolate cake and was intrigued by your recipe. I didn’t have tapioca starch or coconut flour, but did have some polenta, so I replaced both of those with that. I didn’t have date paste, so I just blended some dates. I now have x2 chocolate cakes ready to ice tomorrow. 1 half was slightly deeper than the other, so I skimmed off some, giving myself a thin chocolate frisby to nibble on. It is absolutely delicious!! I’ve never cooked avocado before. Thank you so much and the photos are mouth watering. Jackie xxx

      • Jackie says

        Oh it was definitely to my liking and also the many people I’ve shared it with, thank you. Yes, the polenta worked a treat…adore your blog! x

  30. Andrea says

    This was AMAZING! And – I modified it based on what I had on hand at home. I didn’t make the icing or the glaze and made only one larger cake. SOOO GOOD!! Thank you!

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