Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Cake (gluten free/nut free)

Growing up, my mom always made the BEST chocolate zucchini cake - often in the summer when we had zucchini growing in our garden. No one could ever tell that it was veggie studded - it was rich, moist, and chocolatey. I even got her to make it for my birthday one year. Even though it had the health benefits of zucchini, it still contained all the regular cake ingredients - flour, eggs, butter, sugar. Not so healthy. Today I'm sharing a healthified version that is SO good. It's vegan - gluten free - nut free - sugar free! I've made it three times in the past several months and I'm so happy with it (and writing this post makes me want to run to the kitchen and make it again).

I also tried it with raw buckwheat flour (from sprouted dehydrated buckwheat that I ground into flour), but that was a total flop. The flour was just too dense. It may possibly work with a finer, stone ground buckwheat flour. I'll have to try it one day.

This cake it entirely sweetened with dates (unless you make frosting #2 in which case it uses maple syrup), and it's so darn healthy that you can treat yourself to a big ol' piece and feel good about it. It's great on its own but even better with a scoop of vanilla, banana ice cream, or coconut drizzle. I drizzled chocolate sauce on top.

Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Cake

vegan - gluten free - nut free - sugar free

1 cup oat flour*

1/4 cup cacao powder (I like a scant 1/4 cup)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt

2/3 cup pitted packed dates (130 grams)**

3/4 cup warm water

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 tablespoons melted coconut oil

2/3 cup lightly packed shredded zucchini

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, optional (but makes it even better!)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Whisk together all dry ingredients in a bowl. Blend the dates, water, vanilla and coconut oil in a blender until smooth. Add the liquid mixture to the dry along with the zucchini and chocolate chips. Gently stir it all together. Scoop the batter into a greased 8x8" pan. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Let cool completely before adding the frosting/slicing it. It should be very moist!

*Simply grind oats in a blender, coffee grinder, or food processor.

**You can also use date paste but it needs to be made without any water.

I have two different frosting options for you. This is due to the fact that I didn't have any coconut milk the second time I made it so I had to come up with something else because, let's face it, cake needs frosting right?! Rich, creamy frosting has always been my favourite part of cake 🙂

Chocolate Frosting #1

2/3 cup pitted lightly packed dates

3/4 cup full fat coconut milk

1 tablespoon tahini

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3-4 tablespoons cacao powder

3 tablespoons melted coconut oil

Blend the dates and coconut milk until smooth in a blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour the frosting over the cool cake. Place into the fridge for 2-4 hours, or until it firms up (speed up the process by sticking it in the freezer for 1 hour).

Chocolate Frosting #2

1/2 cup warm water

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup tahini*

3 tablespoons melted coconut butter

2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

3-4 tablespoons cacao powder (depending on how chocolatey you want it)

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour over the cooled cake. Place into the fridge for at least 3 hours or until it has thickened.

*or almond butter

On a personal note, Jesse and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary last week! Last summer we got married here on the beach in Victoria. We rented the Beach House restaurant for the reception afterward and it was the most magical day and night. I created a vegan (mostly raw) dessert buffet - which was always my dream for my own wedding.

To celebrate our anniversary we went back to the Beach House restaurant for dinner and a walk on the beach. It was fun to think back to our special day. We had a very short, two month engagement but the wedding came together effortlessly! Jesse's friend made this driftwood arch, isn't it awesome?

And congrats to Tara Thomas who won the Breville Sous Chef 12. I know you'll love it!

Wishing you all a great week xo

Connect with me on Instagram/stories for all my daily happenings 🙂

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22 Comments
  1. Holly Meade
    July 31, 2017 at 19:19
    Reply

    Beautiful! Happy Anniversary! <3

    • sweet_raw
      July 31, 2017 at 20:10
      Reply

      Thank you so much Holly!

  2. Josephine
    July 31, 2017 at 21:31
    Reply

    Is there anything i can substitute for the coconut oil? I am trying to follow a low fat vegan diet.

    • sweet_raw
      August 2, 2017 at 02:43
      Reply

      You can try applesauce in place of the coconut oil in the cake and coconut butter in the frosting.

  3. July 31, 2017 at 22:24
    Reply

    Happy anniversary! Cheers to many more. That zucchni cake is calling my name, can hardly wait to make it!

    • sweet_raw
      August 2, 2017 at 02:43
      Reply

      Thank you Liz! You'll love it!! :D

  4. Laine
    August 1, 2017 at 01:53
    Reply

    Happy Anniversary! Beautiful!

    • sweet_raw
      August 2, 2017 at 02:42
      Reply

      Thank you so much Laine! :))

  5. August 1, 2017 at 16:45
    Reply

    What a genius recipe, Heather!

    • sweet_raw
      August 2, 2017 at 02:42
      Reply

      Thanks Natalia!! I hope you give it a try :))

  6. Symentha
    August 4, 2017 at 21:23
    Reply

    Omg! Making this on the weekend! Very nice and happy anniversary!!

    • sweet_raw
      August 5, 2017 at 02:13
      Reply

      Yay, I hope you enjoy it! And thank you so much :))

  7. Debbie
    August 5, 2017 at 00:40
    Reply

    Heather, Happy Anniversary. The arch was fabulous! Cannot wait to make this cake!

    • sweet_raw
      August 5, 2017 at 02:12
      Reply

      Thank you so much Debbie! I hope you enjoy the cake. I've seen 4 remakes already and I'm happy that people are loving it!

  8. Hana
    August 5, 2017 at 13:36
    Reply

    Hi Heather, I made this delicious cake last night. Followed your recipe to a t (frosting #1). It's the bomb! Thank you for sharing!

    • sweet_raw
      August 7, 2017 at 00:32
      Reply

      Hi Hana! I'm so glad you enjoyed the cake! I've been seeing so many re-makes on instagram and am happy that people are loving it :)

  9. Ruby
    August 7, 2017 at 06:26
    Reply

    Heather can this be made with any kind of grain free flour ? I am grain free and sugar free and i REALLY want to try this cake. thanks

    • sweet_raw
      August 8, 2017 at 01:42
      Reply

      Hi Ruby! Mm that is a good question. I'm not sure. I'll have to try it with almond flour and see how it works... that would be my only suggestion. :) It's a really really great cake so I hope the grain free version works well.

  10. August 11, 2017 at 23:07
    Reply

    Would the icing be spreadable if I make the icing the night before I bake the cake?

    • sweet_raw
      August 14, 2017 at 21:40
      Reply

      Hi Kara, No, sorry the icing starts off very fluid and really firms up (but is still creamy) once it has chilled.

  11. Marcos
    August 14, 2017 at 04:22
    Reply

    This recipe looks so effortless which is perfect for me. I discovered your blog thanks to Priscilla and I'm so obsessed with everything you make. I only have one question, when shedding the zucchini, should we squeeze the excess water out of it? And by the way, congrats on your anniversary! The pictures look lovely!

    • sweet_raw
      August 14, 2017 at 21:42
      Reply

      Thank you so much,I think you'll love this cake! No, don't squeeze any of the water out. We need that to make a super moist cake :) And thanks for the congrats! :D

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