Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Vanilla Spiced Cream

This image courtesy of Heather Connell

Birthdays come once a year. Why not make them special with a three-layer chocolate cake? The zucchini adds moisture to the cake, which makes it even more decadent.

Cooking MethodBaking


Total Timea day or more

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

Recipe CourseDessert

Dietary ConsiderationGluten-free, Halal, Kosher, Lactose-free, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Vegetarian

Type of DishCake, Dessert


  • 8 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) water
  • 9 eggs
  • ½ cup (109 g) extra-virgin unrefined coconut oil, melted
  • ½ cup (125 g) unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (180 ml) coconut milk
  • 1 cup (120 g) coconut flour
  • ½ cup (60 g) cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon (4.6 g) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (2.3 g) ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1¼ cups (138 g) shredded zucchini
  • 2 cups (270 g) raw cashews, soaked in water overnight
  • 1 cup (235 ml) canned coconut milk
  • 2 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1½ tablespoons (22 ml) maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped, and pod discarded
  • Dark chocolate shavings (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4). Grease three 8-inch (20 cm) round cake pans or two 9-inch (23 cm) round cake pans with coconut oil and lightly dust with coconut flour.

  2. To make the cakes: Place the Medjool dates in a microwave-safe bowl with the water and heat on high for 30 seconds. Drain some of the water, leaving about 1 tablespoon (15 ml), then use a fork to mash the dates until smooth.

  3. Place the Medjool dates in a food processor along with the eggs, coconut oil, applesauce, maple syrup, vanilla, and coconut milk and process until smooth.

  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, cacao powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.

  5. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of the food processor with the date mixture and process until well combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

  6. Remove the blade from the food processor and stir in the zucchini.

  7. Evenly distribute the batter among the prepared cake pans and bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes before removinq from the pan. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

  8. To make the cream: Drain the cashews. In a food processor, combine the cashews, coconut milk, dates, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, and vanilla bean seeds and process until very smooth.

  9. Spread the cream on the top of one of the cooled cakes, just coating the top, Gently place the second cake layer on top of the cream layer. Repeat: with the third cake, if using. Then spread additional cream on the top of third cake. Sprinkle the dark chocolate shavings on top of the cake.

  10. The cake can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days.

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