Chocolate, sourdough and zucchini. At first I wasn’t sure those three words belong together, but after making this chocolate sourdough zucchini cake on repeat…they do! After baking and sampling with dollops of the ethereal chocolate whipped cream, I kept coming back throughout the day for just one more nibble. I couldn’t stop after just one piece. This chocolate sourdough zucchini cake is rich with a deep chocolate flavor and has a perfectly moist crumb (thank you zucchini).Top it with chocolate whipped cream and it’s pretty much perfection.Jump to Chocolate Sourdough Zucchini Cake Recipe
If you’ve followed my site for long, you know how much I love sourdough. I have many favorite sourdough recipes using sourdough starter. This Babka or my favorite no-knead bread are, well, favorites. This zucchini cake benefits from the leftover sourdough discard that I almost always have hanging out in the back of my fridge. I don’t like to waste the excess flour/water from feeding my sourdough starter. Instead I find ways to incorporate discard into baked goods. The older the discard (the longer it’s been sitting out), the stronger the sourdough flavor. I typically prefer a mild sourdough flavor in sweet baked goods, like this sourdough blueberry crumb cake or these brown butter sourdough chocolate chip cookies. I don’t mind as strong of a flavor in these discard rolls or these amazing sourdough pretzel bites. Whatever your preference, this is the perfect cake to add some sourdough discard. It is moist, fluffy and delicious.
We love zucchini at our house. I make this favorite zucchini bread often and we love sautéd zucchini as a side for our dinner many weeknights. When we want to use zucchini in a dessert, though, this chocolate sourdough zucchini cake is it. I love that this recipe has you shred the zucchini and immediately toss it into the batter—no squeezing out excess water required. It definitely makes it super quick to throw together. And don’t worry, zucchini is the perfect vehicle to increase the moistness of the cake. If you shred it finely on a box grater, you (or your picky eaters) won’t even know it’s there. Promise!
Chocolate Whipped Cream
Whipped cream is my favorite in all forms, but this chocolate whipped cream topping takes it up a notch. While this chocolate zucchini cake can definitely stand on its own, the chocolate whipped cream is absolutely amazing. It is the perfect deep chocolate flavor, not too sweet and so good you won’t mind the extra step of pulling out the beaters and licking them clean! We love to top each slice of cake with a scoop of chocolate whipped cream for an extra decadent bite.
9 by 13 pan
My favorite pan to bake this zucchini cake in is a 9 by 13 pan. I love this USA pan (affiliate link), because it is non-stick and bakes the cake so evenly. I typically like to bake desserts in smaller pans (too tempting!), but this one is worth the larger pan. It is perfect for a crowd and I can even trick myself into thinking this is healthy…it’s mostly vegetable, right?!
If you’re looking for the perfect way to use up zucchini and sourdough discard, this chocolate sourdough zucchini cake is it. Perfect to serve at a family gathering or just for fun, it is worth picking up some zucchini and starting up your sourdough starter again just for this cake. Chocolate sourdough zucchini heaven!
Frequently Asked Questions
If you want to make this recipe without sourdough discard, you can increase the flour to 1 1/2 cups and increase the buttermilk to 3/4 cup.
Yes. This recipe works well in an 8 by 8 pan, (affiliate link). Just cut the ingredients in half and bake at the same temperature. Check for readiness of the zucchini cake a few minutes early. The smaller size may bake a bit quicker.
Some recipes call for squeezing out the excess liquid and water in zucchini, like this zucchini bread. Zucchini has a very high water content (over 90%) which can affect the texture of some baked goods if not squeezed dry. This is a very moist zucchini cake and one of the benefits of it is not having to wring dry the shredded zucchini (though you can if you want to).
Sourdough discard (the byproduct of sourdough starter) can be used in small quantities in most baked goods. I don’t like to waste food or discard, so I add it to many of my recipes. Some of my favorite discard recipes are these sourdough discard rolls or pretzel bites. This sourdough discard blueberry crumb cake is delicious too. It’s so easy to add some discard to pancakes or waffles for breakfast. Sourdough discard works especially well in these sourdough cheddar biscuits with a nice hearty soup.
Chocolate Sourdough Zucchini Cake
Chocolate Sourdough Zucchini Cake
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk see recipe notes
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil or any neutral flavored oil
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup sourdough discard see recipe notes
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all purpose flour about 5 oz
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 cups finely shredded zucchini
Chocolate Whipped Cream Topping
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate Sourdough Zucchini Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9 by 13 pan, affiliate link, by spraying with non-stick cooking spray.
- Finely shred the zucchini on a box grater until you have 2 cups of shredded zucchini. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs. Add the buttermilk, oil and granulated sugar. Whisk to combine. Pour in the sourdough discard and vanilla extract. Whisk until completely incorporated and smooth.
- In a small bowl, use a fork to incorporate the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Fluff with a fork until completely combined.
- Pour the dry ingredients on top of the liquid ingredients and mix together with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add the shredded zucchini and mix together until just incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes. Stick a knife or toothpick in the middle of the cake to check for doneness. The cake will be very moist, rise and spring back lightly when touched with your finger. Once baked through, allow the cake to cool.
Chocolate Whipped Cream topping
- Using wire beaters, whip together the heavy cream, cocoa powder and powdered sugar until thick and creamy. Add the vanilla extract and mix until incorporated. Dollop on top of each slice of cake.
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