My Chocolate Zucchini Bread recipe is a classic zucchini bread amped up with layers of chocolate culminating in a thick layer of ganache. It’s a super delicious way to scratch that mid-summer itch for a little chocolatey indulgence.
Beware ~ this Chocolate Zucchini Bread (it’s really a cake) is addicting in the worst way.
It’s shamelessly all about the chocolate, with a bunch of fresh zucchini thrown in to keep it legal. If you’re planning to make it for company, better bake two, you won’t be able to control yourself.
VINTAGE VIEW ~ this Chocolate Zucchini Bread is from TVFGI archives, first published in 2016. As part of a series on the blog I’m reviving some of the best recipes that you may have missed over the years ~ I’ve updated my notes and taken new photos. This bread has been super popular over the years, so I’m pretty confident you’re going to love it as much as I do.
This classic zucchini bread has been transformed into a double chocolate zucchini bread with the addition of cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate chips.
We’re not even halfway through summer but I feel like I’ve gorged on all the salads, fresh veggies, and berries I could ever want…and there’s boatloads of zucchini hanging around, so now it’s time for a different kind of good eats. This bread would be fantastic naked — just sprinkle it with a bit of powdered sugar and call it breakfast or a coffee break.
But I don’t believe in doing things halfway, and adding a thick layer of bittersweet ganache really turns this zucchini bread into an experience.
Even though once you bake this bread you can’t see the zucchini (it doesn’t stand a chance with all that dark chocolate) it’s in there, and it gives this cake a great moisture and a nice loose crumb.
Do you peel zucchini for zucchini bread?
- Heck no! Just grate it up on a box grater and you’re good to go.
What kind of chocolate do you use for chocolate zucchini bread?
I’m glad you asked because I have strong opinions on this subject!
- I use dark chocolate for the cocoa powder, the chocolate chips, and the ganache.
- I like Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder, it’s a ‘Dutched’ cocoa powder formulated to give a super deep color to baked goods. Sometimes I’ll use half Special Dark and half regular cocoa powder if I don’t want it quite so intense.
- I like to use either Nestle’s Dark Chocolate Chips or sometimes I use Ghirardelli’s Bittersweet Baking Chips. I use these both in the batter and in the ganache. I think their flavor is superior.
What is ganache?
Chocolate ganache is a mixture of heavy cream and chocolate. When melted together they bond and form a thick creamy mixture than can be made with different proportions of cream to chocolate for various uses such as frostings and fillings or truffles. As ganache cools it becomes firmer.
- The ganache I use to frost this zucchini bread is made with 1/2 cup cream and 2 cups chocolate chips. The result is thick enough to spread on the cake without any dripping. As it cools, or if you refrigerate the bread, it takes on a fudge-like texture.
Can you make a vegan ganache?
- Yes! Use canned coconut cream instead of dairy cream.
- use dairy free dark chocolate or chocolate chips.
- Use everything in the same proportions, it works beautifully!
Be sure to check out my Death By Chocolate Pumpkin Bread, too!.
Death By Chocolate Zucchini Bread
- standard 9x5 loaf pan
- parchment paper
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder I used Hershey's Special Dark
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup butter melted and slightly cooled
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups grated zucchini buy two medium
- 2/3 cup chocolate chips I used bittersweet
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
- Set oven to 350F
- Lightly spray and line a 9x5 loaf pan with parchment, leaving the ends long so you can lift the cake out for slicing after it has baked.
- Whisk the dry ingredients together. I like to sift the cocoa powder to get rid of any lumps. Set aside.
- Whisk the sugar and eggs together until pale and smooth. Beat in the butter and vanilla, then fold in the zucchini.
- Blend the dry ingredients into the wet, in three stages, blending just until incorporated after each addition, and don't over-beat!
- Fold in the chocolate chips and spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near the center doesn't come out with wet batter clinging to it. Melted chocolate is ok!
- Cool completely on a rack before frosting.
- To make the ganache, heat the cream to a simmer, then pour over the chocolate chips. Let sit for 3-5 minutes, then stir until glossy and smooth. If you still see bits of chocolate, microwave it for 15 seconds and stir again. Then spread a thick layer over your zucchini bread. If your ganache seems too runny, let it sit or refrigerate for a bit to set it up.
- I made this with bittersweet chocolate and extra dark cocoa powder, and so it has a bittersweet flavor. If you don’t like that, be sure to use a sweeter chocolate.
- If you want to try a similar recipe without the zucchini, try my Chocolate Pound Cake.