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 absolutely irresistible.
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.
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 Chocolate Pumpkin Bread, too!.
Chocolate Zucchini Bread
- standard 9×5 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 9×5 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.
Questions and Reviews
This is absolutely THE BEST cake!! I have made it three times in one week and everyone I make it for just raves over it!! Thank you for posting. I only make 1/2 the icing as one bag of chocolate chips doesn’t make the cake and the icing both. Half the recipe is plenty though!
Thank you Whitney! I know, the frosting is over the top, I couldn’t help myself, I pile it all on, with a little left over for the cook 🙂
what is the calorie and carbohydrate count for this???
Oh gosh Joe, I have no idea, and I don’t want to know 😉 You can plug it into an online calculator if you really want to know 🙂
I’m diabetic,,,,,any idea the carbs in this, and could I use a sugar sub, just learning about changing out subs,,,,,thanks.
My granddaughter has celiac disease. Can this be made gluten free with cup for cup flour?
I haven’t tried to make this recipe gf, but I think it should work Laureen. Let us know how it goes!
I have not made this yet, but if it is as good as your recipe for Hummingbird Bars, it has to be great. I would probably use the sweeter chocolate.
Oh I haven’t thought about those bars in a while, thanks Val 🙂
I have made this recipe many times since you first posted it. It is a huge favorite with my friends, as well as my chocoholic family! Thanks for putting it up again.
So neat! I have another friend who made this recipe this week. Love it ! I have a family reunion to attend on Sunday afternoon … guess what will make an appearance ! Thanks for this Sue ! I am always so inspired by your blog, your recipes, and your photography!
Thanks so much Susan <3
I want to make this bread into cupcakes. Any idea how long I should bake them in the oven? Thank you.
I would check them, depending on size, at 15 to 20 minutes.
I have gotten to the point, that a lot of my banana bread and brown bread and some cakes i make in the larger muffin pan;s, or into the smaller bread pan’s. Turns out great. Easy to freeze. . cupcaakes i usually bake for about 20 mins. Bread maybe 30-40 min. Keep an eye on them the first time I bake at 350
Thanks Geri 🙂
How many regular sized cupcakes would this recipe typically make?
I haven’t tried this but I would think about 6.
I think I have been making this every summer since you first posted it and it’s become a family favorite of ours, my kids always ask for it the minute we get zucchini from the garden, thanks for a great recipe!
Very good however it turned out to be too sweet and I had too much icing left (what a waste ) . Perhaps less chocolate chips ?
In my opinion either the cake should be sweet or the topping but not both . Maybe next time will use dark chocolate and not semi for the chips
Let us know how you change it up Sarah, it’s always interesting to see how everybody adjusts these recipes. I’m a big fan of dark or bittersweet chocolate, so that would be nice.