The BEST Chocolate Zucchini Bread

sliced chocolate zucchini bread

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.

Slices of chocolate zucchini bread.

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.

two slices of death by chocolate zucchini bread with forks

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.

making death by chocolate zucchini bread

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.
death by chocolate zucchini bread just out of the oven

What kind of chocolate do you use for chocolate zucchini bread?

I’m glad you asked because I have strong opinions on this subject!

Chocolate chips and cream for making ganache

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.
making chocolate ganache for death by chocolate zucchini bread

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!
death by chocolate zucchini bread topped with ganache

Be sure to check out my Chocolate Pumpkin Bread, too!.

Death by Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache ~
3.76 from 117 votes

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

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.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Yield 8 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • standard 9×5 loaf pan
  • parchment paper


dry ingredients

  • 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

wet ingredients

  • 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.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.


  • 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.
Death By Chocolate Zucchini Cake with a bittersweet chocolate ganache is the ultimate zucchini dessert! ~

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    Sara Terry
    July 14, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    5 stars
    made it! L O V E D it! thank you. It turned out perfect. I did bake in a top oven and needed 3 extra min of cooking. I also did half zero sugar sub and regular sugar. It was great.

  • Reply
    October 30, 2019 at 10:42 am

    5 stars
    I made this cake when i was on a diet for I had some leftover grated zucchini. Worst mistake. I love this recipe to pieces, but it really should come with a stronger warning than the one that’s put up here. I often crave for this and almost get angry that it isn’t in stores. This is love in a pan. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe with the world.

    • Reply
      October 30, 2019 at 11:11 am

      Love in a pan! I’ve got to steal that 🙂

  • Reply
    September 9, 2019 at 3:55 pm

    This chocolate zucchini bread had a lovely rich and moist texture and very fabulously chocolatey! I think I baked for an extra 5 minutes (an hour total ) for perfection, moist yet done (didn’t sink) ; and I used a good 2 C packed grated zucchini. But – I decreased the sugar to 2/3 and still thought a bit too sweet. Also – I really think it needs more salt! We’re all afraid of too much salt these days, but chocolate especially needs some salt. I remember my grandmother adding a pinch to her stove top cocoa. I think 1/2 teaspoon would highlight the flavor of the chocolate.

    • Reply
      September 9, 2019 at 4:22 pm

      Thanks for the salt tip Julia, I definitely have an under salting problem sometimes, I’m always afraid of over-salting!

  • Reply
    September 7, 2019 at 6:29 am

    5 stars
    I’ve made this more times than I can remember. It’s fabulous! Have you made it into muffins/cupcakes? How many would it make and the baking time?

  • Reply
    August 25, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    I made this with gluten- free flour, and the taste was disappointing. I haven’t made it with regular flour so I really can’t compare.

    • Reply
      August 25, 2019 at 6:59 pm

      Hmmm, I’m not sure how the gf flour would have affected the taste ~ the flavor would come from the type of chocolate and cocoa powder you used, and if they’re relatively good quality the flavor should be nice and rich.

  • Reply
    August 21, 2019 at 4:47 am

    5 stars
    Good morning Sue!
    I made this delicious bread the other day to take to a friend’s and never made it before. I didn’t make the ganache as I didn’t have any heavy cream but it was very rich and delicious without it. I tested it and there were no crumbs on the toothpick but as it cooled, it sunk in the middle! I was afraid it wasn’t done but it tested done. Can you give me any suggestions why it sunk in the middle? I made sure I didn’t overmix any of the ingredients and mixed them by hand.
    Thank you for all your GREAT recipes—I look forward to receiving and trying them!

    • Reply
      August 21, 2019 at 9:21 am

      Hey Susan ~ sometimes the toothpick test can be misleading, especially with moist dense cakes like this. It sounds like it was under baked.

      • Reply
        August 30, 2019 at 2:59 pm

        I have found that when baking with zuchini especially if it is really fresh, to grate and then squeeze out some of the moisture with a clean tea towel. Sometimes the zuchini is just to wet.

      • Reply
        September 2, 2019 at 6:18 am

        Good morning Sue,
        I hope you and your family are enjoying your Holiday weekend. Thank you for responding to my question and when I baked another loaf the other day I baked it 11 minutes longer and the consistency was a drier texture but it didn’t sink in the middle!!?. I tented it so it wouldn’t get too brown but next time I make it I’ll bake it for 9-10 minutes longer and it should hit the nail on the head.
        Thank you again for responding and I hope you enjoy the rest of this Holiday!
        PS—Death by Chocolate Pumpkin Bread next on my list!

      • Reply
        Sara Terry
        July 24, 2020 at 2:40 pm

        It was under baked for sure. I just made loaf number 2 and that loaf needed even loner in the oven. I like to give it a little touch (finger poke) to see if it will bounce back. My first loaf cooked for 43 min and my second loaf cooked for 48 min and still probably needed 2 more min. Save oven, same middle rack, same temp, same pan! So you just neva know! I love it. I even added an extra cup of zucchini! love this bread! Thanks Susan. =]

  • Reply
    Blane Blake
    August 19, 2019 at 7:14 am

    Can this be made with an egg subsitute? Like egg beaters.

    • Reply
      August 19, 2019 at 7:52 am

      I’m not familiar with baking with egg beaters, but if they function just like eggs, then I bet you can.

  • Reply
    August 16, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    5 stars
    Yum! Perfection! Thanks 🙂

    • Reply
      August 16, 2019 at 3:25 pm

      Glad you liked it Deborah :)))

  • Reply
    August 16, 2019 at 10:03 am

    Just wondering…do you remove seeds before grating? And is there a need to squeeze out extra moisture from the grated zucchini before mixing in? Thanks!

    • Reply
      August 16, 2019 at 10:11 am

      Nope, I just grate the whole thing up. And I don’t squeeze out moisture, either. It just becomes part of the moisture content of the batter.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2019 at 2:54 pm

    Hi can I use coconut butter instead of regular butter?

    • Reply
      August 12, 2019 at 5:32 pm

      I don’t see why not.

      • Reply
        August 15, 2019 at 11:49 am

        Thanks. It’s in the oven right now. I’ll
        Let you know how I did.

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