LuAnn's Family Favorites Recipes

LuAnn's Chocolate (and Zucchini) Snack Cake

You will neither see nor taste the zucchini hidden in this scrumptious, chocolaty cake. (It simply lends moistness.) For a change in flavor, you can substitute either orange or peppermint extracts for the vanilla in the cake and frosting.

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Yield: 1 (8 x 8 inch) cake



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened (baking) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or mild-flavored olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter extract
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (or 1/4 cup milk + 1 scant teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice)
  • 1 cup finely shredded zucchini (do not pack)
  • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup finely roasted and salted chopped pecans (optional; see Note)

Chocolate Glaze

  • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened (baking) cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream or evaporated milk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon butter extract


To make the Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt until well mixed; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the oil, sugars, egg, vanilla and butter extracts, then beat vigorously with a fork or spoon until the mixture is smooth.
  4. If you have no buttermilk, sour the 1/4 cup milk by whisking in the scant teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice – it will begin to thicken very quickly. Whisk the slightly thicken soured milk or buttermilk into the oil-sugar mixture until the mixture is once again smooth.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients, then stir, remembering to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, until the dry ingredients are completely moistened and the batter is smooth.
  6. Gently stir in the grated zucchini and shredded/flaked coconut and nuts, if using, until well-mixed. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
  7. Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the cake begins to pull slightly away from the edges of the pan and the center feels "set." (A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out with just a crumb or two clinging to it).

To make the Chocolate Glaze

  1. About 10 minutes before the cake comes out of the oven, in a small saucepan, combine all of the chocolate glaze ingredients, except the vanilla and butter extracts, then cook and stir constantly over medium heat until the frosting is shiny and softly spreadable with no hint of graininess. Turn off the heat, then stir in the vanilla and butter extracts.
  2. As soon as the cake is removed from the oven, quickly spread the glaze evenly over the hot cake, beginning in the center and working towards the sides. If adding nuts, sprinkle them over the glaze immediately.
  3. Serve the cake slightly warm, at room temperature or cover the pan with foil and refrigerate until later. The cake will stay moist for several days.


The optional nuts can either be stirred into the batter with the coconut, or sprinkled over the glaze immediately after spreading the glaze on the hot cake. (If not done immediately, the nuts will not "stick" to the glaze).


Recipe by LuAnn Bermeo, author of Amazing Meals I and II, a two-volume collection of family-approved, plant-based recipes.

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