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Crazy for Crust

Sep 01

Zucchini Brownies

These are the BEST Zucchini brownies ever! They’re ooey, gooey, and SUPER fudgy. And NO one will know they have zucchini inside!

Zucchini Brownies - the easiest recipe for the most gooey, chocolaty, fudgy brownies full of zucchini! And NO ONE will guess!

Yes, it is another zucchini recipe. I know, you’re probably yelling at the computer chanting “No more zucchini…NO MORE ZUCCHINI…”

Think of how I feel? At one point I think I had seven ginormous ones in my crisper drawer. Unfortunately, two didn’t make it through. When you get a pile of veggies that just keeps growing…things get forgotten underneath.

Alas, only one is left. I haven’t had to buy zucchini for dinner in over a month. In another few weeks I’ll be grumbling at the prices and wishing I wasn’t having to buy it to make these brownies again.

Because, my friends, I will be making these brownies again. They are delightfully fudgy, due in part to the chocolate frosting on top.

Zucchini Brownies

These brownies are addictingly good. They’re gooey, fudgy, and super chocolatey…and they have zucchini in them. So they’re healthy. Practically a vegetable.

I promise you though – NO ONE will guess there is zucchini in this recipe. They taste like the most decadent brownies ever…and it just so happens they’re a vegetable.


When you make the recipe you’re going to think something is strange because there are no eggs in it. Yes, that’s right, a brownie without eggs. Also, there’s no butter in the brownies so if you skip the frosting these are vegan.

(Don’t skip the frosting. More on that later.)

The recipe calls for water as an additional binder to the zucchini. How much water you add will vary depending on your zucchini. If you have a very wet zucchini, you may not need as much water. Add a tablespoon at a time and stop adding once the mixture JUST comes together and is no longer powdery. It is a very thick dough, almost like cookie dough. This batter is not a traditional brownie batter consistency.

Just go with it.

Zucchini Brownies

Let’s talk about frosting. My Grandma (my mom’s mom) used to make the best vanilla frosting. It was smooth and soft and got kind of crunchy after sitting on the cake. Problem was, my Grandma never measured. So no one was really sure how she made her wonderful frosting. Then I made these brownies and I think I’ve figured out her secret: melted butter. I can’t wait to experiment more to see if I can make the frosting from my memories.

Now you pretty much know the secret to the ooey gooey chocolate frosting. It’s cocoa, melted butter, milk, salt, and vanilla. No mixer even needed, just use a whisk! Pour it over the cooled brownies and let it semi-set. This frosting stays gooey and wet with a teeny hardening on the top.

I could drink the stuff.

Zucchini Brownies - the easiest recipe for the most gooey, chocolaty, fudgy brownies full of zucchini! And NO ONE will guess!

I call these “fork brownies” because they’re so gooey you need a fork. #worthit

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do! I apologize in advance if you end up spending to much at the grocery store because you’ve run out of zucchini in your garden. They are that good.

Zucchini Brownies


For the brownies:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini (1 large or 2 small zucchinis)
  • 3-5 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional

For the frosting:

  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13" baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the oil, sugar, and vanilla until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir. Fold in the zucchini. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes so the batter can absorb the moisture from the zucchini. Then, if your mixture is still very powdery, add up to 5 tablespoons water (start with 1 tablespoon and work up from there, stirring well after each addition). The batter will be very thick but shouldn't be powdery. (It partially depends on how wet your zucchini is!) Add walnuts, if desired. You may need to use your hands to work the water in instead of a spoon. The dough is super thick, like cookie dough. Do not add too much water! Spread in prepared pan.
  4. Bake 25-30 minutes until the brownies spring back when gently touched.
  5. To make the frosting: Whisk butter, cocoa, salt, and powdered sugar. Whisk in milk and vanilla. Spread over cooled brownies. Cut into squares and chill to semi-set. The frosting hardens slightly on the top but stays wet and gooey underneath.
  6. These brownies are best stored in an airtight container and eaten within 2 days. Chill them to make them last an extra day. They're what I call "fork" brownies because they are so gooey.
  7. *NOTE* People have been saying these brownies are cakey. Every time I've made them they turn out super fudgy like in the photos. The problem is how much water you add. It's hard to say how much to add because every time I've made these I've added a different amount. It really does depend on your zucchini. The batter will be very thick and need help spreading in the pan. If your batter is at all liquidy or thin you're going to get a more cakey brownie.

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170 comments on “Zucchini Brownies

  1. Pingback: Recipe Testing: Zucchini Brownies  | A Luscious Diet

  2. Pingback: We made brownies.  | A Luscious Life

  3. HI…these brownies look fabulous! I was just wondering if you could substitute coconut oil of vegetable oil? Thanks 🙂


    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 11th, 2015 at 11:14 am

      I’ve never done it in this recipe, but I have in others, so I’m sure it will work!


      • ryan s. replied on October 1st, 2015 at 5:06 pm

        i did the first time i made these just because i prefer coconut oil and they turned out deliriously amazing!

  4. Frozen zucchini works PERFECT! I didn’t even need the extra water. The zucchini liquid that occurs with thawing does the trick 🙂 Great recipe. Thank you!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 13th, 2015 at 7:53 am

      Great tip!! Thank you!


  5. I only added a few teaspoons of water but mine turned out more like cake. That’s ok, it’s a super moist and delicious cake! I also subbed melted butter for oil because I didn’t have any oil. Amazing!


  6. I just found your recipe on Pinterest and decided to give it a try, since I have a freezer full of zucchini and three sitting on my counter! I’m so glad I tried it. The recipe is easy, and delicious! The only change I made was I used coffee instead of water. My kids absolutely loved them, and although they like zucchini, they didn’t even believe there was zucchini in them, just chocolately goodness. Thanks so much for the recipe. I will be making this over and over again.


    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 30th, 2015 at 6:58 am

      Coffee, now that’s a FANTASTIC idea!! Brings out the chocolate so much more. I’m glad you enjoyed them!! 🙂


  7. I love this recipe, I didn’t add any water and it still came out cake like, still delicious, but I think the key is to not over cook it, if you want more goey brownies vs cake.  Either way…YUM!!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 30th, 2015 at 3:37 pm

      Overcooking it is key! I think that is one reason it turns out more cake like. I’m glad you liked them!


  8. These are absolutely delicious! I used all purpose gf flour, did not end up using any water, and replaced the oil with apple sauce. I am making my third batch of these tonight! Thank you so very much for sharing this recipe!!!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on October 4th, 2015 at 7:36 am

      That’s great to know they work with GF all purpose flour!! Thanks for letting me know!


  9. Love the brownies, but both times my icing turns out lumpy?  I think next time I will add the butter after the milk?


    • Dorothy Kern replied on October 5th, 2015 at 6:12 am

      Try whisking when you’re combining it? I know that a whisk can always solve the lump problem!


      • Elke replied on November 26th, 2015 at 4:35 pm

        I had the same problem, even though I wisked throughout. I think maybe sifting the cocoa + sugar would’ve helped.

  10. Pingback: Guilt free brownie batter | Letters to Utah

  11. Any idea if the finished product can be frozen? Would love to wrap up 1/3 of this batch for little lunch desserts for the kids!


    • Megan replied on February 8th, 2016 at 4:38 pm

      I should have said just the brownie part (not including the frosting)!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on February 9th, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      I’ve frozen the whole thing – frosting and all. They’re a little messy in the bag/container, but it works!


  12. I just made this!!! It is truly amazing!!!! Thank you so much for this recipe!!!!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on March 12th, 2016 at 11:53 am

      So glad you enjoyed them!


  13. Do you really need a TABLESPOON of vanilla in the icing? I just made these and haven’t tried the brownie yet, but tasted the icing on its own…and boy is it sweet! I’ve never seen anything call for that much vanilla! Still super good, just sweet as all heck!

    Just wanted to clarify and make sure it wasn’t a typo for teaspoon! Thanks for the recipe!!! I’m sure I’ll love these brownies!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 13th, 2016 at 6:46 am

      It’s written correctly; I always use lots of vanilla because I love it so much. That shouldn’t affect the sweetness of the icing. It is a very sweet one, and if you want to temper the sweet flavor, try adding a pinch of salt or two. Salt will counteract some of the sweet. And you can add less vanilla if you wish, I just love the flavor so I always add as much as I can.


  14. I substitute half the quantity of the oil with plain yogurt and I needed around 22 spoons of milk (I put instead of water). I put one cup of sugar because I don’t want my daughter to get used to sweet taste. Next time I will try to substitute the sugar with apple sauce or at least half or its quantity.

    Thank you for the healthy recipe 🙂


  15. Used coconut oil, very good outcome for anyone intrested.


  16. I’m thrilled that this was easily made dairy-free and doesn’t call for an egg AND uses up zucchini! They’re in the oven right now. The batter was amazing. Can’t wait to try the baked version 😉 

    I was thinking, I bet one of the reasons people need different amounts of water is that everyone measures a cup of flour differently. So the people who are a little heavier-handed may need to add water; people who don’t pack the flour in might actually not have enough flour and just the zucchini might make the batter too watery. Do you spoon the flour into the measuring cup or scoop with the cup itself? 


    • Dorothy Kern replied on June 14th, 2016 at 6:40 am

      Diana, I love you. LOL The flour thing…it’s often an issue! I recommend spooning, not scooping, but scooping is okay as long as it’s not packed. I think a lot of people don’t realize you don’t pack flour, and that when they scoop, they’re actually packing it. The water is also dependent on the zucchini – some is wetter than others!


  17. I spooned mine in, probably with a very light hand (I have a big scoop but I usually shake it into the measuring cup). Yes, I agree that it’s easy to accidentally pack it! I always like knowing what the recipe author intended 🙂 And maybe people pack zucchini in more or less too! Regardless, the water in the zucchini probably does make the biggest difference. I wonder if you could just add a little more flour till it’s the right texture?

    And OH MY WORD these were Mine were definitely a little on the cake-y side, but with the frosting and with a scoop of vanilla ice cream it was the best cake I’ve had in years! So now I can use the same recipe for cake and brownies and just adjust how much liquid I use–HA! My daughter has to stay away from dairy and eggs and you have no idea how hard I’ve tried to find an egg-free brownie. I even ended up with charcoal pucks once. 😉 These were *divine* and I’m about to go just plant some zucchini so I can stock the freezer for the winter! Thanks again 🙂


  18. I made them yesterday and added no water   They were great!  My icing was a little runny but they were moist and very tasty 


  19. I made these delicious brownies for my 2 yr. old grandson and instead of the icing I sprinkled mini chocolate chips over them with chopped walnuts and even my daughter didn’t complain about him eating them since he’s getting his “veggies”. I have shredded a ton of zucchini so he can have them all winter.


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