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Zucchini Cake is a great way to use up any extra zucchini you have laying around – it’s a soft and moist cake with cinnamon and a cream cheese frosting. It’s also easy to make because it’s a sheet cake – no fussy layers! It’s the BEST cake ever!

square slice of zucchini cake on a grey plate next to a fork.


Best Zucchini Cake Recipe

I have made so many zucchini recipes over the years, and this Zucchini Cake recipe is by far one of my favorites. The cake itself is so delicious, but not too sweet. There is, of course, zucchini, but I used vegetable oil and cinnamon to give this cake a good texture, moisture, and flavor. 

This cake is also topped with a cream cheese frosting, which is a fan favorite and pairs so well with this recipe. The tang of the frosting with the cinnamon and sweetness of the cake are the perfect combination!

ingredients in zucchini cake laid out on a marble counter.

Ingredients Needed

  • Zucchini: Shred it using a box grater. No need to wring it out unless it seems extra wet (or has been thawed from frozen).
  • Baking powder and Baking soda: The combination makes for a fluffy cake
  • Ground cinnamon: Can’t have a zucchini recipe without it!
  • Vegetable oil: The oil keeps this cake super moist!
  • Brown sugar and Granulated sugar: I love the combination because brown sugar keeps baked goods moist.
  • Cream cheese, softened: The base for the cream cheese frosting.

How to make zucchini cake

  1. Whisk salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and flour in a medium bowl. Set flour mixture aside.
  2. Whisk eggs until beaten in a large bowl, then whisk in oil, vanilla, and both sugars. Add dry ingredients and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until just combined, then stir in shredded zucchini.
  3. Grease and flour a 9×13-inch rectangular cake pan. Pour batter in prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean in the center.
  4. To make the frosting: beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until the mixture comes together, then add vanilla and salt. Frost the top of the cooled cake with the frosting.
zucchini cake in a rectangle grey pan with a slice taken out.

Tip From Dorothy

Expert Tips

  • Because of the brown sugar and spice in this recipe, it does brown quickly. If you notice it browning too fast you can turn the oven temperature down to 325°F as early as 20 minutes in. 
  • If you are going to use a non-stick spray with your pan make sure it is the one with flour in it. 
  • If you would like to add in something such as nuts or chocolate chips, use one cup for any add-ins.
  • You can stir zucchini cake in a large mixing bowl by hand but if you want you can use a hand or stand mixer.

Storage

Store zucchini cake loosely covered in the refrigerator but serve at room temperature. Freeze in an airtight container. You can freeze the cake and frosting separately to make ahead – thaw before frosting.

FAQs

How do you know when cake is done baking?

You will know the cake is done when you’ve baked the cake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean in the center.

Do you have to drain zucchini for baking?

I only drain my zucchini if it seems extra wet for some reason or if it’s been thawed from frozen.

square slice of zucchini cake on a grey plate next to a fork.

Zucchini Cake Recipe

5 from 13 votes
This zucchini cake recipe is an easy sheet cake recipe that has a sweet cream cheese frosting that everyone will love!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Yield 24 servings
Serving Size 1 serving

Ingredients
 

For the cake:

  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups (248g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (200g) brown sugar
  • ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (220g) shredded zucchini

FOR THE FROSTING:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 2 cups (226g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
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Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9×13-inch rectangular cake pan.
  • You can also use nonstick baking spray (the kind with flour).
  • Whisk salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and flour in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Whisk eggs until beaten, then whisk in oil, vanilla and both sugars. Whisk until combined, then add dry ingredients and stir with a sugars. Whisk until combined, then add dry ingredients and stir until moistened. Stir in zucchini.
  • Place batter in prepared pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean in the center.
  • Let the cake completely cool before removing from the pan and frosting.
  • To make the frosting: beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until the mixture comes together, then add vanilla and salt. Beat until smooth.
  • Frost the top of the cake with the frosting.
  • Store loosely covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • If you notice your cake browning fast, you can lower the temperature to
    325°F as early as 20 minutes, and this may affect baking time a little. The cake
    does get quite brown because of the brown sugar and spices, but the pans you
    use and your oven can cause it too.
  • You can add up to 1 cup of chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts) to the cake
    batter before placing in the pan. Or add chocolate chips or raisins, if you
    prefer.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 167mg | Potassium: 111mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 202IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Other Zucchini Recipes



Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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4 Comments

  1. My mom used this recipe for years. I cut the oil by 1/2. Also can add rasins, dried cranberry, chocolate chips and chopped walnuts. Can use any shredded squash as well as zucchini. It’s a wonderful base recipe. Thank you for publishing it.