Chocolate and zucchini are a phenomenal combo. This is the best way I've found to disguise zucchini for the three little self-proclaimed zucchini haters in my household. When this cake is served, all three of my kids get their faces covered in chocolate and ask for seconds. They have no idea that there are two whole fresh zucchinis in there, and even if they happen to spy a green fleck or two amid eager finger-licking and voracious cake-gobbling, they just plain don't care. It's too darn good to care.
When I pulled the cake out of the oven, the chocolate chips were warm and melty and the cake was tender and moist from all the zucchini and buttermilk baked right in. It is my preference to serve it warm for dessert with a tall glass of milk. Dig in and eat your vegetables!
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup canola oil (or other neutral-flavored oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups zucchini, grated
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-by 13-inch baking pan.
2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl.
3. In another bowl, beat the sugar, butter and oil in a large bowl until well blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract.
4. Mix in the dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk in three additions. Mix in grated zucchini.
5. Spread into prepared pan (I used an offset spatula for even spreading). Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool about 15 minutes, slice and serve warm. Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit
Notes: I grated two medium zucchini, which was about 2 1/4 cups. I went ahead and used all of it in the cake.
Maya Evoy lives in Nikiski and blogs about food at alaskafromscratch.com. Have a food question or recipe request? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and your inquiry may appear in a future column.