Chocolate zucchini bread that’s incredibly moist, not too sweet, and packed with chocolate chips. The grated zucchini dissolves as it bakes – leaving you with a delicious chocolate loaf that’s incredibly tender. Perfect for your fresh garden zucchini!
**This post was updated July 26, 2022 with new photos and recipe tips**
You can think of this chocolate zucchini bread as the most deliciously tender chocolate loaf you’ve ever tried. It’s dense, moist, and chocolate-y without tasting too much like dessert. The recipe is straight forward without the need for an electric mixer, so you can make the batter with very little effort. Then as it bakes your kitchen will be filled with the most delicious chocolate aroma.
Baking with Zucchini – What Makes it So Good???
If you’re not familiar with baking with zucchini – here’s the rundown:
- It adds moisture to baked goods making them tender, moist, and perfectly soft.
- As it bakes, it breaks down/disintegrates – so there’s no pieces or chunks left.
- It’s the perfect way to use up fresh garden zucchini.
- Zucchini is basically flavorless – so you don’t taste it at all. Just delicious chocolate goodness.
Step by Step Photos
As mentioned this recipe is very straight forward and made without an electric mixer.
- First, you’ll preheat the oven to 350F (180C or 160C fan forced) and prepare your loaf pan. This recipe requires a loaf pan that’s at least 8 ½ x 4 ½ inches (I used 9×5 inches). An 8×4 inch loaf pan is too small. Then line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the sides. I find lining the bottom and greasing the sides is the best way for the loaf to easily slide out.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. I find using natural cocoa (as opposed to Dutch process) works best for this recipe.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: melted butter, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs. I used light brown sugar in this recipe because I love the added flavor from brown sugar as opposed to white.
- Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
- When the mixture looks about 90% combined, fold in the grated zucchini and chocolate chips.
- Then pour the batter into your prepared pan and pop it in the oven to bake. It will need to bake for about 60 minutes in the preheated oven.
Note: The batter will be thick. This means you need to be very careful not to over mix it. Mixing the batter too much can lead to a tough, dry zucchini bread. A few lumps in the batter is totally normal and totally ok. You’ll see the shredded zucchini in the batter, but the majority will be completely dissolved as the loaf bakes.
Tips for Baking Zucchini Bread
With any recipe made in a loaf pan – the baking time can always be a little tricky because the bake time is long. Because ovens can vary by 10-20%, it’s important to note that your loaf may take anywhere from 50-75 minutes to bake. Expect it to be on the longer bake time if using an 8 ½x 4 ½ inch loaf pan instead of a 9×5 inch.
- To prevent over browning, use a light colored loaf pan.
- Bake the loaf on the middle rack of your oven.
- If it looks like the top is browning too much but the inside isn’t anywhere near done yet, tent a piece of aluminum foil over top and continue baking.
- When the loaf is done, if you touch the top with your fingers it should feel slightly firm/springy. An inserted toothpick should come out clean or with melted chocolate chips.
Moist, chocolate filled, not too sweet, and totally tender – this chocolate zucchini bread just might be the best way to get in your veggies 😉 I’m not claiming its healthy, but it’s definitely delicious and the perfect zucchini recipe.
Got even more zucchini? Try these other recipes:
- Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread – a lightly spiced loaf filled with chocolate chips
- Zucchini Banana Bread – for a tender loaf recipe that’s the best of both worlds
- Zucchini Cake – easy, cinnamon filled, and topped with cream cheese frosting
Chocolate Zucchini Bread
- 9x5 inch (23x13 cm) loaf plan or 8 ½x41/2 inch
- 1 ½ cups grated zucchini*
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour (156 grams)
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder (27 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter (112 grams) melted
- ¾ cup brown sugar (150 grams) light or dark
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line the bottom of an 8 ½ by 4 ½ inch loaf pan with parchment paper, then grease the sides.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
- In a large bowl whisk together the melted butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract until there are no chunks of sugar.
- Gently mix the flour mixture into the wet ingredients.
- Once almost combined, stir in the grated zucchini and chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for around 50-60 minutes until the top is firm to the touch and an inserted toothpick comes out clean (except for melted chocolate chips).
- Cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes, then carefully slide the loaf out of the pan and continue cooling
- Zucchini: You do not need to peel the zucchini before grating. Cut off the ends, then hold the zucchini perpendicular (90-degree angle) to your grated to avoid long strands of zucchini.
- Cocoa: I use natural cocoa for this recipe.
- Storage: Wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 4 days. Bread can also be frozen (after being cooled fully). Wrap tightly and freeze for up to 2 months, then thaw in the fridge.
- Nutrition: Details provided are an estimate only and based on 1 slice of zucchini bread assuming the recipe yields 10 equal-sized slices.
You say to mix oil into the recipe but no oil is listed in the ingredient list?
My apologies – that should have said melted butter. I’ve adjusted it now
These turned out great and my toddlers loved them! They don’t have to know about the zucchini! Even my teenager who turned her nose up at the thought of vegetables in her chocolate came back for seconds!! My only modification was swapping oil for the melted butter (due to dairy intolerance) and baking them as mini muffins. I will definitely make them again! Thanks!
This was a great recipe! I also changed it to muffins. I added the calories and it is a bit higher than I like – has anyone tried to reduce the butter or sugar?
I substituted trivia brown sugar blend, and white whole wheat flour, to reduce calories and boost the nutritional value. I also used coconut oil because I wanted it to be nondairy
Do you have to ring out the zucchini after grating? I am just not sure how dry the zucchini needs to be…..Thank you 🙂
You don’t need to ring it out per se, but you need to blot it with paper towel to remove the excess liquid. It doesn’t need to be bone dry, but you don’t want to include any pools of liquid that can be left in your measuring cup, or whatever you grated the zucchini on.
Hands down the very best chocolate zucchini bread that I ever tasted.
I did add a little espresso powder to the batter.
It is a keeper.
Do you need to let it cool in the pans,before removing.
I would let it cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes – otherwise, it can lose its shape. You can speed up the process by placing it in the fridge on a wire rack.
I just made this today with a few adjustments and I doubled the recipe to make 2 loaves .
I used more cocoa powder as I didn’t have chocolate chips . I substituted the melted butter for coconut oil . I omitted the vanilla and added ground cinnamon and ground cloves . I added some grated carrots for sweetness as I didn’t have brown sugar so I used 1/2 the amount of white granulated sugar . It turned out delicious and moist and not overly sweet but sweet enough . I will definitely make this again .
Made this recipe today. I love that there is no oil in this recipe . I didn’t have chocolate chips, but I don’t think it really mattered, it was delicious. Thank you !
Thanks so much Danna!