Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake with Candied Walnuts

July 12, 2010

Let’s give a round of applause to the first person who decided to add vegetables to desserts, breads and muffins. There is the carrot cake, sweet potato pie, beets in cakes, and of course, zucchini bread. Perhaps vegetables surrounded by sugar aren’t always the best way to go, but it is certainly nice to throw a veggie dessert in the rotation every now and then.

Summer squash doesn’t always stand out as a nutritional superstar, but it definitely has some appealing characteristics. It is rich manganese which activates enzymes that play a role in energy metabolism. It also plays a role in the formation of healthy cartilage and bone. Zucchini also offers vitamin C, vitamin A and dietary fiber in addition to several other vitamins and minerals.

I showed you our zucchini in my last post. We have three plants bearing right now which means we have at least one or two zucchini every day.

We have eaten plenty of sautéed summer squash around here topped with fresh herbs and olive oil. So about two weeks ago I was ready for some zucchini bread. At least bread is what I started with. Then I started thinking about cake.

After adapting the zucchini bread recipe from the 75th Anniversary Edition of the Joy of Cooking by adding my favorite sugars and flour along with some additional spice. I had the cake recipe set. With the chocolate chips and the walnuts this definitely falls in the dessert category, but just between you and me we did have some for breakfast.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake with Candied Walnuts
Cake adapted from Joy of Cooking, Sweet Zucchini Bread

1 ¼ cups white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt
¾ cup demerara sugar
2 eggs
½ cup butter, melted
½ tsp vanilla
2 cups fresh zucchini, shredded
½ cup dark chocolate chips

2 tbsp butter melted
1/8 cup mascavo sugar
½ cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease an 8 x 8 inch brownie pan.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.

In a larger bowl, whisk together the demerara sugar and eggs. Slowly whisk in the ½ cup cooled, melted butter. Whisk well to dissolve the sugar as much as possible. Stir in the vanilla.

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Add in the zucchini and the chocolate chips and stir just until incorporated. The batter will be very thick. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan.

In a small dish, stir together the butter, mascavo sugar and walnuts until the walnuts are coated. Sprinkle the walnuts over the batter and press in gently.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool and serve warm or at room temperature. Makes about 9 servings.

Nutritional Resources
WHFoods: Summer Squash (my favorite resource on the web for nutritional info)
Oregon State University: Manganese

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  • kat July 12, 2010 at 6:43 am

    Yum, yum, yum! Dessert is my favorite way to eat my veggies!

  • Tangled Noodle July 12, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Thank you for giving me the best justification for chocolate chip cake – it’s healthy! 😎 What I love about your recipe is that the zucchini isn’t hidden by cocoa; I love choc-zuke cake but the vegetable can be lost in all that chocolate-ness. We did not plant any this year but thank goodness for the farmers’ market! 😎

  • Debinhawaii July 12, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    I have been craving zucchini muffins lately but this cake looks even better–especially with all those chocolate chips. 😉

  • Kristina July 12, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    mmm… I haven’t yet had zucchini this season and I’m missing all the zucchini bread I’m usually making by now… (and all the extra zucchini I threaten to put in neighbor’s mail boxes!!) 🙂

  • Marianne (frenchfriestoflaxseeds) July 12, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    I keep thinking I should buy some zucchini now that it’s coming into season. This might just be the push I needed 🙂

  • Daily Spud July 12, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Right about now I am bemoaning the fact that I don’t have any zucchini growing this year – this sounds like a great way to use it!

  • Velva July 12, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Your summer cake looks delicious. This is a great way to use zucchini, the squash that keeps on giving throughout the summer. Nice!

  • Joanne July 13, 2010 at 3:52 am

    So you mean that I can have a slice of this cake in the name of healing my stress fractures (since it’s good for your bones)? Sounds good to me! This looks so tasty.

  • Andrea (Off Her Cork) July 13, 2010 at 7:44 am

    That cake looks really moist and fantastic! I love that you used a combo of the chocolate chips and the nuts which puts an entirely different twist on taste.

  • Maria July 14, 2010 at 6:40 am

    I can’t wait to make this cake!

  • Cinnamon-Girl July 14, 2010 at 7:21 am

    I love veggies in my baked goods! This is one of the most scrumptious ways I’ve seen zucchini used. Irresistible!

  • MelindaRD July 14, 2010 at 8:25 am

    That looks so good. I had a roommate right after college and she made a fantastic chocolate zucchini loaf. Hmm, I just picked up some zucchini, maybe I should make a dessert instead of dinner!

  • ateenagegourmet July 14, 2010 at 10:24 am

    I saw your comment on Bluegrass Pizza & Pub! I’m a food blogger from KY. Your blog is beautiful, and I think it’s really cool that we’re close together. 🙂

  • Michelle @ Find Your Balance July 14, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Wow, that sounded pretty good but then looking at your photos I’m drooling. Yum!

  • Lori July 15, 2010 at 4:20 am

    kat – Agreed!

    Tangled Noodle – I try to do everything I can to help with dessert justification. Just let me know if you need further info. 😉

    Daphne – Those are always the best kind for bread!

    Deb – The cake does add an element of appeal. 🙂

    Kristina – Ha! Yeah, we may need to get rid of some that way soon too.

    Marianne – Glad I could help. 😉

    Daily Spud – Maybe someone you know will have plenty to give away this year. 🙂

    Velva – Thank you! Yes, it does keep on giving. Ha, ha!

    Joanne – Absolutely. All in the name of healing. 😉

    Andrea – Thanks, the chocolate chips really make it.

    Maria – Hope you like it!

    Reeni – Thanks! It is one of my new favorites.

    Melinda – Ha! I’m often tempted to go straight for the dessert both with cooking and eating!

    teenagegourmet – Great to meet you through our blogs! I checked yours out and you’ve got some amazing food going on!

    Michelle – Wow, thanks! It is amazing what those pictures can do. 🙂

  • Mary July 15, 2010 at 10:53 am


    This sounds diving – thanks for sharing!

    Great blog; happy I found you!

    Delightful Bitefuls

  • OysterCulture July 16, 2010 at 5:16 am

    I have not had zucchini cake in so long, and I don’t need to tell you that chocolate chips makes everything taste better.

    Growing up my grandmother used to make Polish bread and it called for raisins. One day she ran out and substituted chocolate chips. From her grandkids point of view, there was no going back.