{Gluten-Free} Chocolate Zucchini Cake

We’ve had a heat wave in Northern California this week — in most of the state, I think. We spent Labor Day weekend swimming in Tomales Bay, a friends’ pool, and the pool in town, keeping the curtains closed at home. It felt like Saudi days all over again; life slowed down and felt very quiet and still (no complaints here). Needless to say, I did not turn the oven on and I’m excited to get back to it next week when things cool down a bit. Today I’m sharing a lovely chocolate zucchini cake recipe I came up with before the weather got so hot — it can help use up all the zucchini that’s currently in the market, or, perhaps, your garden.

I’ve written about chocolate zucchini cakes before here but this is the first time I’ve made one gluten-free. I used a straight 1:1 swap of teff flour for the all-purpose flour and added a bit more moisture in the form of coconut milk to hydrate the batter since as we know, gluten-free bakes can have a tendency to be drier. To that end, I made this recipe entirely dairy-free with coconut milk instead of whole milk. (Note: for coconut milk I always choose one that is just coconut milk, either in a can or a carton, with no additives).

The magic of chocolate zucchini cake is that you’d hardly know there is any zucchini in it — not necessarily a good thing in my opinion, because I like zucchini. But for those who may not (ahem, my kids), it’s a lovely way to get in some veggies whilst also enjoying chocolate cake. The zucchini brings tenderness and moisture to the cake, especially appreciated, as mentioned above, in a gluten-free cake. S said she LOVED it, and might like it for her birthday cake. I take that as a ringing endorsement.

Til next time — N xx

Need substitutions? Try oat or buckwheat flour for the teff flour, brown sugar for the coconut sugar, and cane sugar for the maple syrup.

{Gluten-Free} Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Recipe by Nicole SpiridakisCourse: Dessert




  • 350 g (about 1 3/4 cups) teff flour

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1 cup coconut sugar

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 2/3 cup coconut milk + 3 teaspoons vinegar

  • 3 large eggs

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2 cups shredded zucchini


  • Lightly grease a springform or tube pan with olive oil. Line the springform pan with parchment paper, if using.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the teff flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut sugar, maple syrup, and olive oil. Add the coconut buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in the zucchini. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring until they are just incorporated and evenly moistened. 
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan. If possible, let batter rest for up to 1 hour, covered! Then preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Place cake in the oven and bake for about 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then turn out on a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Cake will keep, well wrapped in the fridge, for up to 5 days.
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