Like my chocolate zucchini cake, this moist and fudge-like double chocolate zucchini bread raises a huge question: How on earth is there a vegetable in THIS?! Readers have loved this recipe for years, and it’s on my menu all summer long when zucchini is plentiful.
One reader, Kristin, commented: “I never review recipes, but had to write one for this one. This bread, cake, dessert—whatever you want to call it—is fabulous! Just the right amount of sweet, chocolate, and is perfectly moist. I have made it for different people (just in the last two weeks because I can’t stop thinking about it) and everyone has loved it. I made no substitutions to anything and it was perfect… ★★★★★”
I firmly believe that the biggest baking mistake one could ever make is… not doubling today’s recipe. After 1 slice, you’ll instantly realize you need far more than 1 loaf of this chocolate bliss. With its moist and rich fudge-like crumb, deep chocolate flavor, and melty chocolate chips inside, it’s almost impossible to believe there’s zucchini in the batter.
One reader, Deb, commented: “Wow! I made this today and it is sooo good! Even my guys (who don’t want anything to do with zucchini) LOVED it! No one can believe there is shredded zucchini in it. One mistake I made—I only made one. ★★★★★“
Here’s What You’ll Love About This Chocolate Zucchini Bread
- Batter comes together quickly and easily
- Sneaks in veggies
- Freezes well—make several loaves when zucchini is plentiful, and freeze for future chocolate cravings
- Use this recipe for muffins or cupcakes, too
- Super moist and deeply chocolatey—just read the reviews!
Why Bake With Zucchini?
If you’re new to combining zucchini + chocolate, welcome to the not-so-secret club!
Zucchini is one of my favorite baking ingredients and I have a lot of published recipes using this summer vegetable. My recipes for zucchini bread and zucchini muffins are both incredibly popular with readers, and you’ll find a whopping 3 cups of the nutrition-boosting green shreds in my chocolate zucchini cake, but only if you are looking for it—no one will know if you don’t tell them!
It sounds odd to bake with a green vegetable, but here’s why you should:
- There are only so many zucchini side dishes to make (looking at you, zucchini casserole). Zucchini is abundant in the summer months, so sneaking it into baked goods is a great way to use up a bounty of squash.
- Zucchini adds flavorless moisture. We’re talking pure moisture with zero savory vegetable flavor. You’ve had carrot cake, right? Well, zucchini adds even more moisture and hides even better!
Success Tip: Shredding Zucchini
Today’s zucchini bread comes together in just minutes with simple kitchen tools including a couple bowls, a whisk, and a 9×5-inch loaf pan or an 8×4-inch loaf pan like this one or this one. You also need a grater to shred the zucchini. If you’re looking for recommendations, I own and love this box grater because it’s easy to use, grates quickly, and has held up well with regular use. It’s what I use when making zucchini fritters, too.
Key Ingredients You Need & Why
- Zucchini: Zucchini can vary in size, but 1 medium zucchini is plenty for this recipe. You need 1 and 1/2 cups shredded, which is about 180g, depending on how tightly you pack it.
- Flour: Doesn’t seem like a lot of flour, and it’s not. Keep in mind there’s also cocoa powder which is another dry ingredient. Most of the volume is the zucchini!
- Cocoa Powder: Make sure to use unsweetened natural cocoa powder, not Dutch-process, in this recipe. Read about the difference between Dutch-process vs natural cocoa powder.
- Instant Coffee/Espresso Powder: A little espresso powder gives this double chocolate zucchini bread the richest-tasting chocolate flavor; the bread doesn’t taste like coffee, rather, the espresso powder deepens the flavor of the cocoa. It’s a trick I use in chocolate chess pie and chocolate cake, too.
- Chocolate Chips: Chocolate chips provide some sweetness, while also creating melty pockets of chocolate throughout every slice.
- Oil: I prefer to use oil in my quick breads, like in strawberry bread and peach quick bread, because of the unparalleled moisture it provides. Lately I’ve been making this chocolate zucchini bread with melted coconut oil.
- Plain Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt adds protein, while also adding tenderness. I always use nonfat here, but you can use low-fat or full-fat Greek yogurt, or regular yogurt, if you prefer.
You also need 2 eggs, baking powder, baking soda, salt, vanilla, and sugar.
If you don’t have or don’t want to use coconut oil, a neutral oil such as vegetable oil works instead. Expect a very, very thick batter:
The bread takes about 50 minutes to bake. Begin checking at 45 minutes, though, just in case your oven works extra hard!
While it’s incredibly tempting to slice right into this double chocolate zucchini bread while it’s warm, try to resist. I’ve found that with most baked goods starring zucchini, the flavor is noticeably better once it’s completely cooled. This goes for zucchini oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, too.
You can peel the zucchini if you’d like, but I never do. There’s no taste or texture difference. If you’re worried that picky eaters will be suspicious, peeling the zucchini will prevent any trace of green specks sharp eyes might detect.
Slice the bottom end off of the zucchini, hold onto the stem end, and scrape the squash against the shredder side of a box grater like this one until you get to the stem you’re holding. The shredder side is the one with the largest holes.
When I first published this recipe in 2015, I included a step for blotting some moisture out of the zucchini. I don’t find this necessary anymore. In fact, you WANT that extra moisture in every single slice. Just shred the zucchini and add right to the batter.
This double chocolate zucchini bread is moist and fudge-like, and comes together quickly with a couple bowls and a whisk. Readers have loved this recipe for years, and it’s on my menu all summer long when zucchini is plentiful. See recipe Notes for freezing and doubling instructions.
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 1/2 cup (41g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not Dutch process)*
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder*
- 3/4 cup (135g) semi-sweet chocolate chips*
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil or melted coconut oil
- 1/3 cup (80g) plain Greek yogurt or sour cream*
- 2/3 cup (135g) granulated sugar*
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 cups (180g) shredded zucchini (no need to blot)*
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan or 8×4-inch loaf pan (for a taller loaf) with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder together until combined. Mix in the chocolate chips. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, oil, yogurt, granulated sugar, and vanilla together until combined. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently whisk to combine. Fold in the zucchini. The batter is very thick.
- Bake for 45–55 minutes, making sure to loosely cover the bread with aluminum foil halfway through to prevent the top from over-cooking. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with only a few small moist crumbs. The 9×5-inch pan takes closer to 45 minutes, and the 8×4-inch pan takes closer to 55 minutes. All ovens vary, so begin checking around the 45-minute mark.
- Remove bread from the oven and allow the bread to cool in the pan set on a wire rack for 1 hour. While it’s still warm, I gently press a few more chocolate chips into the top; this is optional and only for looks.
- Remove bread from the pan and place the loaf directly on the wire rack to cool completely.
- Cover and store bread at room temperature for 5 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Freezing Instructions: Freeze baked & cooled loaf, tightly wrapped, for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. If desired, bring to room temperature before serving. To learn more details about how to freeze quick breads, see my post called Make-Ahead Baking.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): 9×5-inch Loaf Pan or 8×4-inch Loaf Pan | Box Grater | Glass Mixing Bowls | Whisk | Rubber Spatula | Cooling Rack
- Double the Recipe: You can double the recipe by doubling all of the ingredients and dividing the batter between 2 loaf pans. If the batter seems much too thick, you can add a splash of milk.
- Chocolate Zucchini Muffins: Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C) and spray a 12-count pan with nonstick spray or line with cupcake liners. Prepare batter as directed above, fill each liner to the top with batter and bake the muffins for 5 minutes at 425°F (218°C). Then, keeping the muffins in the oven, lower the temperature to 350°F (177°C) and continue to bake for an additional 14–15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Makes 10–12 muffins.
- Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C) and line a 12-count pan with cupcake liners. Prepare batter as directed above, fill each liner 2/3 full with batter and bake for 19–20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely, then frost with chocolate buttercream. Makes 12 cupcakes.
- Cocoa Powder: Use natural cocoa powder, not Dutch-process. See Dutch-process vs natural cocoa powder for more information.
- Espresso Powder: Espresso powder deepens the chocolate flavor. You can skip it or use 1 teaspoon of instant coffee powder instead.
- Chocolate Chips: Don’t leave these out! They sweeten the bread and give the bread more chocolate flavor. The bread is a little bland without them.
- Yogurt: I usually use nonfat plain Greek yogurt. You can use full-fat, low-fat, or even vanilla Greek yogurt instead. Or use regular plain yogurt, or sour cream. Prior to 2023, this recipe called for 1/4 cup (60g) yogurt, but I now use 1/3 cup (80g) as listed above. Extra moisture!
- Sugar: For a sweeter bread, use 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar.
- Zucchini: I do not peel the zucchini before shredding, but you certainly can if you’d like. I like to use a box grater for shredding zucchini. Zucchini can vary in size, but 1 medium zucchini is plenty for this recipe. If using frozen zucchini, thaw first and lightly blot before using.
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 246
- Sugar: 20 g
- Sodium: 76.4 mg
- Fat: 11.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 33.2 g
- Protein: 5.4 g
- Cholesterol: 37.6 mg
Keywords: chocolate zucchini bread