Easy One-Layer Zucchini Cake

zucchini cake
Diana Rattray
Ratings (7)
  • Total: 70 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 55 mins
  • Yield: 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
628 Calories
41g Fat
62g Carbs
7g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This incredibly moist and easy zucchini cake is a great way to use garden-fresh zucchini. If you have a surplus of zucchini squash from your garden—or from neighbors and coworkers—shred it and bake this cake. Plus, it's the ideal way to use larger zucchini that aren't as good in savory dishes.

If you avoid zucchini cakes and breads because you don't care for the vegetable or have only used zucchini in savory recipes, one bite of this cake will make you a believer. The zucchini does add some pleasant texture and moisture, but it doesn't add vegetable flavor. The cake's fabulous flavor comes from the cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla. If you aren't a fan of walnuts, feel free to omit them or use pecans or flaked coconut instead. Or add 1/2 to 1 cup of raisins or dried cranberries to the batter.

The cake doesn't include a frosting, but it would be wonderful with a basic buttercream or cream cheese frosting. Or simply sift powdered sugar over the cake or drizzle servings with a thin glaze or dessert sauce.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups zucchini (unpeeled, grated)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups/9 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup walnuts (chopped)

Steps to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

  2. Grease and flour a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan

  3. Wash the zucchini thoroughly; trim and discard the ends. Shred the zucchini with a food processor and shredder disk or use a box grater. Measure 2 cups and set aside.

  4. In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat oil and sugar until well blended.

  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition; blend in vanilla.

  6. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir to blend the ingredients thoroughly.

  7. Add the dry ingredients to sugar and egg mixture, alternating with the grated zucchini. Fold the chopped nuts into the batter. 

  8. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.

  9. Bake the cake for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until it bounces back when touched lightly with a finger.

Kitchen Notes

  • Use a neutral-flavor vegetable oil in baked goods. Some good choices include canola oil, corn oil, grapeseed oil, safflower oil, or a mild peanut oil. Avoid strong-flavored oils, such as olive oil, sesame oil, walnut oil, and hazelnut oil.

  • Extend the season and freeze shredded zucchini. Shred the zucchini and freeze it in small freezer bags or containers in 1-cup portions for zucchini breads, cakes, and muffins throughout the fall and winter months.

  • When using zucchini in savory casseroles or as a side dish, smaller is better. Larger zucchini have a tougher skin and larger seeds, but they are fine for cakes, muffins, and quick breads.