New This Month

Under 30 Minutes

Chocolate-Zucchini Cakes with Walnuts


Zucchini makes these easy-to-prepare treats surprisingly moist and delicate.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 24

Source: Everyday Food, May 2010


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 24 walnut halves
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup finely grated zucchini (from 1 medium zucchini)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (3 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, chopped, or chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Nonstick cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together butter, sugar, salt, and egg until combined. Add vanilla, zucchini, and sour cream and stir until incorporated. Sift flour and cocoa powder into bowl and stir until combined. Stir in chocolate.

  2. Spray 2 mini muffin pans with cooking spray. Fill each cup with 2 tablespoons batter and top with a walnut. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, 15 to 17 minutes. Let muffins cool slightly in pans on wire racks before serving.

Cook's Notes

You can substitute pecans for the walnuts. Store in an airtight container, up to 3 days.

Reviews Add a comment

  • camillechristin
    17 SEP, 2015
    Loved the bittersweet chocolate in these little cakes however they were very heavy and dense. Should have read the previous comments about adding baking soda to lighten them up. Can't believe Martha didn't catch this! I also made a few adding a dark chocolate buttercream icing with chopped walnuts. My husband especially liked these as he is not a fan of bittersweet chocolate.
  • Megan King Silva
    8 FEB, 2015
    I made these today and I did add a leavener, which worked out great. Due to the chocolate and sour cream in the recipe (both acidic), I used baking soda (1/4 tsp) and not baking powder. Also, I used oat flour, halved the amount of sugar and mixed chopped walnuts directly into the batter in addition to the one on top. They turned out deliciously.
  • Barb McCullough
    2 AUG, 2014
    I think a small amount of baking powder would add lighter texture. The second time I made these gluten free because the other ingredients were a natural complement to gluten free baked goods. It is unusual to merely substitute GF flour without adjusting fats and liquids in a gluten free recipe, however this was an easy substitution. Merely substitute GF flour blend (I used King Arthur) and add 1/2 tsp baking powder. Excellent.....Best Gluten free muffin I ever made.
  • Sweet_One
    11 SEP, 2012
    No need to change one ingredient! These easy to make and bake cakes were moist and delicious thanks to the zucchini and sour cream. Lots of chocolate flavor. The suggested pecan substitution was a perfect addition.
  • MS11225668
    28 JUL, 2012
    Pretty good. I accidentally made them in a regular muffin tin and had to cook them for about 25 min. At first I was reluctant to make them because the recipe didn't call for any leavening, and I didn't know if this was an omission. Anyway I just went with it and they came out with a nice chewy texture. I put in 2/3 c sugar, but next time will do just 1/2 cup. They are plenty sweet. Will also try the whole wheat idea. This recipe could really evolve into a super healthy breakfast treat!
  • mollypop15
    13 MAR, 2012
    Absolutely incredible! A great go to recipe to bring or just for an afternoon treat. I also substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream and do 1/2 white and 1/2 whole wheat pastry or white whole wheat flour so I don't feel quite as guilty when I eat the whole pan, but this recipe is great as is!
  • Judylou1
    27 NOV, 2010
    This is a go to dessert for me since I first served them at a BBQ this past summer. Baking them right now for a dinner party.
  • mollypop15
    4 NOV, 2010
    These are incredible! I made a few substitutions to make them a tiny bit healthier- I used 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour and non-fat Greek yogurt in place of sour cream, and they were delicious. Great chocolatey flavor, quick and easy to make, a big hit!
  • kbingy
    14 JUN, 2010
    These are super moist and delicious! Deep chocolate flavor!