Chocolate Courgette Cake

What is in a name?  That which we call Chocolate Zucchini Bread by any other name would taste as sweet.

Of course back in America we do call them by the name Zucchini, from the Italian “Zucchino”.  While on this side of the world everyone knows them by the French word, Courgette.  Of course that is only one of two misnomers in the title “Chocolate Zucchini Bread“.  Bread has a more limited connotation here in Ireland and S was fast to beat out of me the habit of using the word to describe any of my American sweet Quick Breads.

“If you wouldn’t make a sandwich with it, it’s not bread.”

I may not necessarily agree with that, but I will use lingo that my new compatriots understand!  The word Cake, on the other hand, encompasses a much wider variety of baked goods here than it does stateside.

So I knew well by the time I got around to making this for S to present it with my translated title “Chocolate Courgette Cake”.  (One that still sounds odd to me.) S was horrified by the notion that I put a vegetable into a cake, especially one she was not very fond of. Once she tried it, she said it was (I kid you not) the best Chocolate Cake she had ever tasted!

So without further ado, here is my recipe for Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Bread, by another name:

Vegan Chocolate Courgette Cake

  • Servings: 8 Thick Slices
  • Difficulty: Easy Peasy
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  • 150g Plain Flour
  • 30g Cacao
  • 3/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon Cardamom Powder
  • 50g Pecans (optional)
  • 130g Demerara Sugar
  • 1 Courgette, grated (about 220g)
  • 60ml Rice Bran Oil
  • 185g Soy Yoghurt
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Almond Extract
  • 100g Vegan Chocolate Chips


    1. Sift together the Flour, Cacao, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt, Cinnamon, and Cardamom.
    2. Heat your oven to 175 degrees celsius. If you are using Pecans, go ahead and roast them in the oven for about five minutes (until they start to become fragrant) This will give them a far superior flavour and texture in the cake.
    3. Wash and grate the Courgette. Add the Pecans, Sugar, Courgette, Oil, Yoghurt, Extracts, and about half of the Chocolate Chips to the dry mix. Fold together until well combined.
    4. Bake in a bread tin lined with parchment paper for 40 minutes at 175 degrees. Turn the oven off and let the cake rest in the hot oven for another 5 minutes before you open the door.

If you have the patience, this cake is even better the next day. It is nice warm. But do try saving some for the next day, served chilled. Let us know which way you prefer!

  1. Jenny says:

    Totally going to make this for much veg averse little people. Just a question that I should know but dont-cacao is it same as coco powder and if not where would I find it.

    Love the page by the way. Really well written and interesting x

    1. Diced says:

      It is definitely an effective way of sneaking a green vegetable into kids! Most kids will probably prefer the recipe without the pecans, though.

      Great question about the cacao! Cacao powder is made from cold-pressing raw cacao beans, while cocoa powder is made from roasted beans. I find cacao has a much richer, intense chocolate flavour and cocoa is a bit milder. But if you already have cocoa powder at home, it will definitely do the job.

      The main reason people opt for cacao powder over cocoa is that it’s in this raw form that it has all the great health benefits, particularly antioxidant enzymes. The cacao is changed on a molecular level as it’s exposed to extreme heat, so the (roasted) cocoa powder has far less enzymes and nutrients. Of course in this case it’s all going in to the oven, so the antioxidant count is probably going to decrease anyway. Using cacao in no-bake recipes is the best way to get the most out of it, nutrient wise!

      Thank you so much for the kind words about the site! Happy baking.

  2. zgAGA says:

    I totally agree with S:
    “If you wouldn’t make a sandwich with it, it’s not bread.”

    I will defo be making that with Mati, sounds amazing, looks amazing, I hope I won’t make balls out of it, knowing me, it will be gone still warm, unless I make double 😀

    I love pecans, Mati.. I might convince him

    and I agree with Jenny, really well written, and interesting, funny, easy read!

      1. zgAGA says:

        we are pro at carrot cake, and managed to make lovely VEGAN banana bread, was easier than I thought, I think I gave you guys some, or maybe it was just Grainne and Marisa…

        So maybe we are ready for next level.. courgette!

  3. Pingback:Vegan Germknödel Recipe • Diced and Spiced • German Sweet Plum Dumplings

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