Whole Wheat Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake

I love bundt cakes… They are kind of like the tom boy of the cake world, but in a really good way.

It’s not much of a secret to anyone who knows me that I can be a bit high maintenance. I’m not much of a tom boy at all. I am the girl who can’t leave the house without making sure each hair is in place and I have my makeup done.  But, I have long admired the women who can throw their hair up in a ponytail and don’t feel the need to wear makeup all the time. I don’t have the self-confidence (or the skin) for that, but I wish I did.

Bundt cakes are much the same way… While most cakes wouldn’t dare go without a nice layer of frosting and fondant, a bundt cake just throws on a dusting of powdered sugar and is good to go. Feeling fancy? Add a quick glaze or a ganache, but most of the time it’s really not necessary. The cake is beautiful without it.

So why all of the talk about bundt cakes? Recently I discovered this great recipe for a whole wheat chocolate zucchini bundt cake, and I just can’t get enough of it. I’ve already made it twice in the past few weeks. I stumbled across it in the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Cookbook (one of my favorites!). You can throw it together pretty quickly, and you don’t even need a stand mixer. It’s easy to do by hand. Sometimes I prefer that.

I hope you’ll give this one a try. I swapped out the butter in the recipe for olive oil for some added flavor. I like the flavor of olive oil in baked goods lately. The recipe yields a nice, moist chocolate cake. You don’t have to tell anyone that it’s made with zucchini or whole wheat flour. That’ll be our little secret.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake
(Makes one bundt cake, adapted from the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Cookbook)

  • 2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour a bundt pan, and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and olive oil.  Add the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in the zucchini. Add the dry ingredients, stirring until they are just incorporated and evenly moistened. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Transfer the batter to the prepared bundt pan, and bake the cake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean (or with just a few wet crumbs). Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 – 15 minutes. Then, invert the cake onto wire rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

27 Responses to Whole Wheat Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake

  1. Looks amazing! I’m going to have to try it!
    However, I dont have a bundt pan.. can I make it a loaf? Do think it would cook the same? Hmmmmm…… :-)

    • Lisa – I think a loaf might work, but you’d probably need two loaf pans for all of the batter. The original recipe also said it could be baked in two round 9-inch cake pans, so I’d assume a 9 by 13-inch pan would work well, too. Just keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t bake too long!

  2. *the tom-boy of the cake world* Loved your analogy and explanation of it Jen! Loved this entire post and the cake.

    P.S. I realize that you said you don’t go out without ever hair in place and your make-up on but I can’t help but think that everyone who has been fortunate to know you sees right past the perfect hair and make-up and only sees the beautiful person and very talented young lady.

  3. This cake looks so great! I love that it is packed with so many wholesome ingredients, but still sounds absolutely delicious!

  4. I love this cake Jen, I’ve been obsessed with zucchini in baked goods this summer! Bundts are also a favorite here, so simple and delicious.

    • Hi, Francine – I do not follow a non-dairy diet and do not typically bake with non-dairy ingredients. It seems like a substitution that could work, though I am not really sure how the cake would turn out with the tofu sour cream. If you give it a try, let me know how it goes!

  5. I have lots of zucchini and have made the usual recipes , but this one is the best so far ! I’m shredding and freezing my extra zucchini to make this delicious cake for cold winter days!! Thanks

  6. I love this cake and have made it several times..However I am watching carbs as well…so I used 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour..and 1 cup coconut flour..I also used the splenda blend for the brown sugar and granular sugar…I used the dark chocolate chips an made a ganache with dark chocolate chips and heavy cream to pour over the cake… This cake was absolutely delicious !

  7. I don’t have espresso powder can you use just regular instant coffee grounds instead??