Monday, July 21, 2014

Chocolate Walnut Zucchini Cake

The celebration continues! Thank you to everyone who has submitted photographs to our contest! They are amazing. We are in awe of your creativity, and we love all the wonderful dogs and cats who posed for you. Thank you so much! It's not over, of course, until midnight Thursday. Five people will win our fun tote bag and seven books!

All you have to do is submit a photo in one of five categories:

1. One of our books with a cat
2. One of our books with a dog
3. One of our books having summer fun
4. One of our books in a library
5. One of our books in a bookstore.

Enter the contest or just enjoy the delightful photos at

This is also a first. Contrary to appearances, we don't just blog about cakes here at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen! I think the unbroken succession of cakes proves that we gravitate toward cakes when we're celebrating. No doubt something that is ingrained in us as children, beginning with festive birthday cakes.

I was determined not to bake a cake for today. But the zucchini plants in the garden just keep producing! I have cooked zucchini every which way you can imagine. But not as a cake. And I kept running into recipes for chocolate zucchini cake. So I broke down and made my own version.

We loved the zucchini walnut muffins that I baked a few weeks ago, so I knew that walnuts worked well with zucchini. I deepened the chocolate flavor with a hint of coffee, and added dark brown sugar. I dusted the top with powdered sugar instead of icing it. Honestly, it's so rich and moist that it doesn't need frosting.

Krista's Chocolate Zucchini Walnut Cake

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnuts

2 cups shredded zucchini (about 1-2 zucchini)

1/2 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter + extra for greasing pan
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon instant coffee or espresso
2 teaspoons warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup semi-sweet or bitter-sweet chocolate chips

powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 10-inch springform pan with butter.

In a food processor, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and walnuts. Pulse until the walnuts have disappeared. Pour out into a bowl and set aside.

Use the shredding disk in the food processor to shred the zucchini. Set aside.

Dissolve the coffee in the water. Cream the butter with the sugars, and beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the coffee and the vanilla and beat. Slowly add the flour mixture. The batter will be thick. Mix in the zucchini and stir in the chocolate chips. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes.

Cool on a baking rack. When cool, dust with powdered sugar.

Walnuts disappear into the flour and cocoa.

Before baking.

Let it cool before adding powdered sugar.

We're still giving away a book each day, too! Today we're giving away Mystery Lovers' Kitchen's alum Elizabeth Spann Craig's SHEAR TROUBLE! It won't be out until August 5th, but Elizabeth will ship it to you as soon as she has her hands on it! To enter, leave a comment here today before midnight.

Good luck!


  1. I'd love to read this book. I'll have to share this recipe for the garden people.

    1. I hope they'll like the recipe, Sue!

  2. Your cake looks fantastic! Quilt Trip looks like it would make for great reading on a snowy MN day.

  3. I've never had chocolate cake with zucchini in it

    1. Sandy, I served it to someone who was astonished to learn that it has zucchini in it. Like carrot in carrot cake, the zucchini just disappears!

  4. Yum, about sums it up...

    Looking forward to "Shear Trouble" the Southern Quilting Mystery series!

    patucker54 at aol dot com

  5. It looks and sounds divine! The zucchini must give a great "moistness" to it.
    I always share on Facebook

    1. Libby, it does. It's really delicious! I have a feeling it will be a regular request around here.

  6. Yummy! I will have to try this recipe! The zucchinis keep growing in my co-workers garden in virginia thanks to the rains we have been getting. I got this huge zucchini and squash and used it in a recipe with tomatoes and bread crumbs. I swear these zucchinis are bigger than the ones in your typical chain grocery store. Elisanabby at

    1. I know exactly what you mean. If I skip one day picking zucchini, they get big enough to use as short baseball bats!

  7. Sounds wonderful! Love zucchini all year long. Quilt Trip would be enjoyable. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  8. So many desserts - yum! I love to sneak the zucchini in. Members of my family think they don't like zucchini - little do they know. Would love to read the book, too.

  9. Interesting cake
    Told a friend

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  10. Krista, I love chocolate and zucchini. Can't do the nuts, but I'm sure this would be okay without, right? What a beautiful, moist looking goodie! And what a cute title for Elizabeth's book. Love it!

    Daryl / Avery

    1. I think it would be fine without the nuts, but if you don't use them, then try increasing the flour by about half a cup. The flavor will be a little bit different but I'm sure it will still be wonderful!

  11. This looks delicious! rachelkb at

  12. I'm not a chocolate eater and I want some of that cake. I'm going to make one. Yum! lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  13. I just tried my first chocolate zucchini cake recently and it was delicious! I am all about trying different recipes with chocolate and zucchini now :)

    1. It's amazing what you can do with zucchini.

  14. Too hot to bake today---but that recipe looks mighty good.

    1. I may have to bake it again before the zucchini disappears!

  15. On my way - that cake looks too good to miss.

    Thanks, Krista!



    1. The door is always open for you, Mary Jane!

  16. I don't have zucchini in my garden, but this recipe makes me think about adding it next year! I love the idea of walnuts...and chocolate.

    cozyupwithkathy at gmail dot com

  17. I loved "Quilt Trip"! This cake looks very good also!


  18. Looks like a great cozy mystery.

    xzjh04@ gmail.con

  19. I love your books and the cake looks yummy!!!