Food & Drink from the Garden

Food & Drink from the Garden

Fudgy Chocolate Chip Zucchini Loaf Cake with Maple Sour Cream Icing | 8 SERVINGS

This is our teenagers’ favorite way to use up the zucchini growing out back. For about a blink of an eye, we had a Southern grocery store chain in Santa Barbara, and I got hooked on White Lily self-rising flour. It’s a staple in my pantry because it’s light, lovely, and easy to use.


3 cups grated zucchini (about 2 medium zucchini)

1 1/2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt, divided

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour, such as White Lily or King Arthur

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

2 eggs

1/3 cup buttermilk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 ounces)


1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt

Zucchini leaves (for garnish; optional)

For Cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Toss zucchini with 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl and let sit for 30 minutes. Drain zucchini and squeeze dry in a clean kitchen towel. In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, sugar, cocoa, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt to blend. In another bowl, whisk melted butter, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla to blend. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until smooth. Mix in the zucchini and the chocolate chips.

Transfer batter to the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Turn the cake out and cool completely.

For Icing: Whisk sugar, sour cream, syrup, and salt in a bowl until smooth. Spoon icing over cake. Garnish with zucchini leaves, if desired. They are edible, you know.

Recipes from Lush Life: Food & Drinks from the Garden by Valerie Rice, Prospect Park Books 2021. Photo credit: Gemma and Andrew Ingalls

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