The Most Amazing Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake (it’s Paleo!)

Over the summer we spent a lot of time at farmer’s markets.  There’s something about visiting each vendor and knowing they’re not just people selling goods – they’re community members too.  The items are grown here and harvested here and processed here by each farmer’s own hand (or a hand they’ve chosen at least.)  It’s comforting.

Our favorite farmer’s market is out in Millarville – a nice jaunt down the Cowboy Trail and you’re there (at least for us, being in the West.)  We pack up the kids and head out early, for Saturday standards anyhow, because many vendors sell out of their most popular items.  Last time we missed out on New York Strips because they had all sold.  Sad. Sad.

But we did find a few extra large zucchini squashes were left and while that doesn’t make up for missing out on steak – this Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake most certainly does.

paleo chocolate cake

Rob is doing well and we’re all adjusting to new realities and one of those realities is that we are really watching what we eat.  It’s the only way he can work on maintaining a healthy weight seeing as he can’t really exercise anymore.  I had started this new regime before he got sick and he’s adapted it as well.  It’s inspired by paleo which essentially means we aren’t eating grains or sugar or dairy.  How then, are we talking about chocolate cake?  Well, this one is made with almond flour and coconut sugar and dark chocolate!

chocolate chip zucchini cake

5.0 from 4 reviews
The Most Amazing Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake (it’s Paleo!)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Paleo, dessert
Serves: 9-12 pieces
  • 1 cup Almond Flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 1½ cups shredded zucchini
  • ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • 3 eggs, separated
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and grease a 9x9 cake pan with coconut oil.
  2. Grate your zucchini and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl mix both flours, chocolate chips, cocoa, baking soda, salt and coconut sugar - break up any lumps of flour with a fork.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix zucchini, egg yolks, milk, cider vinegar and vanilla.
  5. With a whisk, hand mixer or stand mixer, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. They shouldn't be so firm that you can make meringue out of them, but you want them fairly firm.
  6. Now, you need to work kind of fast here. Once you pour the wet into dry ingredients the vinegar and baking soda will react and form bubbles which will help your cake to rise. If you leave this sitting on your counter while you answer the door the reaction will fizzle out leaving you with a flat cake.
  7. Pour your wet ingredients into your dry and mix fairly well but quickly - don't worry if there are a few lumps...that's ok. Once your batter is incorporated, add the whipped egg whites and fold them in. Again, you need to work quickly but the aim is to mix the eggs into the batter without letting them deflate all the way. These egg whites are also going to give you a soft and fluffy cake.
  8. Pour your batter into the pan and immediately pop that baby in the oven for 45 min. Test with a toothpick (note that your chocolate chips might make a mess on the tooth pick but your batter should be firm when fully cooked.)
If you forget to add the chocolate chips you can sprinkle them over the top like I did... it will squish the batter down a bit but also, it looks pretty this way for photos. Ahem.

If you wish to reduce the sugar even more, cut the amount of chocolate chips in half.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1

This is as healthy as delicious chocolate cake can get here people.  I’m not saying you can eat this for breakfast…..but if you’re going to have a treat why does it have to be full of nasty things?  Making things at home without wheat flour or other starchy flours (rice? potato? No thank you.) and without white sugar is one of the ways we’re working towards being in better shape and so far so good.  But we still need treats.  We’re human right?!  I think so.

This cake reminds us that we are.  Eat it.  Enjoy it.  Don’t feel guilty.

Want more gluten free meal ideas? I’ve got you covered!



  1. This was delicious! I made it as a dessert for my life group (along with a non-paleo dessert) and everyone thought they were delicious! I am so happy to have found this recipe for when I want a “treat”. I followed the recipe to a T and it was a tad dry but still very very tasty. Thank you! 🙂

    • I’m glad you liked it! I find the moistness varies depending on the zucchini – some have more water in them than others. Thanks so much for your feedback!

    • Shorten the baking time next go around and they probably won’t be as dry. I have found that when you use coconut sugar and almond flour they do better a tad bit under baked.

  2. These were absolutely amazing! Very moist and delicious. I will be making these when I want something special. Thanks for the recipe!

    • You can use standard brown sugar or even white would work 1:1. I know any sweetener like maple syrup, honey or stevia would sweeten this but I couldn’t tell you how much to use. If you wing it, let me know what you do and how it worked out!

  3. This looks amazing! If using raw cacao in place of the cocoa powder, would you use the same amount or less? TIA!

  4. Would the chocolate zucchini cake be the same if I made my own pecan flour and used coconut milk? I can’t have almonds. Thanks!

  5. This looks really good! Do you know a good substitute for the almond meal? I usually use coconut flour, but I know that it can’t be subbed 1:1. Have you worked with it before?

    • coconut flour is super absorbent so no, you can’t sub it 1:1 for almond meal. If you can’t have nuts then I would maybe try oat flour? But then it wouldn’t be a grain free cake – still gluten free if you use certified GF oat flour. Garbanzo bean might be another option – again it would be GF but not paleo.

  6. I just made it and it’s DIVINE!!! Not too sweet, moist, fluffy, light and DELICIOUS! I used all organic ingredients and substituted chocolate chips with raw cacao nibs. I also added finely chopped dried apricots and dates. I will try to add chopped walnuts next time.
    Love it, love it, love it!!! Thank you Heather! <3

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! Made my day!! I’m so glad you loved the recipe 😀

    • Coconut flour is much more absorbent than almond flour so it wouldn’t work 1:1. You could try it with less but I’m not sure if it will give the same result

  7. Xylitol and Stevia are both good sugar substitutes. I personally prefer Xylitol. If it’s dry I would add a bit of Coconut oil (try one Table spoon at a time) and also line the baking tin with coconut oil. Can’t do any harm … I’ll certainly try it and give you feed back. Those who aren’t diary intolerant can add butter!

  8. Just made it, it is really moist, my picky husband who is sceptical of paleo foods really likes it too. My daughter is vegetarian but doesn’t eat eggs, would egg replacer work? thanx

    • I’m so glad you liked the cake! I have never worked with egg replacer but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. It seems to work in most other recipes. If you try it will you let me know your results? Good luck!

  9. I made this today and oh my word. It is divine!!! Clean, moist, and chocolatey goodness!!! Great recipe, made this chocolate lovers girl happy!!

  10. This Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake is amazing!!!! I recently turned 56 and have felt the need to alter the content of my diet along with daily exercise to improve my overall health and well-being. In doing so as many people already know, that means eliminating many foods I have enjoyed for years and having to make alternative, healthier, food choices which now involves research and cooking trial and error. In a recent visit with my son, I was given a piece of this cake to try. I loved it! A friend of mine has a garden and regularly gives me zucchinis. The first cake I made, I gave him half. He loved it and then bragged to his friends about it who are now asking me for this recipe. Being able to enjoy a little chocolate from time to time without the guilt is very encouraging. This recipe has been a blessing and is getting rave reviews within my circle of friends. Thank you for sharing it!!!!

    • Kathy,
      This comment has absolutely made my day. I’m so glad you enjoy the recipe and am very appreciative of taking time out of your day to say so! Have a great week!

    • Hi Jen,

      I would try about 15 – 20 minutes? Check on them often near the end to make sure they don’t get overdone.

  11. This cake was indeed a pleasant surprise! Came out so moist and soft, even better than the real deal! 😀 thank you for sharing!


  1. […] Home to Heather Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake I’m usually an “everyone in the pool” baker – wets and drys get all jumbled up at once, pulse in nuts and chips at the end. This calls for 3 bowls – one for wets, one for drys, and one for egg whites that need to be whipped and folded into the batter. Way too complicated for me but it called for 1 1/2 cups of shredded zucchini and I had a lot to get rid of. WORTH THE EFFORT!! […]

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