Now that temperatures are dropping and leaves are falling, it doesn’t feel like a crime to turn on the oven.
That means right now is a great opportunity to embrace flavors from late summer and early fall, and make a chocolate zucchini cake!
Listen to Nerdette host Greta Johnsen’s conversation with baker and cookbook author Shauna Sever — all about all the spices you should have, sourdoughs you should start, and pies you should scarf down immediately.
And below is Sever’s chocolate zucchini cake recipe from her most recent cookbook, Midwest Made.
Double Chocolate Zucchini Loaf
Serves 8 to 10
Nonstick cooking spray for pan
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons/ 175 g granulated sugar
1/2 cup/113 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 large eggs, at room temperature 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
11/4 cups/160 g unbleached all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1/2 cup/48 g unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups/225 g loosely packed zucchini (about 1 medium-size)*
1 cup/170 g semisweet chocolate chips, divided
Trim off the very ends of the zucchini and grate with the large holes of a box grater.
Position a rack to the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Spray a 9 x 5-inch/23 x 12.7 cm light-colored metal loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and line it with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, melted butter, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Place a large sieve over the bowl, and add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Sift the ingredients into the bowl. Whisk to combine—it will be quite thick. Switch to a flexible spatula and fold in the zucchini just until the batter begins to loosen a bit. Fold in three-quarters of the chocolate chips.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over the batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted deeply into the center comes out mostly clean, with just a few moist crumbs, about 1 hour. Let cool in the pan for about 20 minutes before transferring the loaf to a wire rack to cool completely. Store any leftovers tightly wrapped for up to 3 days.