This is one of the chocolate lover’s dream cake and the shredded zucchini makes this cake so moist and delicious, make it and it will surely be your family’s favorite. To start, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder (optional) in a large bowl and give it a quick whisk and put it aside. Prepare the zucchini by washing and grating it into a bowl using a regular cheese grater and watch your fingers.
Put the vegetable oil, sour cream, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, vanilla, and room temperature eggs in a bowl, and mix it up using your stand mixer using your scraping paddle attachment and make sure everything is well incorporated. Now go ahead and add the freshly grated zucchini to the wet mixture then give it a good mix on slow.
Slowly pour the dry mixture in with the wet mixture (or just dump it in) and mix together on low speed. Add in the chocolate chips (optional) and stir it in then use a scrape and scrape the bottom and walls of the bowl to make sure everything is well in cooperated. Use parchment round to go on the bottom of your buttered pans. You can add in your cake some cocoa powder then pour the batter into the pans then pop on your cake strips on the pans.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in a 350F preheated oven or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean then let them cool. For the Chocolate buttercream; Whip up the butter for about 5 minutes in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. When the butter is light and fluffy, slowly mix in the cocoa powder and give it a mix and scrape the bowl down and mix again. While mixing on low, beat in the confectioner sugar slowly to be sure you get the proper consistency, and then add the cream. You may now add the optional vanilla and espresso in at this step while mixing at low speed.
Continue mixing until you have a nice and fluffy, even consistency. The batter is now ready to go into your prepared pans and bake. For the ganache; chop chocolate (or use chocolate chips (and transfer to a bowl and heat the cream up in a skillet just until it’s about to boil. Pour it over the chocolate and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Whisk up your chocolate until it is nice and smooth. Then when you’re ready, transfer it to a piping bag.
If you have to reheat the chocolate up, just microwave it for a few 30-second bursts at 50% power. For the cake; pipe the chocolate buttercream onto your first layer, repeat this step until your cake is fully stacked. Give the whole cake a final coat all around with the chocolate buttercream and smooth it out with a bench scraper and an offset spatula.
Place the ganache into a piping bag and pipe a swirl of it on top then smooth it out with an offset spatula. Pipe the drips of ganache around the top edge of your cake. Carefully top the cake with chocolate chips and enjoy it.
For the Cake:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour 360g
- 1 cup cocoa powder 100g, unsweetened natural
- 1 tbsp baking soda 18g
- 3/4 tsp baking powder 1g
- 1 1/2 tsp espresso powder 1g, heaping, optional
- 3/4 tsp salt 4g
- 1 ½ cup vegetable oil 354mL
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar 300g
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar 200g
- 6 large eggs at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt 115g, at room temperature
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract 15mL
- 4 1/2 cups zucchini 475g, about 3 medium, shredded
- 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips 265g, semi-sweet
For the Chocolate Buttercream:
- 1 1/2 lb confectioner’s sugar 680g
- 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter 342g, room temperature
- 4 1/2 tbsp heavy whipping cream 67mL
- 1/3 cup Cocoa powder 40g
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla 7mL, optional
- 1 1/2 tsp espresso 7mL, optional
For the Ganache;
- 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate 130g
- 1/3 cup heavy cream 79mL
For the Cake;
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray 3, 8-inch cake pans with non-stick oil.
- Cut a parchment round for the bottom of each pan and place it inside. I always use cake strips, which prevent my cake layers from doming. If you don’t have any on hand, you can make them with wet paper towels and tin foil!
- Mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, espresso powder (optional), and salt in a large bowl.
- Mix oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, sour cream, and vanilla together in a second large bowl. If using a stand mixer add the wet ingredients into your bowl and mix together with a paddle attachment.
- Add the shredded zucchini to the wet mixture and mix on low to combine.
- Mix the wet bowl with the dry bowl and beat together on medium. Add in chocolate chips.
- Pour mixture into pans. Cook 30-35 minutes, or until centers are springy.
- Use a toothpick to check to see if they’re finished. Let cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack. They must be cool before working with frosting and assembly.
For the Chocolate Buttercream;
- Whip the butter for about 5 minutes using a paddle attachment (in a stand-up mixer)
- Beat in the confectioner’s sugar slowly.
- Add the cream.
- Sift in the cocoa powder and mix until combined.
- You may add the optional vanilla and espresso at this step.
- Mix until you have a fluffy, even consistency.
For the Ganache;
- Melt the chocolate and cream in a microwave for a few 30-second bursts at 50% power.
- Mix together and transfer to a piping bag with and cut the tip-off. Drizzle ganache over top and sides for a nice drip effect. Quickly use an offset spatula to spread out ganache on top.
For the Assembly;
- Pipe buttercream onto the first layer. Add the second layer and repeat.
- Apply a thin coat of buttercream to the side and top then smooth.
- Pour ganache on top and use an offset spatula to spread. You can apply small drips to the side if desired.
- Top with chocolate chips.