Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is a real treat. This easy to make, lightly spiced cake is super moist and flavorful thanks to a whole bunch of shredded zucchini. Luscious Cream Cheese Frosting provides just the right touch of decadence.

Variety is the spice of life. So instead of making yet another zucchini bread bread I’ve created a full-on sweet and rich cake, frosting and all. There may be zucchini in this recipe, but it is unmistakably dessert.

This simple cake comes together very quickly and easily. For an even simpler cake you can serve the cake plain without the cream cheese frosting.

Or, you can also gussy up the recipe by turning it into a layer cake. Directions for making a layered Zucchini cake are at the end of the post.

Why this is the best Zucchini Cake Ever!

  • There is an entire pound of zucchini in this cake. The cake is super moist and has a lovely flavor from the zucchini.
  • Brown sugar adds extra flavor and moisture to the cake.
  • Warm spices make a flavorful cake that pairs perfectly with the rich frosting.
  • The walnuts are optional, but finely ground nuts do add wonderful texture and flavor to the cake.
  • An cake made with oil instead of butter stays soft even when it’s chilled.
  • And Cream Cheese Frosting because….Cream Cheese Frosting!


ingredients for zucchini cake in glass bowls on a white surface.

How to make Zucchini Cake

A bowl of cake batter, a tray of shredded zucchini and ground walnuts are the components for zucchini cake.
  • Mix the wet and dry ingredients together.
  • Then add the shredded zucchini and the ground walnuts.
a photo collage showing how to fold shredded zucchini and ground walnuts into zucchini cake batter.
  • Fold the zucchini and ground walnuts into the batter.
zucchini cake batter in a square cake pan
  • Pour the batter into a parchment lined 9″x9″ square pan.
  • You can double the recipe to make a 13″x9″ cake to feed a crowd.
a freshly baked zucchini cake cooling on a rack.
  • Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
  • Cool the cake completely before frosting.

How to store and serve Zucchini Cake

  • The un-iced cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days before frosting.
  • Because the cream cheese frosting is perishable, the cake should be stored in the refrigerator once it is iced.
  • Remove the cake from the refrigerator 1 hour before serving. Flavors are muted in a cold cake so it’s best served closer to room temperature.
  • To work ahead, bake and freeze the cake until the day you’re ready to serve. Make the frosting and ice the cake just before serving.
  • To save leftovers – wrap each piece of cake in plastic wrap and freeze individually. Take a piece out and bring it back to room temperature before enjoying.

How to make a Zucchini Layer Cake with Cream Cheese frosting:

  • Bake the recipe in two 8″ round cake pans instead of one 9″ square pan.
  • Make a full batch of Cream Cheese Frosting (instead of a 1/2 batch as called for in the recipe).
  • Fill and ice the cake with the cream cheese frosting.

More Zucchini Recipes

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

a partially eaten slice of zucchini cake on a plate with a fork
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4.44 from 23 reviews

Zucchini Cake Recipe

Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is a real treat. The lightly spiced cake is made super moist and flavorful thanks to a whole bunch of shredded zucchini. Luscious Cream Cheese Frosting is the perfect finish for this easy to make cake.
Prep Time20 minutes
Bake Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
12 servings
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  • 16 oz zucchini (about 2-3 medium)
  • 7 ½ oz all purpose flour (1 ½ cups, see note)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 ½ oz vegetable oil (¾ cup)
  • 6 oz granulated sugar (¾ cup)
  • 6 oz brown sugar (¾ cup)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract
  • 4 oz walnuts ((optional) finely chopped)
  • ½ recipe Cream Cheese Frosting


  • Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line a 9" square cake pan with parchment paper, or butter and flour the pan.
  • Use the large holes of a box grater or the large grating disc of a food processor to shred 16 oz zucchini. Spread the zucchini in an even layer on a paper towel and cover with another paper towel. Press to absorb the liquid. Let the zucchini sit while you mix the batter.
  • Sift together 7 ½ oz all purpose flour, ½ teaspoon baking soda, 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder, 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon, 1 ½ teaspoons ginger, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, and ½ teaspoon salt. Set aside.
  • Mix 5 ½ oz vegetable oil, 6 oz granulated sugar, and 6 oz brown sugar until it resembles applesauce. Add 3 large eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and ½ teaspoon lemon extract. Mix until the batter is smooth and emulsified.
  • Add the dry ingredients in three batches, scraping the bowl in between. Fold in the zucchini and the optional ground walnuts. Mix until completely combined.
  • Spread the batter into the pan. Bake until the cake springs back when lightly pressed or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
  • Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a rack to cool completely.
  • Ice the cooled cake with the cream cheese frosting.

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If measuring the flour by volume use the “dip & sweep” method. That is, dip the measuring cup into the flour bin, overfill it, then sweep away the excess.
This recipe can be doubled and baked in a 9″x13″ cake pan. Use a full batch of cream cheese frosting to ice the cake.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 374kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 219mg | Potassium: 197mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 138IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 2mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

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Recipe Rating


    1. In theory, but it would change the texture and flavor of the cake since the recipe was developed and tested with oil. So I couldn’t say what the outcome will be.

  1. I had 8 cups of shredded zucchini which weighed 3 pounds so i tripled the recipe and divided the batter into 2 9×13 pans. It is so delicious I don’t need to frost it and plan to eat it just as it is. This recipe is a definite keeper!