Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting!

Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

By July 25, 2023July 25, 2023

Looking for a way to use up extra zucchini? Bake it into a cake! This Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is a favorite dessert in our house every summer!

A couple of months ago, we rented a U-Haul trailer and brought back a bunch of furniture from my mom’s house. She was downsizing, and we had the space to use the extra furniture…so off we went! Along with that furniture, we finally brought back all of my childhood stuff. Yearbooks, a Garfield alarm clock, pictures, comic books and baseball cards. It all went into the back of that U-Haul.

Among the pictures was a framed “Life’s Little Lessons” poster that I had hanging in my room when I was younger. The poster is full of tidbits of wisdom like “Never wash a car, pick out a Christmas tree or mow the lawn after dark.” Truth. “Never celebrate a birthday without a birthday cake.” Truth. “Plant zucchini only if you have a lot of friends.” 110% truth!

As anyone who has grown zucchini can attest, it grows like wildfire! It’s one of those “uh oh – we need to figure out how to use a whole bunch of zucchini ASAP” kinda things. This is a favorite of ours (ignore the photos – they were from the early days of the blog. Hah!)

Zucchini is also great for baking – cakes, muffins, etc. The moisture in the zucchini leads to a great texture in baked goods, and then you can add whatever flavors you like. That brings us to this Zucchini Cake recipe. Holy cow – this one is amazing! It’s absolutely “company worthy.” The only challenge will be not eating it before the company arrives!

Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

The cake base for this Zucchini Cake is moist, flavorful and easy to make. I opted to bake this one in a 9″x13″ baking dish and then cut the cake into squares. Robbie grabbed one of the squares as he ran through the kitchen after school. He stopped dead in his tracks and told me, “Dad, this cake is really good. Like really good.” Hey, he speaks the truth!

This Zucchini Cake relies on vegetable oil instead of butter as the fat. The rest of the ingredients are standard – sugar (I like to substitute in a little bit of brown sugar for depth of flavor), eggs, flour and spices. Oh and 2 cups of grated zucchini. That will be ~2 medium zukes, just for reference. When it comes to grating those zucchini, . The grater has 3 different grating sizes along with a slicer, and I reach for it almost every day! (I use the same grater for cheese, too.)

When it comes to seasonings for this cake, I went with cinnamon and nutmeg. The flavor (and smell) was amazing! I also opted for a cream cheese frosting on top. I have a pumpkin bread recipe that uses this same cream cheese frosting. Both breads are moist so I figured the cream cheese option would work well here – spoiler alert: it works well!

I included a bit of cardamom in the frosting, and I highly recommend it! Add in the chopped walnuts for flavor and texture, and you’ve got a cream cheese frosting that will rival that from any bakery. In this case, it went on the zucchini cake – and it was delicious!

Don’t skip the toasted, chopped walnuts on top! They add a nice nutty flavor, and the crunch is especially nice. (If you aren’t a fan of walnuts, you could use unsalted pecans instead.)

If you find yourself with extra zukes (or just want a fantastic, company-worthy summer dessert idea), then put this cake on the list! I promise it will be a big hit – happy baking!

Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Looking for a way to use up extra zucchini? Bake it into a cake! This Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is a favorite dessert in our house every summer!

5 from 5 votes

Prep Time: 25 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes minutes

Total Time: 1 hour hour 5 minutes minutes

Servings: 16 servings

Calories: 508 kcal


For the Cake

2 cups grated zucchini cups granulated sugar ½ cup brown sugar 1 cup vegetable oil 4 large eggs cups all-purpose flour 2 tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp ground nutmeg 1 tsp salt 1 tsp baking powder ½ tsp baking soda

For the Frosting

6 oz. cream cheese room temperature 6 Tbsp unsalted butter room temperature ¼ cup brown sugar 1 tsp ground cardamom 1 tsp ground cinnamon 2 tsp vanilla extract 2 cups confectioner’s sugar 1 cup toasted walnuts chopped


For the Cake

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease and flour a 9”x13” baking pan or spray generously with cooking spray; set pan aside.

Using a large bowl, add grated zucchini, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil and eggs; stir until well combined.

Using a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Gradually fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, stirring after each addition.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out mostly clean. Let cake cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting

Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter together until well combined.

Add brown sugar, cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla; mix until well combined.

Add confectioner’s sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition until well combined.

Spread frosting on top of the cooled cake. Sprinkle toasted, chopped walnuts on top.

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