Recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Whip from Rosie Daykin

Zucchini is a versatile vegetable that is somehow perfect for chocolate cake. Rosie Daykin brings it to the next level by adding a Cream Cheese Whip on top. This is the perfect dessert for your summer dinner plans. Find this recipe and more in her book The Side Gardner, available now.

Recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Whip

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Whip

Makes one 8-inch/20 cm cake, 8 to 12 servings


For Zucchini Cake

  • 1¾ cups/185 g pastry flour
  • ¼ cup/18 g cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup/250 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 cup/200 g sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • ½ cup/125 ml hot water
  • 1½ cups/185 g grated zucchini

For Cream Cheese Whip

  • 1 cup/227 g cold cream cheese (the real deal, not the spreadable kind) (see Note)
  • ½ cup/60 g icing sugar
  • 1 cup/250 ml cold whipping cream (see Note)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (see Note)


To make the Zucchini Cake

1. Position the rack in the centre of the oven and preheat to 350°F/180°C. Butter and flour a deep 8-inch/20 cm cake pan or a springform pan. (If you would prefer to make a layer cake, you can also use two regular 8-inch/20 cm cake pans and divide the batter evenly between them.)

2. On a large piece of parchment paper, sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and continue to whisk until well combined.

4. In a small bowl, combine the espresso powder and hot water and stir to dissolve. Add the coffee to the batter and whisk to combine.

5. Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the batter and whisk again to combine. Add the grated zucchini to the batter and use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to combine.

6. Place the batter in the prepared pan. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

To make the Cream Cheese Whip

1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on high speed until very soft. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Turn the mixer to low and add the icing sugar. Continue to beat on low until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again.

2. With the mixer still running on low, slowly add the cream. Once incorporated, turn the mixer to high and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla paste and beat again to combine.

3. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Invert the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely.

4. Transfer the cake to a serving plate or cake stand and generously spread the cream cheese whip across the top.

Note: Very important to the success of this cream cheese whip recipe is the temperature of your ingredients: make sure your cream cheese and cream are nice and cold! If not, the fat will not be able to emulsify, meaning it won’t be able to hold air particles, which will prevent those lovely soft peaks from forming. If you don’t have vanilla paste, you can always substitute 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract or the inside of one vanilla pod.