Dark Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Brownies with Coffee

Dark Chocolate Zucchini Brownies make a great coffee companion.

These dark chocolate zucchini brownies are truly amazing.  Zucchini keeps them moist and chewy while the chocolate is the main star and cardamom is a rich exotic counterbalance.  Without knowing there are shreds of green goodness inside I doubt many people would guess.  I am not a vegetable-sneaker, I like them right up front and featured – this recipe is also great for those people who are, shall we say, less enthusiastic about veggies.  I know it may sound like a strange combination but it is oh so good and really all about the chocolate.  If you don’t have cardamom on hand, cinnamon or anise would be great flavor matches too.

You can pretend these are healthy if you want.  I did.  🙂  Michael Pollan says something about dessert being just fine as long as you make it yourself – I fully agree and I love making dessert… and then eating it for breakfast.

These come together super fast if you keep pre-grated zucchini in the fridge.  Pre-shredded zucchini tends to be a bit drier than doing it at recipe time, so if you do use this (like I do), go with the oil instead of applesauce for the extra moisture.

Brownies are a baking challenge because everyone likes them different ways, cakey, chewy, fudgy.  These came out more on the cakey side.  I did some reading on various websites to determine exactly what makes that consistency and was surprised to learn that lots of people think they know but they obviously don’t know because so much of the “knowledge” was contradictory.  More flour, less flour, more egg, less egg, more time, less time, more fat, less fat.  What I gathered was that I need to make a lot more brownies and figure it out for myself.  The internet does seem to agree that vigorous stirring with a wire whisk brings more air into the batter which encourages cake-texture rather than fudge-texture.

Local ingredient highlights:
Eggs from Clifford Farms
Homemade applesauce, learned at a canning class at Urban Farm & Feed
Zucchini from neighborhood farmers
Salt from Real Salt

Thanks go to Food Plus Words for the original recipe.

Dark Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

Yield: One 8x8 pan of brownies

Dark Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

Rich dark chocolate zucchini brownies hit that craving spot while sneaking in some garden goodness.


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup smooth applesauce, coconut oil, or light tasting olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 large zucchini - do not drain)
  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, with a rack in the center of the oven.
  2. Line an 8" x 8" square baking pan with a piece of parchment paper so the paper edges drape over the sides of the pan. Spray the parchment and the pan with nonstick cooking spray, and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, sugar, applesauce (or oil) and salt until combined. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon and cardamom. Mix until dry ingredients are dissolved and well combined.
  4. Fold in the grated zucchini, then the chocolate chips.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake the brownies at 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes, or until the center is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Let the brownies cool in the pan completely before slicing. At least until the chocolate cools down.


These will keep stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also wrap the cooled brownies in plastic wrap and store in an airtight plastic baggie in the freezer for up to 4 months. These defrost overnight in the fridge.