Tender and delicately sweet chocolate zucchini bread is a tasty way to sneak in more veggies and use up garden zucchini. It almost tastes like chocolate cake, but it’s healthy enough to eat for breakfast!
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Zucchini bread is one of my favorite quick bread recipes to make. It’s full of gut-healthy fiber but tastes like dessert which it is in these chocolate zucchini brownies. I love zucchini bread so much that I keep creating new variations – and since it’s such a mild-tasting vegetable, there are a bunch of ways to change it up!
Start out with a basic and easy zucchini bread recipe. Then, add some fruit and you have lemon blueberry zucchini bread. Or think outside the bread tin and use the batter to make zucchini chocolate chip muffins. Honestly, zucchini muffins are perfect for those busy mornings when you need something healthy as you run out the door.
Zucchini bread is similar to my other favorite type of quick bread – banana bread. This chocolate zucchini bread recipe reminds me of double chocolate banana bread.
And, of course, you can always turn banana bread into muffins, too (with zucchini!) – banana zucchini muffins are full of nutrients and taste like something you’d get at a coffee shop.
Whether you freeze and eat it later, give it away as a gift, sell it at a bake sale, or eat it for breakfast all week this chocolate zucchini bread is going to be a go-to recipe.
You probably already have all the ingredients you need to make a tasty loaf of chocolate zucchini bread. It’s a pretty simple recipe that gives you incredible results!
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Dry ingredients: All-purpose flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder and sea salt make the base of the batter.
- Sugar: A combination of white and brown sugar balance the sweetness while adding a layer of complexity to the flavors.
- Wet Ingredients: Eggs, vegetable oil, sour cream, and vanilla extract keep the bread moist while helping it all stick together without being too crumbly.
- Zucchini: It’s easiest if you use a food processor to shred the zucchini in a few seconds. Otherwise, check out my guide and learn how to shred zucchini perfectly the first time. No need to squeeze out excess moisture!
- Chocolate chips: Use your favorite size and type of chocolate chips, whether that’s mini chips or larger chocolate chunks.
There are so many different ways to make chocolate zucchini bread. Here are some of my favorite variations. If you make changes to the recipe, always make sure you are balancing the wet and dry ingredients so that your bread has the right texture.
- White chocolate chips. Instead of milk or dark chocolate chips, add some color to the bread by using white chocolate chips.
- Applesauce. Replace the oil with unsweetened applesauce. Not only will this cut out some of the saturated fats, but it also naturally sweetens the zucchini bread too.
- Instant coffee. People often add instant coffee to a chocolate cake to enhance the chocolate flavor. It only takes about ½ a teaspoon of instant coffee or espresso powder to boost the rich chocolate flavors in this bread.
- Gluten-free. If you need to make gluten-free zucchini bread, use a 1:1 gluten-free flour, like the kind from Bob’s Red Mill.
- Peppermint extract. Fans of Thin Mint cookies will love this variation! Add a teaspoon of peppermint extract to the batter. Optionally, crush and top the bread with some peppermint candies. This is a really good idea for the winter months and holidays.
- Powdered sugar dusting. After it cools, dust the top of the bread with some powdered sugar. Not only does this sweeten the bread, but it makes it look extra fancy too.
How to Make Chocolate Zucchini Bread
This recipe for zucchini chocolate bread is perfect for beginning bakers!
- Combine dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Mix wet ingredients. In a separate larger bowl, mix the eggs, oil, sour cream, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Use an electric hand mixer to beat until smooth.
- Combine wet and dry. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined. Do not overmix! Fold in the zucchini and just 3/4 of the chocolate chips (saving the rest for the top) until just combined.
- Add batter to the pan. Pour the chocolate zucchini bread batter into a prepared loaf pan and sprinkle the rest of the chocolate chips evenly across the top.
- Bake. Place the loaf in the preheated 325°F oven for about 55-65 minutes, until lightly browned.
- Cool, slice, and serve. Once the chocolate zucchini bread has finished baking, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing it to a wire rack to continue cooling. Cut into slices while it’s still a bit warm, and enjoy!
- Be sure to grease the pan and use parchment paper to line it. For easy removal, have a bit of excess parchment paper come up the sides so you can grab them to lift the bread out of the pan.
- Use a box grater to shred the zucchini if you don’t have a food processor.
- Do not overmix. Doing this will lead to dense, overworked bread. We want to keep it soft and tender.
- If you notice the bread is browning too quickly, lightly tent it with foil.
The best way to tell if your zucchini bread is done is to stick a toothpick into the middle of the bread. If it comes out clean, it’s finished baking. If the wet dough is on it, let it bake for another 10 minutes and then recheck it.
This is a personal preference. Some people don’t like the texture of zucchini peel, even though it softens as it bakes. I prefer to keep the peel on since it’s where so many of the nutrients come from, plus it’s barely noticeable!
Adding too much liquid and not hitting the right oven temperature are the primary culprits behind wet zucchini bread.
Storing + Freezing
To store: Wrap zucchini bread tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil or keep it in an airtight container. It will stay fresh at room temperature for up to four days.
To freeze: This recipe freezes great. Wrap the loaf with plastic wrap and then place it in a zip-top bag or freezer container for up to 1 month. When ready to eat, allow to thaw for a few hours and then warm slightly in the microwave oven if desired.
More Quick Breads to TryBrowse all
Chocolate Zucchini Bread
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt
- 2 large eggs , at room temperature
- ¼ cup vegetable oil , canola, or melted coconut oil
- ⅓ cup sour cream , or Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar , packed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups finely shredded zucchini , packed
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips , divided
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a large bowl, mix the eggs, oil, sour cream, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, being careful not to overmix. Fold in the zucchini and 3/4 cup chocolate chips until just combined.
- Pour batter into the loaf pan. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips over the top. Bake 55 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean (melted chocolate chips are ok). You want the bread to be lightly browned. If it is browning too fast, cover lightly with foil.
- Remove from the oven and set on a wire cooling rack. Let cool in the pan 15 minutes before removing from the pan. Let the bread cool on the wire cooling rack until slightly warm. Cut into slices and serve.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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