Sunday, 15 March 2015

Chocolate Zucchini cake/muffins - Gluten free, nut free, dairy free

My chocolate and beetroot fudge cake has proven to be a huge hit, both amongst friends and family as well as on this blog!  The benefits are not having to cook the beetroot before cooking, and of course sneaking vegetables into a decadent chocolate cake makes eating one slice too many almost acceptable!

Well, here is another option of adding a vegetable to a chocolate cake, no-one any the wiser! 
I'm not suggesting this as a way to get vegetables into your children and to therefore serve it next to their pork chop on the dinner plate!  But actually the zucchini creates a beautiful moistness in this cake, and if that can be done from a vegetable, why not!

Depending on whether you pour this mix into muffin tins, a loaf tin or a round cake tin, the eating occasion changes and you can glam this cake up just as easily as throwing a muffin into the lunchbox.  Versatile!

For those who avoid gluten, nuts and/or dairy, you definitely won't feel deprived here.  In fact you won't even wish you could add them! 
Photo-bombed by a cute little taste tester!!

I made up an 'icing' to go on the top today.  I didn't want to use icing sugar.  I wanted to create something that would enhance the cake, not just in a sugary way.  If you are making the cake to avoid nuts, you could sub the cashews in the icing for an avocado or 100g soaked sunflower seeds.  The avocado will obviously give you a smooth icing - actually as I write this I think I will try it next time!  Sounds like a great idea ( ;
I didn't soak the cashews today, hence the 'crunchy peanut butter' texture!  But if you do use soaked cashews, ensure that you drain them well and even dry them on a piece of paper towel.  If they are wet the icing won't be thick. 

Enough talking, more cooking.  Make this a recipe you will actually try, not one you add to the list and never get around to.  I promise you it's super fast to make, simple, and you won't regret it!  Enjoy....

Chocolate Zucchini Cake/Muffins


2 medium zucchinis
3 eggs
150g rapadura sugar (or any sugar you wish to use)
100g oil (I used Grapeseed but any mild tasting oil will work)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 c (55g) raw cacao/cocoa powder
1 c (130g) gluten free self raising flour
100g melted dark chocolate (the darker the better especially if avoiding dairy. Check the label to ensure dairy free)

Method - Conventional

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.  Lightly grease tin of choice.  (This mix will make a small loaf tin sized cake as well as 6 small muffins, or one round 20cm cake)
  2. Finely grate the zucchinis.  Put into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add lightly beaten eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla.  Whisk well until egg lightly froths.
  4. Add dry ingredients and fold through carefully but thoroughly.  Add melted chocolate and stir through gently again.
  5. Pour mix into prepared tins and bake for 20 mins (muffins) or 40 mins (loaf/cake), or until springs back when lightly pressed in the center of the cake.  Leave in tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Cover with icing (recipe below) and enjoy!

Method - Thermomix

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.  Lightly grease tin of choice.  (This mix will make a small loaf tin sized cake as well as 6 small muffins, or one round 20cm cake)
  2. Roughly chop each zucchini into 4 pieces and place in TM bowl.  Blitz on speed 6 for 5 seconds.  Scrape down.
  3. Add eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla and cinnamon and combine on speed 5 for 20 seconds.
  4. Scrape down and add flour, cocoa and melted chocolate.
  5. Mix on speed 2-3 for 10 seconds.
  6. Follow steps 5 and 6 above.



85g coconut cream (I scooped the thick part of an unshaken 270g tin of coconut milk off the top.  Coconut cream would probably give you a thicker 'cream' if you have it)
100g raw cashews (if you have the time a smoother icing would be achieved by soaking the cashews in water for minimum 4 hours.  Drain them and dry on a paper towel before adding to the mix)
3 heaped tablespoons solid coconut oil
3 heaped tablespoons raw cacao/cocoa powder
40g rapadura sugar, or to your taste (brown or coconut sugar would also work)
1 tsp vanilla extract, if desired


  1. Using a food processor, Thermomix, or other similar appliance capable of pulverising nuts, place all ingredients into bowl and blitz until as smooth as possible.  Depending on the appliance you use, you may need to scrape the sides of the bowl a few times to get an even consistency.  Spread over cakes.
NOTE - To make this icing nut free, substitute the nuts for a whole avocado or 150g soaked sunflower seeds.


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