Don’t know what to do with the leftover zucchini from your summer harvest? I’ve got you covered! This recipe for zucchini cake is like coffee cake, only made with your favorite squash. It’s the perfect sweet breakfast treat that the whole family is guaranteed to love!
Love zucchini bread and coffee cake? Well, this zucchini coffee cake gives you the best of both worlds. Enjoy this delicious zucchini cake for breakfast, brunch, or dessert. It’s super simple to make — the hardest part is shredding the zucchini!
Zucchini is such a diverse veggie and can be used in a variety of savory and sweet dishes. It’s one of my favorite things to experiment with! Some of my other go-to recipes are these Zucchini Pizza Bites and Zucchini Carrot Bread, or if I’m craving a zucchini dessert, Zucchini Brownies, and Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are super delish!
As it turns out, zucchini is wonderful to add to baked goods because it adds flavorless moisture. It’s truly magical! And, what better way to achieve your daily vegetable intake goals than with a sweet treat? Eating veggies couldn’t get more exciting than this!
Another thing I love about this zucchini cake recipe is its simplicity. It also boasts a delicious topping made with oats for a little added chew. Sort of like cake made for breakfast! I know that baking isn’t for everyone, but this recipe is foolproof. Mix, bake, drizzle and DEVOUR!
Why You’ll Love This Zucchini Cake Recipe
- Perfect for any meal of the day!
- So easy to make
- Moist and flavorful
- Tender, spiced, and slightly sweet
Key Ingredients to Make My Zucchini Cake Recipe
- SHREDDED ZUCCHINI – The main attraction. Bountiful zucchini is a beautifully diverse vegetable that takes this zucchini coffee cake to the next level!
- SOUR CREAM – Don’t make that face! Sour cream is one of the fattiest dairy products out there. Pair it with zucchini and you will have an undeniably rich and moist cake. Try it once, and I promise you will never make another cake without sour cream again.
- OTHER CAKE INGREDIENTS – The essentials: flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, brown sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla.
- TOPPING – I don’t know about you, but my favorite part about coffee cake is the crumbly topping. All you need is brown sugar, old fashioned oats, flour, cinnamon, salt, and butter to create the perfect crumb topping for this old fashioned zucchini cake.
- ICING – Icing makes everything a little better, am I right? All you need is confectioners sugar, cream, and vanilla.
Instructions to Make Zucchini Coffee Cake
RECIPE PREP: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and grease your baking pan.
MAKE THE ICING: I like to make the icing while the oven heats, but you could also make it while the cake is baking. In any case, it’s really simple. All you have to do is combine the confectioner’s sugar, cream, and vanilla.
CREATE THE CRUMB TOPPING: The topping is also easy! Combine the brown sugar, oats, flour, cinnamon, and salt, then slowly mix in the melted butter until you have large “crumbs.”
COMBINE CAKE INGREDIENTS: For the cake batter, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together in a bowl. Make a well in the center and add the brown sugar, butter, eggs, sour cream, vanilla, and zucchini. Mix until just combined.
BAKE: Spread the cake batter evenly into your prepared baking pan. Sprinkle a layer of the crumb topping on top and bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean!
Let your zucchini coffee cake cool for at least 10 minutes before drizzling that delicious icing all over the top!
Old Fashioned Zucchini Cake Tips and Variations
- Shred your zucchini using a food processor. Given the fact that shredding the zucchini is the most “difficult” task in this recipe, using a food processor officially makes this recipe a cake-walk 😉
- For all of my coffee lovers out there, add a tablespoon of instant espresso powder to the crunchy crumb topping to add some real coffee flavor!
- Don’t have a big ol sweet tooth like me? You can still enjoy this recipe, just leave out the frosting. This zucchini cake is just as delightful without it.
Nope, it doesn’t have to be! As mentioned, the shredding step is the most time-consuming part of making this zucchini cake recipe — don’t make it harder by peeling them first! In fact, the skin contains tons of healthy nutrients, so it’s actually better for you if you leave it on.
I’ve never actually tried this zucchini cake recipe using carrots instead, but I could imagine it would behave similarly. The only drawback is that zucchini yields more liquid than carrots, so it could result in a dryer texture. If you’re looking for a sweet and delicious carrot dessert, try this carrot cake recipe. OR if you want the best of both zucchini and carrot worlds, try this zucchini carrot bread!
No! Again, all of that extra moisture is going to give you the best results. If you drain it, you may end up with a dry zucchini cake… which I know you don’t want!
Although I highly recommend giving sour cream a try in this zucchini dessert recipe, you can replace it with Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, crème fraiche, or buttermilk. If you want a dairy-free alternative, you could use full-fat coconut milk — just be sure to use a tablespoon of lemon juice for every cup of coconut milk to mimic the “sour” cream flavor.
More Zucchini Dessert Recipes To Try
Thanks so much for reading! Let me know what you think about this zucchini coffee cake!
Zucchini Cake (Coffee Cake Recipe)
- 1 cup (190g) packed brown sugar
- 1 cup (355g) old fashioned oats
- 1 cup (130g) all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (113g) butter, melted
- 4 cups (515g) all purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (190g) packed brown sugar
- 1 cup (226g) butter, melted
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup (245g) sour cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 3 cups (425g) grated zucchini
- 1 cup (95g) confectioners sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons milk, half and half, OR heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking pan, set aside.
- In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, oats, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Mix in the melted butter until you have large clumps and all the flour is wet. Set aside.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the brown sugar, butter, eggs, sour cream, vanilla, and zucchini. Mix together just until combined.
- Spread into prepared pan in an even layer. Sprinkle the top with the reserved topping mixture. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out MOSTLY clean and with no raw batter. (A few moist crumbs on the toothpick is ideal.)
- Cool at least 10 minutes before drizzling with the icing. To make the icing combine ingredients in a small bowl and stir until well combined.
- STORAGE: Store cooled cake covered at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
- FREEZER FRIENDLY: Tightly wrap completely cooled cake and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight on the counter before drizzling with the icing.
- Measure the flour correctly making sure not to pack the flour in the measuring cup. Spoon or weigh the flour for an accurate measurement.
- Can warm a piece of cake in the microwave for 15 seconds to give it that fresh out of the oven taste.
- Try adding 1 cup of chopped pecans to the topping for some crunch.
*Originally published April 2014. Photos, text, and recipe updated.*