Zucchini Coffee Cake

  • Don’t know what to do with the leftover zucchini from your summer harvest? I got you! This zucchini coffee cake recipe is 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 pastry for breakfast, brunch, or dessert. This moist coffee cake is super simple to make, the hardest part is shredding the zucchini!

    Zucchini is such a diverse veggie, it can be used in a variety of savory and sweet dishes. Zucchini is super fun to experiment with! A few more of my go to zucchini recipes are zucchini pizza bites and zucchini carrot bread.

    A large serving of zucchini coffee cake with lots of streusel topping!

    *Originally published April 2014. Photos, text, and recipe updated.*

    WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS ZUCCHINI COFFEE CAKE:

    • This coffee cake is perfect for any meal of the day!
    • It’s SIMPLE! Baking isn’t for everyone but this recipe is fool proof. Mix, bake, drizzle and DEVOUR!
    • Zucchini makes for a gorgeously moist texture! Zucchini is wonderful to add to baked goods because it adds flavorless moisture. It’s truely magical!
    • What better way to achieve your daily vegetable intake goals than with a sweet treat? Eating veggies couldn’t get more exciting than this!
    • You may be wondering what does this taste like then?? It is a tender, spiced, slightly sweet, moist cake with a delicious topping made with oats for a little added chew. Sort of like cake made for breakfast!
    Ingredients to make zucchini coffee cake.

    INGREDIENTS:

    Shredded zucchini – The main attraction. Bountiful zucchini is a beautifully diverse vegetable that takes this 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 – Coffee cake 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 fashion oats, flour, cinnamon, salt and butter to create the perfect crumb topping for this zucchini coffee cake.

    Icing – Icing makes everything a little better, am I right? All you need is confectioners sugar, cream, and vanilla. 

    Two pictures showing how to make the yummy topping.

    HOW TO MAKE ZUCCHINI COFFEE CAKE:

    First and foremost, you’ll want to preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease your baking pan! Next, I like to make the icing but you could also make it while the cake is baking. The icing is simple, all you have to do is combine the confectioner’s sugar, cream, and vanilla.

    Making the crumb topping is also easy! All you have to do is mix together the brown sugar, oats, flour, cinnamon, and salt, then slowly mix in the melted butter until you have large “crumbs”. 

    For the cake batter just whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Then make a well in the center and add the brown sugar, butter, eggs, sour cream, vanilla, and zucchini. Mix until just combined. 

    Spread 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!

    Six pictures showing the steps to make the 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 coffee cake is just as delightful without it.
    Two pictures: one showing the overhead view of the cake and the second picture a close up of the topping drizzled with icing.

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

    • Can I use carrots instead of zucchini?

      I’ve never actually tried this recipe using carrot instead of zucchini but I could image it would behave similarly. The only drawback is that zucchini yields more liquid than carrots so it could result is 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!
    • Can I substitute the sour cream?

      Although I highly recommend giving sour cream a try in this 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.
    Two pictures: One showing an overhead view of a piece of cake with a bite taken out and the second a straight on view showing the tender crumb.

    Other recipes you might like:

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    Zucchini Coffee Cake
    Prep Time
    15 mins
    Cook Time
    50 mins
    Total Time
    1 hr 5 mins
     

    Don't know what to do with the leftover zucchini from your summer harvest? I got you! This zucchini coffee cake recipe is the perfect sweet breakfast treat that the whole family is guaranteed to love!

    Course: Bread, Breakfast
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: zucchini cake, zucchini coffee cake
    Servings: 18
    Calories: 633 kcal
    Author: Malinda Linnebur
    Ingredients
    TOPPING:
    • 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
    CAKE:
    • 4 cups (515g) all purpose flour
    • 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
    ICING:
    • 1 cup (95g) confectioners sugar
    • 2-3 tablespoons milk, half and half, OR heavy cream
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking pan, set aside.

    TOPPING:
    1. 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.

    CAKE:
    1. 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.

    2. 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.)

    3. 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.

    Recipe Notes
    1. STORAGE: Store cooled cake covered at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. 
    2. FREEZER FRIENDLY: Tightly wrap completely cooled cake and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight on the counter before drizzling with the icing. 
    3. Measure the flour correctly making sure not to pack the flour in the measuring cup. Spoon or weigh the flour for an accurate measurement. 
    4. Can warm a piece of cake in the microwave for 15 seconds to give it that fresh out of the oven taste. 
    5. Try adding 1 cup of chopped pecans to the topping for some crunch. 
    Nutrition Facts
    Zucchini Coffee Cake
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 633 Calories from Fat 189
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 21g32%
    Saturated Fat 12g75%
    Trans Fat 1g
    Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
    Monounsaturated Fat 6g
    Cholesterol 86mg29%
    Sodium 337mg15%
    Potassium 332mg9%
    Carbohydrates 100g33%
    Fiber 4g17%
    Sugar 40g44%
    Protein 11g22%
    Vitamin A 709IU14%
    Vitamin C 7mg8%
    Calcium 91mg9%
    Iron 4mg22%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the information shown is just an estimate.
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