Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake – Low Carb and Gluten-Free

What better way to use up all of that zucchini than in a delicious low carb, gluten-free chocolate bundt cake?  This post is sponsored by Safest Choice Eggs.

Low Carb Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake

My town just north of Boston isn’t the most exciting place to live. It’s what you might call a little sleepy. There isn’t much happening here and for a city kid who grew up around the hustle and bustle of downtown Toronto, it’s often too quiet. It’s a good location with a good school system for my kids, but I find it a bit too suburban for my tastes. There is one thing, however, that I absolutely adore about it, and that’s our really great farmer’s market. It’s a surprisingly good one, with a wide variety of vendors. It was brand new the first year we lived in the area, and it’s grown to be one of the more popular markets in all the surrounding towns. And now it extends well beyond the summer and into October.

Low Carb Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake - Gluten-Free

Because it’s New England, our growing season is short and our produce selection is more limited than other regions.  We simply don’t have the climate for some of the more exotic fruits and vegetables.  But it’s always so fun to see what the vendors have on offer and what changes through the season.  Zucchini seems to grow really well in this climate.  It’s been available since mid-July and it’s still going strong, so I pick up a few every time I go.  I’ve had zero luck growing it myself, and it’s such an inexpensive, versatile ingredient. We eat a lot of it every summer, but my kids generally don’t like it unless it’s baked into something.  There is just something about baked goods with zucchini that appeal to everyone.

Low Carb Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake - Gluten-Free

My kids hovered over me as I made this low carb Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake to test out my new bundt pan.  And I was more than happy to let them lick the beaters and the bowl clean, because I used the pasteurized shell eggs from Safest Choice. I am an incurable batter-licker myself – I don’t feel like I have a sense of how my baked goods will turn out unless I taste the batter.  And good thing too, because I have forgotten the sweetener on occasion and I catch it just in time by taste-testing!

When I’ve developed recipes for Safest Choice before, I’ve tended to make things that take raw eggs, like chocolate mousse and salad dressing, to showcase the safety factor. But it’s worth noting that they bake and cook just as well as unpasteurized eggs.  And if you’re an incurable batter taster like me, choosing Safest Choice eggs means you aren’t taking your life in your hands when you’re craving some Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake!

Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake 3

Disclosure:  This post is sponsored by Safest Choice Eggs, as they are helping me pay my way to International Food Bloggers Conference.  All thoughts, opinions, recipes and photography are my own.

Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake - Low Carb and Gluten-Free

Yield: 20 servings

Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake - Low Carb and Gluten-Free

What better way to use up all of that zucchini than in a delicious low carb, gluten-free chocolate bundt cake? Topped with chocolate glaze for an extra special treat.

Ingredients

    Cake:
  • 2 cups finely grated zucchini (8 ounces)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups almond flour (Honeyville)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup Coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup unflavoured whey protein powder
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup Swerve Sweetener or erythritol
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp stevia
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • Glaze:
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp powdered Swerve Sweetener or erythritol
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp stevia extract

Instructions

  1. For the cake, place zucchini in a sieve and sprinkle liberally with salt. Mix to combine and let drain 1 hour. press to release most of the excess liquid and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 325F and grease a large bundt pan well.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, cocoa powder, coconut flour, whey protein, baking powder, cinnamon and xanthan gum.
  4. In a large bowl, beat butter and Swerve until well combined. Beat in eggs, zucchini, vanilla and stevia.
  5. Beat in almond flour mixture in two batches, alternating with almond milk, until well combined.
  6. Spread batter in prepared pan and smooth the top.
  7. Bake 45 minutes or until set and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Let cool in pan 15 minutes, and then flip out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. For the glaze, melt butter, chocolate and erythritol together in heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water (do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water). Stir in cocoa powder, vanilla and stevia until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool 5 to 10 minutes, until thicker but still pourable.
  10. Pour over cooled cake.

Notes

Serves 20. Each serving has 9 g of carbs and 5 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 4 g.

209 Calories; 18g Fat (71.4% calories from fat); 7g Protein; 9g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 66mg Cholesterol; 259mg Sodium

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Comments

  1. LOVE this cake!! The photos are gorgeous!

  2. Hi Carolyn! I’m assuming you could leave out the cinnamon? Does this cake taste similar to your chocolate zucchini sheet cake that is in the low carb friends cookbook? I love that cake but would like the idea of making a bundt version.

    • I think the taste is always a bit similar, when doing chocolate zucchini cake, but the process and the ingredients are somewhat different. I think this one has a better overall texture in the end.

  3. Could I use the Jay Robb protien powder instead of the unflavored since it’s chocolate cake anyway?

  4. WOW, this is awesome!! Nicely done my friend!

  5. As previously, two cake pans would work instead of a bundt pan, right?

  6. I want to get a bundt pan though…what size do you recommend for your recipes?

  7. Carolyn, I still love your double chocolate zucchini bread! This one looks like a keeper, too.

  8. 9 minus 4 equals 4 ?

    The correct equation would be (chocolate + zucchini) minus (sugar + flour) equal 1 slice of heaven. I’m looking forward to trying it!

  9. Would coconut flour be a possibility?

    • Not with the recipe as it is. You’d have to put in a lot more eggs and leavening agent and such. I’d suggest finding a recipe specifically for all coconut flour and adapting it for zucchini.

  10. Looks so moist and it’s got a very deep chocolate color not often seen as much when throwing zucchini in the mix. Good job!

  11. HI! this may be a really stupid question. But, the unsweetened cocoa… does it come in different cacao percentages. The store I got mine from only had Hershey’s 100 % and Hershey’s Special Dark…. I made some lo carb mousse the other day and used only the recommended amount in the recipe, and swerve, but, it was REALLY bitter. Is that what you use in this recipe- the 100% cacao unsweetened cocoa powder?

    • Hi Angela…not a stupid question when things are labeled differently like that. But unsweetened cocoa should always be 100% cacao! I really like super dark chocolate and I typically use Hershey’s Special Dark (if you look right under the name, it also says 100% cacao). But I’ve never heard of mousse made with only cocoa powder, I prefer it made with melted unsweetened chocolate. Sounds to me like perhaps super dark recipes aren’t your thing and you should go at them with a lighter hand on the cocoa powder?

      • Thanks! No I actually really like dark chocolate, thinking maybe the recipes that I followed perhaps just need measurement adjustments with the sweetener? I just wanted to make sure on the cocoa as I have never baked with it before that, only with unsweetened Baker’s chocolate. :)

  12. Delicious-looking cake, Carolyn! :)

  13. Do you rinse the salt from the squash? I don’t see that step but am concerned the cake might be too salty without…

    • No, but that’s why there is no additional salt in the cake recipe later. Feel free to do a little less, like 1/2 teaspoon.

  14. Would it work to substitute whole milk or cream in place of the almond milk, or would that change the flavor too much? This looks delicious and I’m anxious to try it. I used to make a chocolate zucchini cake (full of sugar and white flour of course) that also called for chocolate chips. Have you ever added chocolate chips to this cake?

    • cream or whole milk would be fine. It’s really about the liquid to dry ratio. And I’ve added chocolate chips to cakes LIKE this one so I know it would be fine. I typically don’t use commercial chocolate chips, but either make my own or chop some high % cacao chocolate.

  15. OMG this looks chocolicious, Carolyn. I’ve been wanting a real, dar, chocolate cake, and all the LC chocolate cakes I’ve made to date weren’t dark enough to suit me. I’m gonna pull back the almond milk and add 1 T. each bourbon and stale, black coffee. I love to add those to chocolate cakes. They bring so much to the flavor table in chocolate desserts. :)

    • My best suggestion is to use Hershey Special Dark cocoa, it really helps the dark flavour and colour. I love a little coffee in my chocolate cakes too!

  16. YUM! Is the zucchini peeled before grating? Thanks.

  17. I love a good zucchini cake and this one, with that gorgeous glaze, has me drooling!

  18. Quick questions, the cake shows no signs of the green from the zucchini. Do you grate it super fine? Do you use a box grater or a food processor? Thanks for all your yummy recipes!

    • I did mine in my food processor, with the fine setting on the grater disk. More laborious with a box grater, and you would have green flecks, although that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

  19. jenni peters says:

    What do the protein powder and xanthan gum do? Is there anything that could replace those? Looks super yummy! I want to make it soon but don’t have those ingredients.

    • You need some sort of dry protein to help it rise properly in the absence of gluten. Even egg white powder will do. You can skip the xanthan but it could be a bit crumbly.

  20. Another stupid question before I make this this weekend- you state stevia in the cake, but stevia extract in the glaze. Are BOTH in fact stevia extract, or is the one IN the cake the powdered form? Also ( I guess thats 2 questions) is the Stevia granular or confectioners ( I’m assuming the granular, but just want to double check) :)

    • Not stupid at all. Stevia extract (liquid) in both but you can sub in powdered if you like. Do you mean Swerve in the second question? It was granular in the cake and it will work better with powdered in the glaze but use granulated if you don’t have it.

  21. I. am. so. excited. My daughter has type 1 (she’s 8), and I am always on the search for alternatives for her for special occassions, etc. I’ve ordered Swerve and can’t wait to try it – and I think with this cake!

  22. Love the idea of tucking in some zucchini in a chocolate cake – I remember making bundt cakes as a kid, it’s been too long.

  23. what kind of liquid stevia do you use and would stevia glycerite work? if so, would the amount be the same?

    • What is the equivalent of stevia glycerite to sugar? My NuNaturals stevia extract is about 1/4 tsp to equal 1/4 cup sugar.

  24. Gorgeous cake! Definitely making it!!

  25. Could you just use egg whites instead of whey protein powder?

    • Egg whites are quite liquidy…you can use them, but you may need to offset with a little more coconu flour. Perhaps a few tablespoons?

  26. I’m not sure what I did wrong, but this cake turned out dry with a bitter aftertaste and the glaze was a spectacular failure. The glaze was fine, if a bit too unsweetened, until I added the cocoa powder, and then it turned into a chunky mess that no amount of stirring or adding of fats could remedy. Unlike other zucchini cakes I’ve made, the batter was very thick, and there was virtually no rise. And the fine grating of the zucchini seemed to make it disappear a little too much. I could probably blame stevia for the bitter taste, but it was only 1/4 tsp. I baked at the correct temp and for the alloted time…any idea where I went wrong?

    • Hi Brenda,

      Sorry to hear it. What sweetener did you use besides stevia? If anything, this cake should be overly moist. Unfortunately, when it comes to gluten-free and low carb recipes, the brand you choose for almond flour, coconut flour and sweetener can make a difference. Did you use almond meal or almond flour? I know there has to be a difference here, because I’ve made this cake twice without issue.

      As for the glaze, it sounds like your chocolate seized. Working with unsweetened chocolate is tricky…it doesn’t like too much heat and it seizes with extra moisture. Oddly enough, though, the best remedy for seized chocolate is continuing to add a bit more moisture and a bit more oil, 1 tbsp at a time, until it unseizes. Sounds counter-intuitive, but it works.

      • Yep, I’ve had chocolate seize before, so I knew to add fat…I added heavy cream, and even butter and it just would not come out of it. I used erythritol, which I ‘ve used before without problems. I can’t explain the glaze, but like Kelly, I did let the zucchini drain for quite a while…maybe it turns bitter if it sits for a long time?

    • I also baked this cake and it stucked to the pan, and it fell apart and the glazes was bitter. No one really liked it . I followed the recipe to a tee. I know I won’t be making this again. I will try the pizza next and I hope it turns out good. Some people may have had success with this but I didn’t . Sorry :(

  27. I had the same experience as Brenda. I used Honeyville almond flour, Bob Red Mill coconut flour and Swerve for sweetner (other than stevia). The batter was unbelievably thick, so thick in fact that I ended up adding more almond milk (probably 2x), and it was still VERY thick. The cake was a little dry and a little bitter. (FYI…I didn’t have this problem when I made your other chocolate zuchinni sheet cake recipe from low carb friends book). The glaze seized up on me as well as soon as I added the cocoa powder. It was also bitter. So what do you add to unseize it? More butter? What liquid do you add?

    • Hmmm, I am stumped. Unless it’s the zucchini somehow and yours and Brenda’s was more dried out than mine. Because mine was very moist. I took copious notes for this recipe and I just checked them against what I wrote and it all looks good. I might have to test it for third time to see if I can re-create the issue. As for the ganache, I know it works because it also is a recipe I’ve used time and again, with slight variations. But since both you and Brenda had the same problem, I am going to lessen the amount of cocoa powder a bit. In future, you can add more butter or any oil (grapeseed works well) and pretty much any liquid…cream or water would be fine. 1 tbsp at a time, whisking until it thins out.

      • FYI…I grated my zucchini and let it drain while we went out to dinner, so it probably drained for about 3 hours, then I squeezed out all the liquid I could afterwards.

  28. Looks delish! Can I substitute GF all-purpose flour for the almond flour?

    • No, not at all, they behave completely differently. Almond flour has tons more fat in it. I’d actually suggest taking a similar, flour-based chocolate zucchini bread recipe and adapting that instead. Sorry, it’s just not a great substitution for this one!

  29. Ok- so, I didnt get a chance to make this over the weekend and am still planning the baking of it. The area I live in is VERY limited as to healthy baking ingredietns so it took the weekend just to hunt it all down. One thing more I need to ask & I HOPE I am all set… I didn’t want to spend the $20- $30 each, average on a bottle of whey protein before trying this out and seeing if it was worth keeping on hand for possible future baking, so, I found a GNC that had 1-3 servings size of it- but only in chocolate, vanilla or strawberry. I bought a couple of the vanilla flavored and was wondering if that should be ok, and maybe omit the vanilla extract in ingredients? Or would you still put that in?

    • That sounds good, Angela. Also, some people said they had difficulty with the cake and the glaze. Do 3 cups of zucchini instead of 2 and don’t let it drain longer than an hour. I suspect that might help. For the glaze, hold back on the cocoa powder until you see how much it thickens. Do 2 tbsp, then decide whether it’s thick enough. If not, add another tbsp.

  30. OMG! I just have too many questions, I’m sorry. What do you grease your bundt pan with – I have 3 options. PAM original, Coconut oil, or butter- what would you suggest of the three?

  31. I had the same experience as Kelly and Brenda….the cake was so dry that it crumbled when served. I used honeyville almond flour, swerve, bob red mill coconut flour, etc. but I’m thinking that I pressed too much moisture out of the zucchini. The cake looked beautiful coming out of the oven, and when I snitched a pinch as it was cooling it was moist and delicious. But by the time it had cooled, it was the driest cake I’ve ever made! Bummer!!

    • Well, I think I’d better amend the recipe to make note not to squeeze too much moisture out then. I have made this cake twice and had no problems whatsoever. Thanks for your feedback!

  32. Hi Carolyn, I was wondering how you felt about not salting and draining the zucchini whatsoever. I have added shredded zucchini and carrots to regular muffin recipes for my children before as a way of packing extra veggies into them. These were AP flour recipes however. I was wondering how this might affect the overall result in this particular recipe. Maybe help with some of the issues others reported? Thanks!

    • It might, but I’ve already adjusted the recipe to add more zucchini and to drain it less, to correct those issues. So I think you could do this, but I wouldn’t put in more than 2 cups of veggies and I would hold back on the added liquid until I saw the consistency of the batter. It should be thicker than regular flour batter (because almond flour batters already are). You should be able to spoon it into the pan but it wouldn’t be pourable…does that make sense?

  33. Hey Carolyn, Just wanted to check in and say my cake turned out great! I didn’t salt and drain the zucchini. I added salt in with the dry ingredients and folded the zucchini in as the last step. Everyone loved it! Great recipe. Will make again. Thanks.

  34. Also, my oven temp is way off. I always have to adjust the temps and baking times for recipes. Maybe those that came out dry need to buy an oven thermometer! Thanks Again!

  35. It looks so good but after the difficulties reported in all the comments I am afraid to waste the ingredients. Why would you even have to drain the zucchini. I would just peel the zucchini and grate it and add to recipe. Also, did you use almond meal instead of the flour. I noticed you didn’t use Bob’s almond flour. What is the difference? I think I will go and look at the zucchini chocolate bread instead and maybe I could put this glaze on it! I have so many ingredients that I want to buy to make your recipes, it takes time though. Thanks for all your work!

    • This was well worth the effort! The zucchini is drained because of all the liquid it produces,. If you follow the instructions closely, youll have an awesome , rich cake u wont even want to share! Lol. Or maybe thats just me. :)

      • sounds good Angela, thanks for the info. Now to find out about the almond flour vs. almond meal? Can you interchange them or will that compromise the recipe?

        • me again! I just searched online for the difference between almond flour and meal and your post came up about all the questions about almond flour/ meal. Glad I found it! I came to find out that I have been using Bob’s and it says on the bag almond meal/flour. I am new to this so I didn’t even notice when I bought it at the grocery store. Your post said Honeyville was the best for real almond flour which means buying it online. Thanks Carolyn for all your work, bringing us good recipes, I never thought I’d be able to eat baked goods again now that I have to be gluten and sugar free.

          • Hi Holli…Bob’s is pretty good so don’t write it off completely. But I find it better for muffins and scones than for finer-textured cakes. That’s just my experience.

        • As I mentioned above, it will depend on the recipe…

  36. Susanne says:

    I was so looking forward to trying this recipe. I hate to say this but it was a rather large disappointment and a waste of some expensive ingredients. I used Lucy’s Kitchen almond flour (which I have used in many bread, cake and cracker recipes before without a problem) coconut flour from Natural Grocers, and erythritol (NOW real foods brand) and Wholesome powdered stevia. The cake has scarcely any flavor, certainly not a sweet one. I even tasted the batter and doubled the amount of stevia. The texture is fine but my cake does not have the dark color in the photo (I used Scharffenberger cocoa.) I also more than doubled the amount of stevia (I used liquid stevia for this) here and added a dash of salt to balance it. I am sad as I was really hoping for something awesome. Other than the aforementioned alterations, I followed the recipe exactly and only made those changes I mentioned. Wondering where I went wrong.

    • Carolyn says:

      It’s really hard to say what exactly went wrong but NOW erythritol is a lot less sweet than Swerve, in my experience and I can see how you’d need to add more stevia to make up for it. I’ve never used Lucy’s kitchen almond flour either, I honestly can’t say how that would behave. But I’ve had people say they found this recipe TOO sweet, so remember that sweetness is a matter of taste and every palate is different. So I suspect that just the variation in sweeteners and almond flour played the biggest role here.
      If you want a dark colour from your baked goods, Hershey’s Dark Cocoa powder is the way to go. It’s gluten-free too, I was happy to find out!

  37. Rachelle says:

    Would vanilla protein powder work? That is what I have on hand, besides bushels of garden fresh zucchini. Thanks, very excited to try this recipe.

  38. Is there a substitute you would suggest for the whey protein that is dairy free and egg free?

  39. Can I make this in a 9 by 12 pan?

    • Carolyn says:

      I am sure you can. The baking time will change but i don’t know by how much. Start with 25 minutes and check every few minutes after that.

  40. Tia Stevens says:

    I had 2 cups of zucchini before I added the salt. after squeezing the water out, I have about 1 1/2 cups. Do I need to add more, or just have the 2 cups in the beginning? Also, I’m using xylitol/stevia (homemade) truvia. Would I still use the same amount as Swerve?

    • Carolyn says:

      Nope, no need to add more. 2 cups/8 ounces BEFORE salted and squeezing. I really don’t know about the homemade Truvia but I guess it would be about the same.

  41. Is the stevia, liquid or pure powder?

  42. I made this recipe yesterday! Wow! Loved it! I am so grateful for your recipes, and for the fact that you share them! Chocolate zucchini cake is my very favourite cake and I was sad about having to lay it down to do THM. Thank you for an incredible recipe!

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