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Posted on: July 8, 2019 at 8:33 am

When people think of dessert, they think of sumptuous cakes and cookies, sinking their teeth into something decadent and sweet. The last thing they imagine is zucchini, the wannabe cucumbers that are always last be eaten on veggie trays, which is a shame because they are rich in nutrients, high in antioxidants, and can improve heart health. [1]

With these delicious recipes, you could have it both ways. You could have your veggies, and you can have your cake and eat it too—literally—without any guilt. Best of all, your kids, and the picky adults, will never know they’re eating veggies!

5 Decadent Zucchini Dessert Recipes 

Zucchini Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened, or coconut butter
  • 1 cup coconut sugar (for a zero calorie natural sweetener, try Lakanto as a 1:1 substitute) 
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature, (flax eggs for plant-based option)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (coconut or cashew yogurt as plan-based substitutes)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (store-bought or see recipe)

Note: regular all-purpose flour works as well if gluten is a non-issue

  • 1/4  cup cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
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For the frosting:

  • 2/3 cup 72% dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, cream the butter and coconut sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.
  3. Add the yogurt and vanilla. Combine the flour, cacao powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Gradually add the flour blend to the creamed mixture. Stir in zucchini.
  5. Pour into a greased 13×9 inch baking pan.
  6. Bake at 350° for 35–40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. For the frosting, combine chocolate chips and peanut butter in a small saucepan.
  8. Stir over low heat until smooth. Spread over the warm brownies.
  9. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares.

Zucchini Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs, room temperature (flax eggs for plant-based option)
  • 1 cup coconut sugar (for a zero calorie natural sweetener, try Lakanto as a 1:1 substitute)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (store-bought or see recipe)

Note: regular all-purpose flour works as well if gluten is a non-issue

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 ½ cups shredded zucchini

For the frosting:

  • 2 cups coconut cream, (scoop out the thick coconut cream found at the top of the can)
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 tablespoon stevia powder 

Note: Make sure the powder is a 1:1 sweetness to table sugar as pure stevia powder is extremely sweet. 

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  • Pinch of vanilla bean powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Beat the first five ingredients.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients; gradually add to the egg mixture and blend well.
  4. Stir in the zucchini.
  5. Fill paper-lined muffin cups until their two-thirds full.
  6. Bake 20–25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  7. Cool 10 minutes then remove cupcakes and place onto a wire rack.
  8. For the frosting: In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut cream at room temperature, vanilla bean powder, and stevia.
  9. Use a hand mixer to beat on medium speed until well-combined.
  10. Gradually add the tapioca starch until desired thickness is reached and the frosting is smooth.
  11. Pour frosting into an airtight jar or bowl and refrigerate until ready to use. [2]

Lemon Zucchini Drops

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter or coconut butter, softened
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 large egg (flax eggs for plant-based option)
  • 1 cup finely shredded zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (store-bought or see recipe)

Note: regular all-purpose flour works as well if gluten is a non-issue

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon non-aluminum baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

For the lemon glaze:

  • 2 cups coconut sugar (for a zero calorie natural sweetener, try Lakanto as a 1:1 substitute)
  • 4 tablespoon tapioca flour
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, cream the butter and coconut sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in the egg, zucchini, and lemon zest.
  3. Combine the gluten-free flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well.
  4. Stir in raisins and walnuts.
  5. Drop by tablespoonfuls 3 inches apart onto lightly greased baking sheets.
  6. Bake at 375° for 8–10 minutes or until lightly browned.
  7. Remove to wire racks to cool.
  8. For the glaze, blend the coconut sugar and tapioca flour for one minute or until they resemble powdered sugar.
  9. Add enough lemon juice to create a thin spreading consistency.
  10. Spread or drizzle the glaze over the cooled cookies.
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Blueberry Zucchini Squares

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups shredded zucchini (do not pack)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or see the homemade and dairy-free option)*
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup butter, softened, or coconut butter
  • 2 cups coconut sugar (for a zero calorie natural sweetener, try Lakanto as a 1:1 substitute)
  • 2 large eggs or flax eggs
  • 3-1/4 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose gluten-free flour, divided (store-bought or see recipe)

Note: regular all-purpose flour works as well if gluten is a non-issue

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries**

For the glaze:

  • 2 cups coconut sugar
  • 4 tablespoon tapioca flour
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 15x10x1 inch baking pan.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the zucchini, buttermilk, lemon zest and lemon juice; toss to combine.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and coconut sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  5. In another bowl, whisk 3¼ cups flour, baking soda and salt.
  6. Slowly add the flour blend add to creamed mixture, alternating with zucchini mixture, and mix well.
  7. Toss blueberries with the remaining flour, and fold them into the batter.
  8. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, spreading evenly (the pan will be full).
  9. Bake 30–35 minutes, or until the cake is light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  10. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  11. For the glaze: blend the coconut sugar and tapioca flour for one minute or until they resemble powdered sugar.
  12. Stir with the rest of the ingredients until smooth.
  13. Spread the glaze over the top of the cake.
  14. Let stand until the glaze is set, and cut into squares.

*Make your own buttermilk by mixing 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar into 1 cup of milk or dairy-free milk of your choice. Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes or until it curdles. [3]

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**For frozen blueberries, do not allow them to thaw; otherwise, they’ll discolor the batter.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Coconut Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened, or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 ½ cups coconut sugar (for a zero calorie natural sweetener, try Lakanto as a 1:1 substitute)
  • 2 large eggs or flax eggs 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (store-bought or see recipe)

Note: regular all-purpose flour works as well if gluten is a non-issue

  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or see the homemade and dairy-free option)*
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened, or coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup coconut sugar (for a zero calorie natural sweetener, try Lakanto as a 1:1 substitute)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, or your favorite dairy-free alternative

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, beat the butter, oil, and coconut sugar until smooth.
  2. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Add the vanilla. Combine the gluten-free flour, cacao powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and cloves; gradually add to batter alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
  4. Fold in the zucchini.
  5. Pour the batter into a greased 13×9 inch baking pan.
  6. Bake at 325° for 45–50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  8. For the frosting: combine the frosting ingredients in a small bowl, and spread them over the warm cake.
  9. Broil the cake 4–6 inches from the heat for 2–3 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Cool completely.

*Make your own buttermilk by mixing 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar into 1 cup of milk or dairy-free milk of your choice. Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes or until it curdles.

  1. 12 Health and Nutrition Benefits of Zucchini https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/zucchini-benefits#section5
  2. How to Make the Best Whipped Cream Frosting That’s 100% Dairy-Free https://theheartysoul.com/dairy-free-buttercream-icing/
  3. How to Make Milk-Free Buttermilk https://community.kidswithfoodallergies.org/blog/how-to-make-milk-free-buttermilk
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Sarah Biren
Founder of The Creative Palate
Sarah is a baker, cook, author, and blogger living in Toronto. She believes that food is the best method of healing and a classic way of bringing people together. In her spare time, Sarah does yoga, reads cookbooks, writes stories, and finds ways to make any type of food in her blender. Her blog The Creative Palate shares the nutrition and imagination of her recipes for others embarking on their journey to wellbeing.

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