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Zucchini Cake

A super flavorful and perfectly moist Zucchini Cake complete with a dreamy cream cheese frosting. And no one will be the wiser that this cake is actually made without any flour, refined sugars, or dairy -- yes, really!
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine American, Healthy, Vegetarian
Keyword Zucchini Cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 32 minutes
Total Time 47 minutes
Servings 16 bars
Calories 177kcal
Author Chelsea Lords
Cost $6.83


  • High powered blender (Note 1)


Zucchini Cake

  • 1 cup cashews (Note 2)
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats (Note 3)
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup (Note 4)
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch (Note 5)
  • 1 teaspoon zest of a lemon, optional but recommended
  • 1 cup finely grated zucchini, excess moisture squeezed out

Optional Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon each: salt, ground cinnamon
  • 1-3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened vanilla almond milk or milk of choice
  • Optional: toasted and coarsely chopped pecans


  • PREP: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C). Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and lightly grease with cooking spray. Set aside for now. Grate zucchini on small side of a grater to get fine shreds. Loosely measure to get 1 full cup and then empty the cup of zucchini onto 2 pieces of paper towel. Press down another paper towel on the zucchini to wring out some liquid. Repeat with another paper towel. Let zucchini stand and drain on the paper towel until ready to use.
  • CAKE: Add the cashews, oats, maple syrup, and coconut oil (measure when melted) to a large powerful blender (Blend-tec/Vitamix) and blend until fairly smooth, 60 seconds. Add in the rest of the cake ingredients EXCEPT the zucchini. Blend until smooth and creamy, about 60-90 seconds. Stop and scrape down sides of the blender as needed. Gently stir the prepared zucchini into the batter in the blender and then pour the batter into the prepared pan, using a spatula to scrape every bit into the pan.
  • BAKE: Smooth the top with the spatula and bake for 28-34 minutes or until cake is lightly browned at edges and set in the middle (toothpick when inserted in the center should come out clean). (32 mins is perfect in my oven!)
  • OPTIONAL FROSTING: Meanwhile, place softened cream cheese in a large bowl (give it ample time to set out so your frosting isn't chunky). Using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese with the vanilla, cinnamon, and salt until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar (beating in between additions) until smooth and creamy and to your desired consistency. Add milk and beat until smooth.
  • DECORATE: Frost the completely cooled cake evenly with the frosting. If desired, top the frosting with chopped pecans.



Note 1: Blender: You'll need a good, powerful blender (such as Blendtec or Vitamix) to break down the cashews without over-heating the machine.
Note 2: Cashews: We love dry-roasted and lightly salted cashews best — more flavor without any extra effort on your part. (Here's what we use in this cake)
Note 3: Oats: Although it would make sense that any oats would work since they’re getting blended anyways, it’s important to use old-fashioned to ensure you get the right measurement. Both quick and steel-cut oats are smaller, denser, and more compact so measurements would be off and the cake would end up too dry.
Note 4: Pure maple syrup:  a natural sweetener (unlike corn syrup or pancake syrup) made from the sap of a maple tree, which is boiled down to a thicker consistency. I don't recommend any substitutes.
Note 5: Corn starch: This is an important ingredient since we aren't using flour and need some additional support and thickness.
Note 6: Nutrition information does not include the optional cream cheese frosting. With the frosting, one serving of this cake is 236 calories.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 177kcal | Carbohydrates: 16.2g | Protein: 3.1g | Fat: 11.2g | Cholesterol: 23.3mg | Sodium: 11.9mg | Fiber: 0.8g | Sugar: 9.6g