Dark Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

zucchini brownies

Let’s rewind to a housewarming party earlier this summer. Late that night, a girl walked in with a warm-from-the-oven zucchini cake covered in cream cheese icing. She set it down on the counter along with some forks and tipsy partygoers, myself included, eagerly dug in.

Upon first bite, I declared it the best cake I’d ever had. It didn’t even taste like zucchini—it was just the most moist, delectable spiced cake I had ever tasted. After the second bite, I pronounced that I would henceforth define my life in terms of the pre-zucchini cake era and post-zucchini cake era. It was an enlightening experience, friends.

Fast forward to last week, when I was contending with a serious chocolate craving. I tried to satisfy it with a small piece of dark chocolate, which usually does the trick. When that failed, I ate a chocolate chip cookie. That didn’t cut it, either. I nibbled on chocolate this and chocolate that, but my craving was fueled by deadline stress and only a seriously decadent, rich chocolate treat would do. Enter zucchini brownies.

shredded, grated zucchini

zucchini brownie recipe

I found a zucchini brownie recipe that called for honey instead of sugar and whole wheat pastry flour instead of all purpose. I took it as an opportunity to bake with some new ingredients in my pantry, substituting some whole spelt flour for the pastry flour and coconut oil for the vegetable oil.

I was slightly concerned that the combination of zucchini, honey, coconut, chocolate and cinnamon flavors would overwhelm the taste buds, but they melded together perfectly.

how to make zucchini brownies

Once I had mixed together the healthiest brownie batter around, I dumped in an entire bag of dark chocolate chips.

Chocolate craving: satisfied.

chocolate chip zucchini brownies

zucchini brownie batter

healthy zucchini brownies recipe

courgette brownies recipe

5.0 from 1 reviews
Dark Chocolate Zucchini Brownies
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups zucchini, grated
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • ¾ cup whole spelt flour (or an additional ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour)
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1½ cups (12 ounces) semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (I used a bag of Ghirardelli 60% Cocoa Chips)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8 inch square baking pan.
  2. Grate zucchini. Dump into a mesh colander and squeeze it with a towel to get rid of excess moisture. Fluff it back up with a fork.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the wet ingredients (oil, eggs, honey and vanilla). Stir in the zucchini.
  4. In a separate, smaller bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (whole wheat pastry and spelt flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and cinnamon).
  5. Pour the dry mixture into the wet/zucchini mixture. Stir just until combined, and then stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Pour the batter into your prepared pan.
  7. Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (mine was done baking at 30 minutes). Let cool completely.
Notes
Adapted from A Dash of Sash.
Make it dairy free: Use your favorite dairy-free chocolate chips instead of regular chocolate chips!
Preparation tips: I have tried making these brownies with agave nectar instead of honey, but they tasted bittersweet. Honey is best.
Serving suggestions: My friends raved over these brownies when they were fresh from the oven. I preferred them at room temperature or chilled, so the chocolate is not gooey but a rich, dense contrast to the super moist crumb. Either way, you'll love them!

Comments

  1. zazzie says

    Sounds amazing! Can’t wait to try:))

    Would it hurt the taste a lot if I added some other oil instead of the coconut oil you suggested? Do you have any suggestions maybe? Unfortunately I don’t know where they sell such things..
    Love your blog – in case it wasn’t obvious already;)

  2. says

    Great minds think alike. We know a good recipe when we see it! The Blackberries give it more of a fudge like texture, I must admit. The chocolate chips keep the brownie authentic :)

  3. says

    Those brownies look so good! I’ve been eating a ton of zucchini lately but keep forgetting to save some for baked goods and this one looks like a keeper. I LOVE your mint green spatula!

    • says

      Thanks! I hope you can make zucchini brownies before zucchini season ends. Couldn’t resist that green spatula when I saw it at T.J. Maxx. :)

  4. Jessica says

    Finally made these this weekend. They have been calling me. So delicious and your recipes are so easy to adapt to gluten-free.

  5. Flaminia says

    I live in Italy, and made these for a dinner party… They ate the whole pan! The Italians were shocked by who healthy they were (once I told them the ingredients). They were so tasty! thanks!!!

  6. Ashton says

    I’ve made a zucchini brownie recipe very similar to this before, but it calls for baking soda instead of baking powder. Does the baking powder make them more cake-like?

    • says

      That’s a great question, Ashton. I am really not sure. I’ll try it with baking soda instead next time, because I think I would prefer for the brownies to be a little less cake-y. I’m hoping that chopping the chocolate rather than using whole chocolate chips help make them more uniformly fudgy, too.

    • says

      Glad you enjoyed the brownies, Sara! I’ve been meaning to make another batch with finely chopped chocolate instead of chocolate chips. We’ll see!

  7. says

    My attempt to google to find a recipe with chocolate, zucchini, and a liquid sweetener led me to this recipe, and I’m so glad it did! I used your recipe as a spring board for a vegan zucchini brownie and it worked out great (and then I blogged about it :P)! Thanks for sharing!

  8. bonnie schmitt says

    Hi Kate, I can’t wait to make these tonight! Do you think adding some walnuts would mess with flavors at all? I love nutty brownies and since walnuts are mild in flavor I thought the additoon of them would add a nice crunch. What do you think?

    • says

      Hi Bonnie, I think that adding walnuts is a great idea! You might also chop up the chocolate chips some so they melt into the brownies a little more uniformly. Please let me know how they turn out.

  9. bonnie says

    Hi Kate, so the walnuts were a success and I made my hubby a believer of zucchini brownies! I tried chopping the choc chips and used 1/2 tsp baking soda and they came out moist and oh so gooey! My batter did end up being a little thick so I added a splash of milk and a little more coconut oil.

    • says

      Thanks for getting back to me, Bonnie! I’m happy to hear that the brownies turned out well. I’m definitely going to chop up the chocolate next time.

  10. Shaweta says

    Hi Kate,the brownies look awesome and the most important it is healthy. I can’t wait to try this wholewheat zucchini brownie tonight . I will let you know how it turns out.

  11. Denice says

    I’m excited to try these but I don’t have enough honey on hand for the recipe. Any suggestions for how much turbinado and/or brown sugar to use as a substitute?

  12. Ranie says

    Hi! This recipe looks AWESOME! And, this may sound goofy, but… What size pan? It looks like you’re using an 8×8 or 9×9… Thanks! <3

    • says

      Hey Ranie, I used an 8-inch pan for the brownies. A 9-inch pan would be fine as well, but it might finish baking a few minutes faster.

  13. Sarah says

    Wow these are incredible! Thank you so much for this recipe! I made them last night and used all spelt flour because it’s all I had and it turned out delicious! The dark chocolate chips are the way to go!..I’m actually eating some brownie as I type this…you want to make these!

  14. Caroline says

    These look great, about to make them. Do you think these would work in a mini muffin pans to create brownie bites?

    • Caroline says

      Ok well I tried in the mini muffin pan, they came out OK. I think I could perhaps cut out the baking powder, they were more like mini muffins vs. mini brownie bites. Also, I found them to be a bit “whole-wheaty” tasting, (used 1 3/4 cup WW pastry flour). But all in all, they were pretty good, just need some tweaking. I will for sure try again but stick to the 8×8 pan to compare! All your recipes are great!

      • Caroline says

        I baked for 10-12 mins and filled the muffin tins up to about 3/4 full – they made about 30 mini muffins.

  15. Helaine Winer says

    Just made these and they are awesome. Fed them to my daughter and her boyfriend (he’s a pretty picky eater and we didn’t tell him about the zucchini) – they loved them.

    Wondering if the coconut oil, honey, zucchini combo can be used for most recipes instead of butter, sugar, egg??? Would love to adapt favs like – tollhouse cookies, etc.

    Thanks so much!!!!!!!!!!!

    • says

      Thanks for commenting, Helaine! I’m so glad you enjoyed the brownies. I’ve been experimenting quite a bit with coconut oil and honey, though I haven’t done much more with shredded zucchini. Usually you have to reduce the other liquids to account for the additional moisture in the honey. Coconut oil is generally a good 1:1 substitute for butter in baked goods. You might also like my banana bread recipe and gluten-free chocolate chip cookies!

  16. Nicole says

    Hello – Our family loves your recipe’s (even the 3yr old)!
    To make this gluten free, do you recommend using all spelt flour?
    Thx –
    Nicole :)

    • says

      Hey Nicole! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the recipes! Spelt flour isn’t actually gluten free… although some people with gluten sensitivities find it easier to digest. I’m not sure what to suggest other than an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend.

  17. Samantha Dew says

    Hi all, has anybody substituted the two flours in this recipe for buckwheat flour at all? Would this work?

    Thank you,
    Sam

    • says

      Hey Sam, I’m sorry, I don’t know if anyone has. Buckwheat flour is gluten free so it may be tricky to get the same texture that you see in the photos.

    • says

      I’m sorry, Shani, I don’t. I don’t provide nutrition facts because they vary widely depending on actual ingredients used and serving size.

  18. Kristin says

    Oh please tell me if you think they’d be yummy withOUT the chocolate chips? I was just given a mammoth zucchini for my birthday today and I want to make them for my parents’ anniversary tomorrow…alas, no time for a shopping trip – what do you think?

  19. Kristin says

    Thanks Kate!
    Ok so I made them with canola oil, half white flour, baking soda instead of baking powder, and because I was out of chocolate chips I sprinkled a generous portion of mini m&ms on the top before baking. They turned out like chocolate cake and nothing like brownies. My kids liked them, husband and mom not so much. My aunt who doesn’t like sweet things loved them.
    I think they definitely needed the chocolate chips for the rich factor. That being said, by tomorrow there will not be a crumb left!!
    Thank you for a healthy & yummy recipe! Can’t wait to try it the way it is written. :)

    • says

      Interesting! I’m sure you’re right about the chocolate chips. The cakey texture could also have to do with the baking soda, not sure.

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