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Spiced Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This Zucchini Cake is an easy sheet cake recipe packed with fresh zucchini and flavored with late summer, early fall spices. Moist and tender, and topped with cream cheese frosting, it’s a cake with deep roots, and delicious flavor.

Square of Zucchini Cake and frosted with Cream Cheese Frosting

And a yearly ritual at my house.

When you sink a fork into this moist but light cake, and its rich creamy frosting, it will become a ritual at your house too.

The Story Behind the Cake

Every late summer, I spent time in my grandmother’s kitchen as a young child. Zucchini and other later summer vegetables were plentiful, as was my grandmother’s patience.

To this day, I can’t believe she let me experiment in the kitchen as she did. Terrible concoctions that no one would ever eat. Except for her, she would always taste… and praise the outcome.

Sweet, sweet grandmothers.

For some reason, it was always a zucchini cake I would attempt, without a recipe, just curiosity.

And to be honest, I learned a lot from those “mistakes.” I learned baking techniques, spices that belonged together, and the patience to try them.

Eventually, she steered me toward recipes people would eat… and love. She was an amazing cook, with a dinner table that fed family, neighbors, and friends nightly.

And cooking became a passion for me, with the gentle nudging of my mother and grandmother.

Much like zucchini bread, this Zucchini Spice Cake recipe is one I make every zucchini season. I hope you love it as much as we do!

Zucchini Cake Ingredients on a wood board

Spiced Zucchini Cake Ingredients

Specific ingredient measurements are in the recipe card below:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking soda + baking powder
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Allspice
  • Large eggs
  • Granulated sugar
  • Cooking oil
  • Vanilla extract
  • Fresh zucchini
  • Walnuts (I use these as a reminder of my sweet grandmother, but substitute your favorite nut)

How to Make Spiced Zucchini Cake

This is an incredibly easy sheet cake to make. It can be frosted with a cream cheese frosting, as we’ve done here, or left without. Although, it’s rather incredible with a thick layer of this creamy icing.

Step 1: Prepare

Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter a 9×13 baking pan. Then, shred the zucchini and lay it on top of several paper towel layers. Gather into a bundle and squeeze out any excess moisture. Set aside.

Step 2: Make the Batter

In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, and salt; set aside.

With a mixer, beat eggs until frothy, then beat in sugar, cooking oil, and vanilla. Fold the flour mixture into the eggs, followed by shredded zucchini and chopped nuts.

Transfer the batter into the prepared 9×13 baking pan.

Unbaked Zucchini Cake

Step 3: Bake the Cake

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before frosting the cake.

Baked, unfrosted Zucchini Cake

How Long Can I Store Spiced Zucchini Cake?

Although zucchini bread can be stored at room temperature for a couple of days, I refrigerate the Spiced Zucchini Cake for up to a week.

Frosted Zucchini Cake on a wood cutting board

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Serving of Zucchini Cake with bite missing
Square of Zucchini Cake and frosted with Cream Cheese Frosting

Spiced Zucchini Cake

Yield: 15 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

This Zucchini Cake is an easy sheet cake recipe packed with fresh zucchini and flavored with late summer, early fall spices. Moist and tender, and topped with cream cheese frosting, it's a cake with deep roots and delicious flavor.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini (about 3 medium), squeezed
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and butter a 9x13 baking pan.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, and salt; set aside.
  3. With a mixer, beat the eggs until frothy; about 2 to 3 minutes. Then beat in the sugar, cooking oil, and vanilla. Fold in the flour mixture followed by the zucchini and chopped nuts.
  4. Transfer the batter into the prepared 9x13 baking pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
  5. Frost the cake before serving if desired.

Notes

Zucchini

You will need 2 cups of shredded zucchini, which will equal about 3 medium-sized zucchini. A medium zucchini measures about 6 to 7 inches in length.

To prepare, shred the zucchini and lay it on top of several layers of paper towels. Gather into a bundle and squeeze out any excess moisture.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 to 4 cups powdered sugar

Beat together the cream cheese and butter. Then add the powdered sugar and beaut until smooth.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 345Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 333mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 2gSugar: 21gProtein: 5g

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2 Comments

    1. That’s a great question! I like to use two 6.5 to 7-inch zucchinis (which are considered “medium” sized). As far as weight is concerned, I’ve been using a 9-ounce weight for 2 cups of shredded zucchini.

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