Zucchini Brownies

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Zucchini Brownies — 🍫🥒 The BEST chocolate zucchini brownies that are EASY, made in one bowl, and no mixer required! Soft, fudgy, and almost taste like rich chocolate cake. They’re filled and topped with mini chocolate chips to add even more fabulous chocolate flavor. And NO, you cannot taste the zucchini at all – promise!

Zucchini Brownies - The BEST zucchini brownies that are EASY, made in one bowl, and no mixer required! Soft, fudgy, and almost taste like rich chocolate cake. They're filled and topped with mini chocolate chips to add even more fabulous chocolate flavor. And NO, you cannot taste the zucchini at all - promise!

If you’re wondering what to do with all that zucchini that you have on your hands from our garden or have bought in the markets, this easy zucchini brownie recipe with chocolate chips is fabulous!

The texture is more along the lines of a dense, rich, and fudgy cake. (If you want instead a classic chewy brownie recipe with a crisped top, my Chocolate Chip Brownies are perfect.)

Because these chocolate zucchini brownies are definitely soft and cakey.

Zucchini Brownies - The BEST zucchini brownies that are EASY, made in one bowl, and no mixer required! Soft, fudgy, and almost taste like rich chocolate cake. They're filled and topped with mini chocolate chips to add even more fabulous chocolate flavor. And NO, you cannot taste the zucchini at all - promise!

I added mini chocolate chips into the brownie batter and also sprinkled some on top before baking. They add an extra oomph of chocolate to the brownies.

A unique fact about these brownies is that there are no eggs and no butter. That’s right, they’re egg-free and dairy-free. They’re made with oil instead of butter and the zucchini and baking soda keep them soft and a bit fluffy, no eggs required.

Finally, I make them in one bowl, and don’t use a mixer. Can you say easy-peasy!

Zucchini Brownies - The BEST zucchini brownies that are EASY, made in one bowl, and no mixer required! Soft, fudgy, and almost taste like rich chocolate cake. They're filled and topped with mini chocolate chips to add even more fabulous chocolate flavor. And NO, you cannot taste the zucchini at all - promise!

Ingredients You’ll Need

To make these fudgy and rich easy zucchini cocoa brownies, you’ll the follow common and easy-to-find ingredients including the following:

Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.

Zucchini Brownies - The BEST zucchini brownies that are EASY, made in one bowl, and no mixer required! Soft, fudgy, and almost taste like rich chocolate cake. They're filled and topped with mini chocolate chips to add even more fabulous chocolate flavor. And NO, you cannot taste the zucchini at all - promise!

How to Make Zucchini Brownies

Zucchini cocoa brownies are such an easy dessert recipe that takes advantage of summer’s bounty of zucchini. It’s a one bowl, no mixer recipe – the best kind!

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa, oil, and vanilla.
  2. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and fold with a spatula to combine all the ingredients. The batter is very sandy and dry, which is normal.
  3. Grate the zucchini with a box grater, do NOT wring it out, and add 3 cups of it to the chocolate sandy mixture.
  4. Allow the zucchini to release its natural moisture and water into the batter for 20 minutes, tossing and stirring the mixture every 5 minutes or so with your spatula.
  5. Add 1 cup of mini chocolate chips into the now thick and fudgy batter.
  6. Turn the batter out into the baking pan and bake.
Zucchini Brownies - The BEST zucchini brownies that are EASY, made in one bowl, and no mixer required! Soft, fudgy, and almost taste like rich chocolate cake. They're filled and topped with mini chocolate chips to add even more fabulous chocolate flavor. And NO, you cannot taste the zucchini at all - promise!

Essential Tip for Brownie Batter

If there is one singular yet absolutely essential recipe tip that I can provide it’s that you need to be patient and WAIT when you’re mixing the batter up after you’ve added the grated zucchini.

You need to wait about 20 minutes AFTER you’ve added the grated zucchini into the chocolate batter and have initially stirred it in.

This is because the zucchini will release its natural moisture and water into the batter, and you need this water because the “batter” at this point is very sandy and crumbly and desperately needs the moisture from the zucchini.

Every 5 minutes or so, give it a stir, and you’ll notice that the zucchini keeps releasing a bit more water, bit by bit. And then after 20 minutes the batter will still be very thick and fudge-like, but not sandy and you can spread it out into your baking pan and bake it.

Zucchini Brownies - The BEST zucchini brownies that are EASY, made in one bowl, and no mixer required! Soft, fudgy, and almost taste like rich chocolate cake. They're filled and topped with mini chocolate chips to add even more fabulous chocolate flavor. And NO, you cannot taste the zucchini at all - promise!

How to Grate Zucchini for Brownies

When grating zucchini for the zucchini chocolate brownies, I do the following:

  1. Slice off the “eye” or little brown circle on one end of the zucchini.
  2. Use the other end like a “handle” and grab it firmly.
  3. Use the coarsest blade of a large box grater and grate away.

Do not use a food processor, blender, or any other device. Just do it by hand. It literally 3 to 5 minutes to grate 3 cups of zucchini.

Zucchini Brownies - The BEST zucchini brownies that are EASY, made in one bowl, and no mixer required! Soft, fudgy, and almost taste like rich chocolate cake. They're filled and topped with mini chocolate chips to add even more fabulous chocolate flavor. And NO, you cannot taste the zucchini at all - promise!

Recipe FAQs

Can I use Butter instead of oil?

Yes you probably could however I have always used vegetable or canola oil with great luck and in baked goods like brownies, muffins, and most cakes, I prefer the texture of the finished product when it’s made with oil.

What kind of cocoa powder should I use?

I used good old fashioned Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa Powder. It’s common, easy to find, been around forever, and it’s inexpensive as cocoa powder goes. If you have a fancier cocoa powder you love, you can use it instead of course. You don’t need to use Dutch-processed.

Can I use full size chocolate chips rather than mini chocolate chips?

I use Nestle Mini Chocolate Chips and I strongly recommend mini chips rather than full size because they distribute better within the batter and don’t sink. And they also are more delicate and visually appealing in my opinion on the top.

Should I Wring Out the Water After Grating the Zucchini?

No, you should not wring out any water. Just add the grated zucchini straight into your mixing bowl without wringing out or removing any of the natural moisture.

How many zucchini make 3 cups grated?

You’ll need about two average-sized zucchini for this recipe.

Can You Taste the Zucchini in the Brownies?

This is the 64,000 question that inquiring minds want to know, isn’t it? The answer is no, you cannot taste the zucchini. Not even a little bit. There is no hint of zucchini or vegetable-like flavor. The grated zucchini strands with their green and white flesh totally disappear during the baking process and you cannot even see green flecks in these cake-like zucchini brownies.

Can I reduce the amount of sugar in this recipe?

I use 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar. Some recipes call for 1 1/2 cups. I think you could go down as low as 1 cup and still be fine.

My brownie batter seems dry, what should I do?

It’s potential (although not likely) that after 20 minutes of waiting and folding the grated zucchini into the batter that it simply isn’t helping the batter to moisten sufficiently and you’ve still got lots of white clumps of flour and an unsightly mish-mash of ingredients that just aren’t combining. If that happens, you can add 1 to 4 tablespoons of water, one tablespoon at a time, until your batter is sufficiently moist to fold with your spatula or stir with a spoon to get it to a fudge-like state that you can spread into your baking pan.

Storage Instructions

I store the brownies airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.

Make sure the brownies are store in an airtight container or baking pan with a lid. Even in the 45 minutes I had them sitting out taking photos of them, the edges and sides that were exposed to air were crumbly and dry.

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4.63 from 8 votes

Zucchini Brownies

By Averie Sunshine
🍫🥒 The BEST zucchini brownies that are EASY, made in one bowl, and no mixer required! Soft, fudgy, and almost taste like rich chocolate cake. They're filled and topped with mini chocolate chips to add even more fabulous chocolate flavor. And NO, you cannot taste the zucchini at all – promise!
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 15
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Ingredients  

  • 1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups coarsely grated zucchini, from about 2 medium zucchini
  • 10 ounce bag mini chocolate chips, divided

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350, optionally line a 9×13-inch pan with foil for easier cleanup, spray generously with cooking spray; set aside.
  • To a large mixing bowl, add the sugar, cocoa powder, oil, vanilla, and whisk vigorously to combine.
  • Add the flour, baking soda, salt (Tip – do not omit the salt, it helps the zucchini release water which is instrumental), and mix with a rubber spatula, turning and folding, and repeating. Note – The batter is extremely dry and crumbly at this point which is normal, do not worry; set bowl aside.
  • Using a the coarsest blade of a large box grater, grate the zucchini. Slice off the "eye" end, grab the other end like a handle, and grate. Tip – Do NOT wring out the zucchini.
  • Add 3 cups to the sandy batter and use your rubber spatula to fold, flip, and turn it in. Tip – Measure the zucchini loosely piled in the measuring cup and not packed in.
  • Wait for about 20 minutes to allow the zucchini to release its natural moisture into the batter. Every 5 minutes or so, flip and turn the batter with your rubber spatula and you'll notice the batter getting more fudge-like and less sandy as time passes. Note – If for some reason your batter is still very sandy and isn't fudgy, you may need to add water. Add between 1 to 4 tablespoons, as necessary to get it to a thick and fudgy consistency. It really should not be necessary, but use your judgment and add water if you truly think you need to.
  • After about 20 minutes and the batter is thick, fudge-like and spreadable, add 1 cup of the mini chocolate chips and stir to incorporate; reserve the remainder.
  • Turn the batter out into your prepared pan. It's very thick and dense and a little tricky to spread, but do your best to finesse it with your rubber spatula.
  • Evenly sprinkle the remaining mini chocolate chips from the bag, about 2/3 to 3/4 cup, over the top of the batter.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes, or until brownies are set in the center, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs but no batter. Start checking at 25 minutes. Tips – Rotate your pan once midway through baking to ensure even cooking. Bake for as long as is necessary so that your brownies are set and done. Because all zucchini, moisture levels, baking pans, climates, ovens, etc. vary, baking times will vary as well so bake as is necessary and use my timeline as only an estimate.
  • Allow brownies to cool in the pan for about 30 to 60 minutes, or as necessary, until you can slice and serve. Extra brownies will keep airtight at room temp for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.

Notes

Baking Time – Any time you’re working with moisture-filled ingredients (like zucchini) and baking with them, there’ll be variance in moisture levels which in turn affects baking time. Baking times in recipes are guidelines. They are not absolutes. It’s up to you as the baker to watch your item and decide when it’s done. Therefore, if you notice that your brownies are jiggly and unset in the center, or a toothpick is coming out pretty wet after 30 minutes of baking, bake it longer until it’s done! 

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 280kcal, Carbohydrates: 53g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 273mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 36g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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4.63 from 8 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

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Comments

  1. And between the zucchini and the chocolate (which comes from a plant, so is totally a vegetable!), these brownies are practically a salad!

    1. 🙏🏻 Yes indeed! I love the way you think! I remind myself that every time I reach for one more :)