As a savory ingredient, zucchini tends to split people in two. Some love its juiciness and grassy flavor, others aren’t so keen on its squishy texture. But when it’s baked into something sweet, pretty much anyone can get behind the summer squash. It’s got that subtle, just barely there vegetal taste that blends right in to breads, cakes, and more. For all the fans of things sweet and green, here are eleven recipes that show zucchini’s wide-ranging dessert potential.
1. Zucchini Bread
Zucchini bread is most bakers’ gateway into a zucchini dessert obsession. Not only is it easy to bake, it’s perfect for bringing to potlucks or sharing with co-workers. Get our Zucchini Bread recipe.
2. Spiced Zucchini Muffins
If you’ve graduated from zucchini bread, your next step should be zucchini muffins. They take that loveable, tender crumb and turn it into a handheld treat that’s great for breakfast. Get our Spiced Zucchini Muffins recipe.
3. Zucchini Layer Cake with Tangy Buttercream Frosting
Zucchini bread pros need to try their hand at this double layer cake. The buttercream-yogurt frosting adds a lightly tangy touch that goes on oh so smoothly. Get our Zucchini Layer Cake with Tangy Buttercream Frosting recipe.
4. Zucchini Cupcakes with Tangy Buttercream Frosting
Or go for this handheld version, which makes it easy to share the zucchini bread / frosting combo with friends. Get our Zucchini Cupcakes with Tangy Buttercream Frosting recipe.
5. Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake Waffles
The addition of zucchini means that these chocolate waffles are healthy and suited for a well-rounded breakfast, right? Get the recipe here.
6. Triple Chocolate & Zucchini Baked Donuts
These incredibly moist and tender bad boys are finished with a white chocolate drizzle.Watch out jelly and vanilla creme, there’s a new donut in town. Get the recipe here.
7. Zucchini Nut Bread Cookie Sandwiches
These nibbles have everything there is to love about zucchini bread, but condensed into a delightfully chewy cookie. Double up and fill them with cream cheese frosting for a sandwiched treat. Get the recipe here.
8. Blueberry Zucchini Cake with Lemon Buttercream
This cake is made for summer. Featuring blueberries, zucchini, and a splash of lemon, it will help you make the most of your farmers’ market or garden harvest haul. Get the recipe here.
9. Zucchini-Chip Sour Cream Ice Cream
Sour cream, zucchini, and chocolate chips are three ingredients that don’t sound like they belong together, especially in an ice cream. But balance them out right and they’re a match that is way more than a novelty. Get the recipe here.
10. Brown Butter Zucchini Cake
There’s no doubt that this cake is simply stunning. But more than that, it has impossible to resist elements like brown butter and salted caramel, for a must-make, must-have, must-keep recipe. Get the recipe here.
11. Zucchini and Dark Chocolate Chunk Pancakes
Heads up blueberry and peach: zucchini and dark chocolate pancakes are here to get in on the summer produce pancake game. Get the recipe here.
Miki Kawasaki is a New York City–based food writer and graduate of Boston University's program in Gastronomy. Few things excite her more than a well-crafted sandwich or expertly spiced curry. If you ever run into her at a dinner party, make sure to hit her up for a few pieces of oddball culinary trivia.