Add Zucchini To Boxed Chocolate Cake For Extra Moisture

Making a good chocolate cake is all about achieving the right level of moisture and tenderness, in addition to the rich chocolatey flavor, of course. When making it from a boxed mix, though, that desired texture can sometimes be missed with all the dry ingredients. But, there's an easy way to impart extra moisture — just add in a helping of shredded zucchini.


Similar to mixing mashed bananas into baked goods, shredded zucchini provides a level of water content and bulk that helps keep chocolate cake moist, without adding any vegetable flavor to the equation. The bittersweet cocoa and the sweet sugar in the chocolate cake perfectly mask any slight vegetal flavor the zucchini has, making it hard to detect in the final product. 

In addition to extra moisture, the bits of shredded veggies also brings in hearty, yet fudgey texture to your cake. To add zucchini to your next boxed cake mix, you'll simply substitute some of the water or milk called for on the package instructions, and replace it with the bounty from two to three, small-to-medium shredded zucchinis.


Best tips for adding zucchini into cake mix

Adding zucchini to boxed chocolate cake mix is easier than you may think; in fact, breaking out the box grater to shred the squash is really the most involved part of the process. Once you have about two cups of grated zucchini, you're good to go; there's also no need to strain off the extra liquid — the vegetable's juices will help keep the chocolate cake moist.


When you're ready to prepare the cake batter, just whisk together the cake mix, along with a few eggs and oil as directed on the package, and then fold in your shredded zucchini and combine until no lumps remain. While in general you can omit water or milk altogether, you could also add in a quarter to a half-cup of milk or buttermilk for a lighter cake that's not overly dense. 

The extra moisture from the zucchini may require your chocolate cake's baking time to increase slightly. So, you'll want to check it for doneness as instructed on the package, then leave in the oven for longer, if needed. When a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, it can be removed from the heat.

More ways to customize boxed chocolate cake

Once you try adding zucchini into your chocolate cake batter, you can try a variety of other ways to take boxed cake mix to a new level. You could try adding in some vanilla extract to enhance the chocolatey flavor, or even a splash of bourbon. Or, whisk in some cinnamon, cardamom, or nutmeg for a touch of warm spice. Of course, you could also fold chocolate chips into the batter to make each bite of cake extra rich. If you're sticking with zucchini chocolate cake, once it's out of the oven and cooled, try frosting it with a dark chocolate buttercream and add a rich chocolate ganache filling between the layers.


Zucchini chocolate cake also lends itself to various cake formats. For instance, you could bake your cake batter in a muffin tin or a loaf pan for a good reason to eat chocolate (and squash) for breakfast. Compliment the very subtle earthiness of zucchini by adding in chopped walnuts to the batter. Or top a chocolate zucchini loaf cake with oats and more chopped nuts for even more of a morning dish. If single-serve cake is your thing, you can also make chocolate zucchini cupcakes and frost them. Whatever form you enjoy, the zucchini will make the end result moist and rich.