A simple zucchini cake loaded with warm spices and slathered with a healthier cream cheese frosting! This is one easy dessert you won’t be able to get enough of! (Plus it’s dairy free and oil free too!)
Raise your hand if you love dessert?! Then you’ve come to the right place loves! But like most of us this time of year, I’m still in that whole “let’s see how healthy I can be” phase… At least for January anyways. 😉 So when it comes to dessert, I still want something absolutely delicious but also slightly nutritious too. That’s why I’ve been so glad to have this spiced zucchini cake with cream cheese frosting recipe on hand!
Fun Fact: I actually first made this a few months ago for a friend’s party and had every intention of posting it then, but then the holidays came and well…the rest is history. Thankfully though my dear friend reached out to me a few days ago and asked for the recipe so here it is now!
(I almost forgot how amazing this recipe is!)
What Makes This Zucchini Cake Healthy?
Well for starters, it’s completely oil free, refined sugar free and dairy free too! (Minus the cream cheese frosting) But what I think I love most about it is that it’s loaded with zucchini so you’re still able to get your veggies in while also having a seemingly decadent dessert!
How to Get the Moisture of Zucchini for Baking
I love baking with zucchini! But sometimes it can get a little tricky because of the high moisture content it has. If you notice that your cake is coming out too moist (almost soggy), then there are a few different things you can do to draw out some of the moisture.
- Place your grated zucchini on a paper towel and place another large paper towel over it. Firmly press down on the top towel until you start to feel the moisture coming through. Continue doing this until the top towel is no longer dry. (You may need to do this a few times to reach your desired dryness.)
- Place you grated zucchini in a cheese cloth or nut milk bag. Twist the cloth/bag to gently wring out any excess moisture. Spread the zucchini out on a tray and leave it there until you’re ready to use it.
How do I make healthier cream cheese frosting?
This is perhaps my favorite part of this zucchini cake recipe! (I swear I could eat this stuff by the boat load!) All you need are 4 simple ingredients:
- 8oz. reduced fat cream cheese
- 2 cups powdered sugar (or confectioners sugar)
- 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla
Simply put your cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla in a bowl and beat it with a hand held mixer. Slowly add in the powdered sugar while mixing and mix until it becomes a smooth frosting consistency. That’s it!
While I love the simplicity of this recipe, it’s also fun to switch things up too! Here are a few of my favorite ways to spruce up this zucchini cake:
- Add a 1/2 cup of raisins
- Add a 1/2 cup of dried cranberries
- Add a 1/2 – 3/4 cup of chocolate chips (The more, the better in my opinion! 😉 If adding chocolate chips, I would suggest serving it plain and NOT with the cream cheese frosting.)
- Add 1/2 cup of grated carrots and a 1/4 cup of raisins (It almost tastes like carrot cake but with extra veggies!)
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this spiced zucchini cake and see all of your wonderful creations! Hope you’re all having a great start to the new year!
More Dessert Recipes like this:
- Edible Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (One of my most popular recipes on the blog)
- Double Chocolate Cherry Zucchini Muffins
- Oatmeal Carrot Cake Cookies
- Butternut Squash Brownies
[Made one of my recipes? Make sure to tag my social media @kalefornia_kravings – I love seeing what you create!]
Spiced Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the Zucchini Cake:
- 1¼ cup flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup coconut sugar
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1 cup grated zucchini (about 1 large zucchini)
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup plain greek yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla
To Make the Frosting:
- Place the cream cheese, greek yogurt and vanilla in a large bowl and beat it with a hand held mixer.
- Gradually add in the powdered sugar while mixing until the frosting thickens and becomes smooth.
- Store in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it.
To Make the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lined an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, coconut sugar, applesauce and vanilla together. Add in your flour mixture and whisk again until it's fully combined. Stir in the grated zucchini.
- Pour the batter into your prepared baking pan and bake for 25 minutes. (Use a toothpick to check if it's done by poking the cake in the center. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done. If not, place the cake back in the oven and cook for 5 more minutes.) Let the cake cool for 5 minutes in the pan before taking it out.
- Let the cake cool completely before frosting it!