This perfectly spiced zucchini cake with cream cheese frosting is the perfect summer cake to use up all your fresh veggies!
Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Zucchini bread is basically my favorite Summer dessert. But you know what else is excellent? Cake. So why not put two wonderful desserts together into the best summer dessert hybrid you’ll ever eat: zucchini cake with cream cheese frosting. I mean…what’s not to like about that?
What is zucchini cake?
I’m sure you’ve had carrot cake AKA a moist as heck, perfectly spiced classic cake OBVIOUSLY frosted with cream cheese frosting. Now picture that cake, but replace the shredded carrots with freshly shredded zucchini. It’s a fun and festive summer cake that’s secretly loaded with veggies and finished off with that same decadent cream cheese icing.
It’s basically my new favorite cake and you best believe I’ll be whipping it up for allllll of our summer occasions with all this leftover zucchini!
Tips for perfect cream cheese icing
Use Philadelphia Cream Cheese: I am all about saving where you can, but truly nothing compares to Philadelphia Cream Cheese.
Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature: Your cream cheese and butter need to be at TRUE room temperature to ensure that they beat up into a light and fluffy frosting without any weird clumps of cream cheese remaining.
Use the whisk attachment on the kitchen aid: We find that the whisk attachment works better than the paddle to beat air into your frosting and keep it nice and fluffy!
Don’t be afraid of sugar: I know it seems like a lot of powdered sugar but listen….this is a CAKE. It’s going to be full of sugar and oil and allll the tasty things. More powdered sugar will help your frosting keep its shape to hold your cake together. Plus this zucchini cake is loaded with veggies so, like, ~balance~.
How to store zucchini layer cake
This zucchini cake should be refrigerated after making because of the cream cheese frosting. If you have a sealed cake dome or cake carrier, we recommend storing it in there to keep the cake both fresh and beautiful! Otherwise, just tightly wrap it in tinfoil or plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge. This cake will keep well in the fridge for up to 7 days (although I guarantee it would NEVER last that long).
Looking to prep your zucchini cake ahead of time?
You can make the cake layers in advance, turn them out of the pan and allow the zucchini cake to cool completely. Once it’s cooled, wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months! Next time you want cake, simply whip up the cream cheese frosting and use the frozen cakes as you would a fresh cake!
Alright that’s it from me my loves. I’m off to celebrate MY BIRTHDAY and you best believe I’ll be eating this zucchini layer cake with cream cheesing frosting for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8 inch cake pans OR three 6 inch cake pans* and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the shredded zucchini, pineapple, sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring until well combined.
Evenly pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 25 minutes, then allow to cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting, whip the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract, salt, and powdered sugar and whip to combine, about 2 minutes more.
Place the first cake on a plate, then top with 1/3 of the frosting. Layer the second and third layers, frosting in between each. Be freeform with it, using a flat knife to even the top of each layer. If you’d like, decorate the top with piped icing and finely chopped walnuts!
Leave a comment and rate this recipe!
I was a little nervous about this cake because the batter seemed a lot looser and runnier than I expected. And pouring it into the pan, I half-expected it not to turn out. BUT, it baked up beautifully (taking a touch longer than recommended) and produced a gorgeous, super moist cake. My 6-year old has determined it’s the best cake he’s eaten in his *entire* life. Thanks.
I made this for my dad’s birthday. He said it was the best cake he’s ever had. Thanks for having such great recipes!
Can I make this without the pineapple? Do I need to change the recipe somehow?
Hi Kayla! You can just omit it!
This maybe a dumb question, but how can I make my frosting white? Mine turns yellowish from the butter and vanilla.
Hi Maj! Beating it longer can help to lighten the color! Adding more sugar will also help with this–though I know sometimes that’s not ideal. If you think vanilal is the real culprit, you can also find clear vanilla extract online, at Michaels or Joanns, and at most speciality baking stores! Hope this was helpful!
This is a carrot cake recipe! But perhaps zucchini can just be subbed for the carrots? Looks good and will definitely try it!