My youngest son & me

My youngest son & me

About me

My name is Tanja (Sater) Miller and I'm excited about sharing my journey of converting my favorite recipes to gluten free! I am not a fancy cook - I prefer just a casual, fun meal. I am married with grown children (and have small grandchildren) & 3 dogs. I work full time as a registered nurse & I am a geek. Yes, I love Star Trek, Star Wars, Fringe, Firefly, Farscape and most of the other Scify shows. You will probably see a little of my geek side come out once in a while! Please join me on my journey of cooking, baking & converting every day recipes into yummy gluten free meals that everyone can enjoy (not just those with a gluten allergy!) Don't be shy about checking out my recipes....I have the gluten free version along with the regular recipe that I adapted from!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Chocolate Zucchini Cake! This is a very casual yet delicious country recipe. It is a great way to use up the zucchini crop in the summer months! You won't taste the zucchini in this recipe but it sneaks in the extra veggies for the kids. They can easily be made into muffins too. This recipe is sweet enough that you don't need any frosting. I have a friend that uses applesauce to cut back on the fat in the recipe. I did not do that for the batch today. You can also use all ground nuts in place of the flour or you can use all gluten free flour...or use half ground nuts & half gluten free flour. This recipe is very flexible which is great. You can also substitute peanut butter for the oil or the cream cheese. Like I won't taste the zucchini so don't worry about adding flavors. Any flavor that goes with chocolate will go great in this recipe. I have also added 1 cup of shredded coconut in the past.

This has always been one of my favorite recipes to use up the loads of zucchini that everyone passes out in the summer! It's a great summer treat. It is delicious with a cream cheese frosting or chocolate frosting but I like it just plain or with whipped cream. Feel free to double the recipe because it freezes well.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe:
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (I use GMO free raw sugar but you can use regular or even brown sugar in this recipe)
  • 3 eggs (the original recipe called for 2 eggs but with the GF flour, I add an extra egg for volume)
  • 2 1/2 cups of finely ground almonds (or any other ground nuts) OR use 2 1/2 cups of gluten free flour instead or a combination of both to get 2 1/2 cups. If you don't have a gluten allergy then just use regular flour!
  • 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum or guar gum (omit if your GF flour already contains it or if you are using regular flour)
  • 5 tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbs. ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese (original recipe did not call for this but it adds a moist texture to the cake) You can just add additional oil or substitute peanut butter if you don't want to use cream cheese to the recipe!
  • 1/2 cup oil (I used olive oil but you can use vegetable oil or substitute applesauce for lower fat)
  • 1/2 cup sour milk (1/2 cup of milk + 1 tbs. vinegar. Stir and let stand 5 minutes). You can substitute coconut milk, almond milk, lactose free milk, rice milk or any other non-dairy milk substitute)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini (I let it drain in a colander to let extra fluid drain from zucchini. Too much water in the zucchini change the texture of the cake. Squeeze or drain any extra fluid from zucchini before adding to the batter!)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (can sprinkle chopped nuts or coconut instead). You can also substitute white chocolate chips or peanut butter chips if you prefer.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat the sugar, oil and cream cheese together. Add the cocoa powder, ground cinnamon and eggs until fluffly. Add the baking soda, salt, sour milk and ground nuts (and/or gluten free flour + xanthan gum if needed). Stir in shredded zucchini. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the semi-sweet chocolate chips (or nuts/coconut). Bake 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Altitude and oven temps will vary so check it at the 30 minutes and add 3-5 minutes cooking time until done. If you are baking in a loaf pan then you will need to increase your baking time to 50-60 minutes and cupcake pan you will need to reduce your cooking time to 18-23 minutes.

shredded zucchini (extra fluid squeezed out)

Ready to bake

Just removed from the oven

Still slightly warm

Up close view of how moist the cake came out!

Another view of the ready to eat cake

Nice texture and you can hardly see (and can't taste) the zucchini!

Warm from the oven. Couldn't wait for it to cool before cutting!

In the pan. Close up view.   

I hope you enjoy this very delicious yet casual recipe. Keep it in your file. It is a great way to use up all that zucchini people drop off on your front porch in the summer! (Plus it is a great way to sneak in those veggies so the hubby & kids (or grandkids) don't notice! ;)

Gluten Free Casually


  1. You can leave out the cocoa powder and substitute extra gluten free flour or corn starch instead for a "vanilla" style zucchini cake. Sprinkle with white chocolate chips instead of dark chocolate chips. Easy to change it up! :)

  2. I like to bake these into two bread loaf pans

    1. Just bake a little longer if you are baking in loaf pans. I generally go 45-60 minutes total depending on the oven and altitude. I check it at 45 minutes and adjust time as needed.

  3. You can also add one teaspoon of espresso powder or instant coffee OR a pinch of chipotle or cayenne pepper for a Mexican twist with a kick of sass to this recipe! Be creative.