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Irresistible Zucchini Brownies

Zucchini Brownies

In my continuing quest to find new ways to use zucchini, I bring you: zucchini brownies! They’re easy to make, packed with zucchini and so tasty our neighbors texted things like “These are SO good!” after we sent them home with brownies.

I found this recipe a couple days ago when the munchkin asked me to make brownies for dessert. Seeing as we had just harvested several large zucchini from our garden (in addition to the zucchini that was already in the fridge) I started thinking: could I add zucchini to brownies? I mean, chocolate zucchini bread is a popular thing right?

Harvesting Zucchini

A quick search led me to an All Recipes recipe that used 2 whole cups of shredded zucchini. With tons of positive reviews it seemed worth a shot. The munchkin and I shredded our zucchini and mixed up the ingredients, then looked at each other skeptically when we found ourselves with a very dry “batter” that didn’t look anything like batter. But many of the reviews said the batter looked this way and cautioned against adding eggs or milk or anything else that might count as a “wet” ingredient because the zucchini would give the brownies all the moisture they needed. So, with a hope and a prayer, we put the brownies in the oven.

Thirty minutes later we pulled out a rather rough looking dish of brownies that nevertheless smelled amazing. We cut out a little square for a taste and were totally sold: what we had was a rich, chocolatey batch of fudgey brownies. You couldn’t even tell there was zucchini in there! (A good thing as far as the munchkin was concerned.)

Zucchini Brownies

Perhaps to cover up the cobblestone-like appearance of the brownie tops, the recipe called for a layer of homemade chocolate frosting. The frosting was easy to make and took this recipe to the next level. The brownies went from really good to I-dare-you-to-eat-just-one.

We modified the recipe slightly when it came to the frosting: we used butter instead of margarine and added the milk to the microwave step so that the butter, cocoa and milk melted together. (We made this change after our first batch of frosting wasn’t as smooth as we wanted, perhaps because the cold milk made the butter clump together.)

After mixing in confectioners sugar and vanilla extract we had a thick chocolate frosting that we spread over the top of the brownies, still in the pan. About an hour later the frosting had cooled and the brownies were ready to cut. I love how the frosting cracks a bit when you cut into the brownies – to me that’s an indication of a serious chocolate topping. Eat these brownies with a spoon so you can lick off the extra chocolate between sips of cold milk.

Irresistible Zucchini Brownies
 
These chocolatey brownies are packed with zucchini and so tasty our neighbors texted things like “These are SO good!” after we sent them home with brownies. (Adapted from this All Recipes recipe.)
Ingredients
For the brownies:
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1½ cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
For the frosting:
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and grease a 9x13 inch baking pan with PAM or your preferred baking spray.
  2. In a large bowl combine the oil, sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla until well blended.
  3. In a medium bowl combine the flour, ½ cup cocoa, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring just to combine. Fold in the zucchini and mix well. The batter will be very dry and you'll think you should add eggs or milk, but don't do it!
  5. Spread into the prepared pan, gently tapping the mixture down.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until brownies spring back when gently touched.
  7. To make the frosting, melt together the 6 tablespoons of cocoa, the butter and the milk in the microwave for about 40-60 seconds. Mix well with a spatula or metal spoon. Allow to cool slightly, then add the vanilla and the confectioners sugar ½ cup at a time, mixing well between additions.
  8. Spread the frosting over the brownies once the brownies have cooled. Allow to set for an hour before digging in. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

 

 

About the Author
I'm a work-at-home mom and entertainment director for my son, a.k.a. The Munchkin. When we aren't doing art, singing songs or making something tasty in the kitchen we enjoy listening to podcasts and exploring the outdoors. I'm also slightly obsessed with coffee and love to knit. :)
  1. Valerie

    I’ve been reading your blog since you were pregnant with your boy – my girl is a similar age – and I just love it. We’ve tried many of the activities and recipes and I know they will always work out.

    We tend to cut down on sugar in recipes with little effect on taste, so I might try these with a bit less! Something we also cook a lot is chocolate beetroot cake, made with raw beetroot – so good! Looks like a (healthy) rd velvet cake.

    • Ari

      That’s awesome you’ve been reading my blog since before the munchkin was born! That bit of knowledge made my morning & I’m glad to hear that you have enjoyed the activities and recipes that you’ve tried. :)

      This is definitely is a DESSERT brownie, so it does have a generous amount of sugar. Usually I cut down on sugar in recipes too, but sometimes it’s good to have a little indulgence (and I wasn’t sure how it would turn out with all the zucchini in there if I cut down on the sugar as much as I usually do). The chocolate flavor in these is so intense that you can really only eat a little brownie anyways!

      That beetroot cake sounds amazing…. would you share the recipe?

  2. Valerie

    The brownie does look delicious! I’m. I’m a big fan of veggies in cake, too!

    I can’t find the exact recipe I used but it was very close to this one. I have a thermomix but you could certainly use a food processor.

    http://mellymaks.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/fudgy-chocolate-beetroot-cake.html

    It is really decadent and rich! Lovely with a dollop of thick cream as a dessert.

  3. Seanna Lea

    I will have to try these once we’ve moved. It will be a nice break in the new place dessert.

    • Ari

      Breaking in a new place by making dessert sounds like a pretty awesome idea to me. :)

  4. Jen

    This recipe is delicious! Thanks so much!

    • Ari

      You’re welcome! I’m glad you enjoyed the brownies. :)

  5. shelly (cookies and cups)

    I love it, maybe i will try to sneak it to my kids :)

    • Ari

      They won’t even know there is zucchini in there. :) And thanks so much for the Facebook mention!

  6. Mary Lynn

    So glad I found your blog. (from Shelly at cookies and cups) Your Zucchini Brownies are delicious.

  7. veiledturnip

    Do you need to squeeze out the juice from the grated zucchini at all? Does shredded mean grated?

    • Ari

      Yes, shredded means grated and you don’t need to squeeze the zucchini. The brownies get most of their moisture from the zucchini. :)

  8. Sophia

    Thank you Ari!!! I just made this and it is so freaking good!! So moist with a little crunch on the bottom, just perfect :) My Mr 19 month old enjoyed licking the spatula and the first taste test. Miss 4 months will enjoy a sugar rush when she has her next feed! I’m sure the rest of my boys will devour a few pieces when they come home from school! Super yummy. Can I make a mention in my blog?

    • Ari

      So happy you and your family enjoyed the recipe! For sure, feel free to mention away. :) Happy Friday!

  9. Lisa

    I just wanted to thank you for the zucchini brownie recipe!! I’m astounded at how delicious they are, and I didn’t even make the frosting (but will try making that soon, it looks delicious as well!). I tried to post a comment, but I don’t have a website to enter, so I couldn’t. These are the best brownies I have EVER had. Thanks so much!

    • Ari

      So glad you enjoyed the recipe! I was also surprised by how tasty these brownies are. Zucchini brownies are a new summer favorite for sure. :)

  10. Jamie

    Made these tonight because we had a zucchini that needed a home, and a friend posted this recipe on FB a couple weeks ago. I am so glad I made this recipe. These are amazing! Thank you so much for the recipe, and the urges to resist adding liquid to the batter. They were incredibly moist, just from the zucchini. Definitely sharing this recipe with friends! But not sharing the brownies. They’re mine. They can make their own. :)

    • Ari

      Your comment cracked me up! I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe & I don’t blame you one bit for keeping those brownies to yourself. :)

  11. Emmy

    Mmmmmm, looks delicious! I’m not really into making desserts that much (mostly because we don’t eat much sugar in my house), but lately I’ve been in the mood to bake, so I think I’ll start with these :) we have several zucchinis in the fridge, and my family likes the idea of brownies- even though they know it will be with zucchini!! They’ll probably be surprised to find that they don’t actually have a veggie taste ;D

    Thank you so much for the recipe; I’m going to have to look through your blog, because I just found it by googling “zucchini brownies.”

  12. Emmy

    Wow. They are amazing, thank you again so much! I made them with the kids, and even though they knew they were made with zucchini, they were actually thrilled to be eating ZUCCHINI brownies!! ;D since we made them in the evening, I knew that we couldn’t wait an hour for them to cool since they have a bedtime, but they were just as wonderful hot and soft from the oven. Pure perfection.

    • Ari

      Thanks for coming back and letting me know how much you and your kiddos enjoyed the recipe, totally made my night!

  13. Emmy

    Oh, and I meant the kids have a bedtime- not the brownies! LOL!!

  14. Melissa

    I’m so excited about this, Ari! I have been trying to find a really good parve brownie recipe, but they usually end up kind of dry. This, without the frosting, should work!

  15. Rebekah

    Delicious brownies!! Mmm so hard not to eat the whole pan! I better save some for my first grader when she gets off the bus though!! I have been looking for a good zucchini brownie and I have finally found it!! Thanks!!

    • Ari

      Glad you’re enjoying the recipe! Now I want a brownie. :)

  16. Monica

    didn’t realize oil was the only added moisture (besides zucchini) – i substituted apple sauce…..super dry looking, thanks for the note. will let you know how they turn out.

  17. Monica

    i made the recipe w/out the oil. used apple sauce instead. sad to say, they are not good. lesson learned, read the recipe through first! might try them again with the oil sometime.

  18. Jenna

    One of my co-workers gave me a 10lb zucchini so I’ve been scouring the internet for recipes – I found this one and ended up making 3 batches. My co-workers and sorority sisters absolutely love it! Thanks!