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This chocolate zucchini bread recipe really is the best: moist, rich, and chocolaty, generously sprinkled with chips. A family favorite!

Chocolate Zucchini Bread
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There are tasty recipes and then there are family favorites, and this one will make you a legend in your circles: Chocolate Zucchini Bread! It’s beautifully moist, dark chocolaty and sprinkled with a generous helping of chips, making pools of melty chocolate if it’s warm and satisfying chunks when it’s cooled. We’re picky when it comes to chocolate breads and this one is truly sublime. It’s got just the right rich flavor and works as a snack or a dessert: top it with whipped cream for a true delight! Here are all our secrets.

Ingredients in chocolate zucchini bread

This chocolate zucchini bread recipe will wow your friends and family: at least it did for us! We recently visited family in Alaska and enjoyed it at a cookout with a sea view. Afterwards everyone asked for the recipe, solidifying it as “the chocolate zucchini bread.” There are a few things that are essential to the big flavor: Dutch process cocoa powder makes the best deep chocolaty flavor, and a mixture of butter and oil makes the best moist, even crumb. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Zucchini
  • All-purpose flour
  • Dutch process (dark) cocoa powder
  • Unsalted butter
  • Neutral oil
  • Brown sugar and granulated sugar
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Vanilla extract
  • Baking powder and baking soda
  • Salt
Dutch process vs regular cocoa powder

Dutch process vs standard cocoa powder

Dutch process (dark) cocoa powder really is essential for the flavor in this recipe! This special type of cocoa powder is treated with an alkali to make it pH neutral, which gives it a darker color and milder flavor. This makes the flavor ultra chocolaty, with deep rich notes versus lighter fruity notes that you’ll get with regular cocoa powder.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Tips for this chocolate zucchini bread recipe

Chocolate zucchini bread is simple to whip up, but there are a few keys to success here. When we made it in Alaska my sister used a ceramic pan, which ended up with a drier result than when using an aluminum pan. Here are a few notes to keep in mind:

  • Use an aluminum baking pan for best results. Ceramic and glass pans don’t cook as evenly and can result in a drier, cakier bread. Use aluminum if you can! We recommend a 9-inch loaf pan, but you can use an 8-inch pan too: just increase the bake time slightly.
  • Don’t overmix! This is extremely important with a quick bread. Overmixing the batter can cause holes in the texture of the crumb. Mix until the batter is combined and there are no dry spots remaining.
  • Don’t overbake. Overbaking makes for a dry bread. Pull the bread just when the top is set, about 60 to 65 minutes (the internal temperature should be between 200°F and 205°F). With a chocolate chip bread, it’s hard to tell when inserting a toothpick because the chocolate chips can melt onto the toothpick, looking like the bread isn’t done! A toothpick inserted should have only a few clinging crumbs.
Chocolate Zucchini Bread Recipe

A few special notes on cooling

Topping chocolate zucchini bread with chocolate chips makes for a nice look. However, there is a drawback: the chips take quite a while to cool and re-solidify. You’ll want to allow 2 to 3 hours for the bread to cool in the pan, and even then sometimes the chips aren’t fully solidified. This is important because when you remove the bread from the pan, the warm chips can get very messy.

If you’d like, you can omit the chocolate chips from the top. This allows you to remove it from the pan sooner and you can eat it warm! Otherwise, cool it in the pan for 2 to 3 hours before attempting to remove it. Don’t want to wait? Turn it into chocolate zucchini muffins instead!

Variation: make it into muffins!

Want a variation on this recipe? Turn it into muffins! They bake in only 20 minutes and take only about an hour to cool. To make chocolate zucchini bread muffins, simply do the following:

  • Add 1 tablespoon milk to the batter.
  • Divide the batter into 12 muffin cups and top with the remaining chocolate chips.
  • Bake for 20 to 26 minutes at 375°F.
Chocolate Zucchini Bread Recipe

More zucchini bread and muffins

There are so many ways to mix up zucchini bread! This chocolate zucchini bread is our absolute favorite, but a close second is lemon zucchini bread: it’s zingy and bright! It’s the exact opposite of this bread but nearly as satisfying. Here are a few more zucchini recipes:

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Chocolate zucchini bread

Best Chocolate Zucchini Bread


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 slices 1x

Description

This chocolate zucchini bread recipe really is the best: moist, rich, and chocolaty, generously sprinkled with chips. A family favorite!


Ingredients

Scale
  • ¼ cup melted unsalted butter
  • ⅓ cup neutral oil (vegetable, grapeseed, or canola)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cup [210 g] all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup Dutch-process (aka dark) cocoa powder (no substitutes!*)
  • 2 cups large grated zucchini (about 12 ounces or 2 medium zucchini), packed
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9×5-inch aluminum loaf pan.
  2. Melt the butter, then whisk in the oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Use a spatula to mix in the flour, cocoa powder and zucchini until a thick smooth batter forms, mixing just until there are no longer streaks of dry ingredients. Fold in ¾ cup chocolate chips, mixing gently a few times.
  4. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Top with the remaining ¼ cup chocolate chips*.
  5. Bake 60 to 65 minutes until the top is set (a toothpick inserted should have only a few clinging crumbs, but it’s hard to tell with the chocolate chips since they can melt onto the toothpick!). Allow the bread to cool in the pan until it reaches room temperature and the chocolate chips start to firm up, about 2 to 3 hours. Then run a knife around the edge and invert the loaf onto a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. The bread can be stored up to 3 days at room temperature wrapped in aluminum foil or up to 1 week refrigerated tightly wrapped. You can also freeze for up to 3 months.

Notes

*Don’t substitute regular cocoa powder here: the flavor is not nearly as developed and chocolaty. Dutch process cocoa powder is easy to find in the baking aisle. We like the brands Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder or Ghiradelli Dutch Process Cocoa Powder.

**If you’d like, you can omit the chocolate chips from the top. This allows you to remove the bread from the pan sooner and you can eat it warm! Otherwise, cool it in the pan for 2 to 3 hours before attempting to remove it. This is important because when you remove the bread from the pan, the warm chips can get very messy.

  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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4 Comments

  1. Nicholas Glaser says:

    Do you squeeze out the excess liquid in the zucchini or just go with it as grated?
    Thanks..

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Just grated.

  2. Sarah Preston Britto says:

    Have you made these as muffins?