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Zucchini Walnut Cake

This zucchini cake doesn't need to be saved for special occasions mind you! You can enjoy it for breakfast because it's so healthy, full of fiber and doesn't spike your blood sugar the way baked goods with wheat or white flour can.
Sep 25, 2017 | Joy McCarthy

Every Monday, Vienna, Walker and I visit the farmers market as you might already know from our homemade tomato sauce we've been eating lately! And I don't really go with a list, I save grocery lists for the grocery store because at the market I decide (for the most part) what I'm going to buy based on what's available and in season. It's more fun that way. I usually plan on bringing around 40 or 60 bucks cash. 

For several weeks now, zucchinis have been at the market in abundance. They are a summer veggie (sorry they're actually a fruit) and since we keep having summer weather here in Toronto, they continue to make an apparance. That's why I decided to bake something with zucchini. 

Zucchini is often overlooked because it's not ranked nutritionally with the likes of kale and broccoli. However, it's definitely worth eating more often because it's rich in vitamin C, potassium, fiber and a variety of antioxidants.

The type of fiber zucchinis are rich in is called pectin, which is wonderful for gut health and cardiovascular health. Pectin prevents cholesterol from being reabsorbed back into the body, making zucchinis an excellent choice for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. 

I enjoy zucchini in both savoury and sweet dishes. 

When I realized what an abundance of zukes I had on hand, I was indecisive as to what to make -- bread, muffins or cake?? So I asked instagram and you guys overwhelming said "cake".

This cake doesn't need to be saved for special occasions, mind you! You can enjoy it for breakfast because it's so healthy, full of fiber and doesn't spike your blood sugar the way baked goods with wheat or white flour can. And, it's gluten-free too!

Zucchinis are definitely a veggie you want to purchase organic because some are genetically modified and I recommend you steer clear of GMOs. Now it's highly unlikely at a farmers market you'll find GMO, but it's always a good idea to ask the farmers if you're not sure. 

I used bananas and a little bit of maple syrup to sweeten this cake, but if you don't want to use bananas, feel free to add more applesauce. 

This cake was incredibly moist because of the homemade applesause I used. It's worth the extra step if you've got time. If not, store-bought unsweetened organic applesauce is great too. 

Literally 5 seconds before the photo below of Vienna was taken she was just about in tears wanting to try the cake. I get it... she could smell it baking and the aroma is absolutely wonderful! Cake makes people cry, lol. It's not wonder she was saying "cake, mommy, cake, mommy!"

She's my official recipe tester and she LOVED it!! I've been meaning to hop over to IKEA to get her a proper stool so she can join in the fun with me in the kitchen. I often put her in her high chair to watch, but now that she's two, she wants to help more than just watch. 

So here's the recipe for my Zucchini Walnut Cake!

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  • 1 cup zucchini grated, skin on**
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup dark maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Grease the sides of an 8 or 9" springform pan with coconut oil and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Combine zucchini, applesauce, eggs, banana, maple syrup, vanilla and coconut oil in a large bowl.
  3. Combine flours, baking powder and ground spices in a separate bowl.
  4. Combine dry and wet ingredients together. Fold in chopped walnuts but reserve some to sprinkle on top of cake.
  5. Pour cake mixture into springform pan. Place in oven and bake for 25-35 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean.


*I bake this cake on convection setting and 25 minutes does the trick. If you do not have a convection oven, then you'll likely need to bake it for 35 minutes.

**You could double the amount of zucchini in this recipe. I haven't tried it but after baking it, I thought it could use more zucchini.

I topped this cake with coconut milk based vanilla ice cream from Delight in the Junction. 

Now if you're not a cake person, you can take this exact recipe and turn it into muffins or a loaf.

Just keep in mind you'll need to adjust the baking time. A loaf will take longer and muffins will take less time than the cake. 

We eat a lot of zucchinis when they are in season as you've probably noticed, so if you're looking for more recipes, here's a few.

Zucchini Fritters

Zucchini Frittata Cups

Zucchini Chips 

And there you have it! My Zucchini Walnut Cake. 



Andrea   •   September 26, 2017

Yum! Thanks for posting! I have a huge zucchini sitting on my counter from my garden. Could you sub another flour for the rice flour? I have all the other I ingredients except that one - would buckwheat work? Thanks!!

Rachel Molenda   •   September 26, 2017

Nicky   •   September 26, 2017

Just want to ask if you squeeze the moisture out of the zucchini first before adding into the mixture ? Thanks !

Rachel Molenda   •   September 27, 2017

Nancy   •   September 26, 2017

Hi, I'll be making this tomorrow! Should the zucchini be wringed through if its water (and therefore the measurement is packed?). Also, I'm assuming it isn't a big deal if I omit the walnuts?

Rachel Molenda   •   September 27, 2017

Nancy   •   September 26, 2017

P.S. Let Joy know I had an awesome kitchen tower made so my 2 year old could help me in the kitchen. She may be interested in something similar. I've tagged her in my Instagram photo of us making chewing tahini cookies and my daughter standing on it. :)

Rachel Molenda   •   September 27, 2017

Kendra   •   September 27, 2017

Hi Joy, I was wondering about flour as well. I have lots of brown rice flour but no coconut. What does the coconut flour do for the cake? Flavour or texture?

Rachel Molenda   •   September 29, 2017

Alexa Anderson   •   October 2, 2017

Made this last night into muffins instead of cake! So delicious and perfect to grab on the run!

Rachel Molenda   •   October 3, 2017
Stephanie M.   •   October 7, 2017

Rebecca D.   •   October 6, 2017

Made this last weekend and my kids devoured it in two days! We're making it again this weekend so that my son can take it as a snack to his preschool!


Adrienne   •   October 11, 2017

Hey there! Made these into muffins tonight and baked them for 45-50 minute and the knife still didn't come out clean. I didn't want to risk over baking them so I let them cool. They still taste great they're just a little doughy on the inside. Is that ok?

Rachel Molenda   •   October 12, 2017
Frédérique F.   •   March 30, 2020
Joy McCarthy   •   March 30, 2020

Marlene   •   October 24, 2017

I just made the zucchini walnut cake. I had a few glitches, but I hoped for the best. It turned out great! I love it. I used 1 and 1/2 cups of grated Zuke. I couldn't find my coconut oil, so I used avocado oil. I though it was a bit runny, so I put in a bit more brown rice flour. I had no nutmeg, but I didn't miss it.

Rachel Molenda   •   October 25, 2017

Sheila   •   November 30, 2017

Do you set the oven at 350 if you're using Convection Bake (makes it 325)? Anxious to try this. Thanks!

Rachel Molenda   •   December 1, 2017

PJ   •   December 31, 2017

Would a flax egg work as an egg replacer?

Rachel Molenda   •   January 2, 2018

Barb   •   March 28, 2018

I have a sensitivity to Banana. What could I substitute? Thanks!

Rachel Molenda   •   March 28, 2018

Susan Malcolm   •   April 30, 2018

I purchased whole grain flour and made the muffin recipe on the package. The muffins were horribly dry and dense. (but healthy ) I ate only one in total. What could be added to the recipe to make the muffins more moist? Thanks .

Rachel Molenda   •   April 30, 2018

Kelley   •   August 3, 2018

Could almond flour replace the rice flour?

Joy McCarthy   •   August 3, 2018

Jessica   •   August 3, 2018

Hi! I’m curious if there’s a substitute to rice flour? I can’t have rice and this cake sounds delish!

Rachel Molenda   •   August 3, 2018
Joy McCarthy   •   August 4, 2018

Bernadette   •   August 8, 2018

What could be used instead of maple syrup? Thanks!

Rachel Molenda   •   August 8, 2018

Bernadette S.   •   August 8, 2018

I am wondering what can be used instead of maple syrup? Thanks!

Rachel Molenda   •   August 21, 2018

Rose   •   July 2, 2021

Hello Joy thank you for this zucchini cake recipe. I was just wondering if we can sub the brown rice flour with oat flour. On another note your almond cake is a great hit along with your carrot almond cake. Thank you. Rose

Joy McCarthy   •   July 2, 2021

Judith F. Malmgren   •   July 3, 2021

I'd like to make this, but want to substitute the brown rice flour. Would tapioca or amaranth flour be O.K.?

Joy McCarthy   •   July 3, 2021

Laura C.   •   December 11, 2021

I just made this and it turned out great. I doubled the zucchini, used coconut yogurt instead of applesauce (as I didn't have any) and baked it for 40mins. YUM! Thank you :)

Joy McCarthy   •   December 13, 2021

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