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spiced zucchini cake with cream cheese frosting cut into squares on parchment paper

Spiced Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Desserts & Sweets
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


This Spiced Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is what sweet dreams are made of, y’all. The most perfect little snacking cake full of warm spices, hidden veggies, and slathered with luscious cream cheese frosting. Wanna use up that garden zucchini or love zucchini-forward recipes? This cake is calling your name!



For the zucchini cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil (or any neutral oil)
  • 1 cup coconut sugar (or packed brown sugar)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice (we use whole milk)
  • 1 medium zucchini, shredded & then squeezed of excess moisture with a paper towel or cheesecloth (about 1 cup grated zucchini, packed)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans), plus more for garnish

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces block-style full-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar


  1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9×9-inch square baking pan with nonstick baking spray. Then line the pan with parchment paper with a bit of overhang on the sides, and spray again. This ensures that the parchment paper adheres well to the pan and acts as a double measure to prevent any sticking- then set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt. Whisk the dry ingredients well to combine and set aside. In a large bowl, add the eggs, oil, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and milk. Carefully whisk the wet ingredients well until fully combined. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in the grated zucchini and walnuts until the cake batter is just combined. Then pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan and use an offset spatula to smooth the top, as needed.
  3. Bake the cake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then move the cake onto a wire rack to continue cooling. Let the cake cool down completely before frosting.
  4. For the cream cheese frosting: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a medium bowl using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Then add the vanilla bean paste (or extract) and salt, and continue beating until combined. Add the powdered sugar and continue beating until the frosting is well combined and silky smooth.
  5. Spread the cream cheese frosting over the cooled cake. Garnish the cake with more chopped walnuts (or pecans), if desired. Slice the spiced zucchini cake into 9-12 wedges or into 16 wedges for a cutie lil’ snacking cake vibe, and serve. Enjoy!


  1. For best recipe success, please read the blog post & notes in its entirety with video tutorial before beginning.
  2. Gluten-free needs? Swap the all-purpose flour for any gluten-free baking flour as a 1:1 ratio (we love Bob’s Red Mill gf flour!).

Keywords: zucchini cake, spiced zucchini cake, zucchini, cream cheese frosting, sheet cake, zucchini desserts, baking with zucchini