One-Bowl Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (Gluten Free, Less Fat, Less Sugar)

One-Bowl Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (Gluten Free, Less Fat, Less Sugar)

When I’m making zucchini cake, it’s because I want cake: fluffy, high, moreish…. and frosting – especially if it’s cream cheese frosting! Too many zucchini cakes come out of the oven looking (and tasting) like zucchini bread dupes, with nuts and maple syrup and a dense texture that isn’t quite what I had in mind when I started. But that ends right here, right now with this recipe.

Friends, this is a cake – a one-bowl cake to be exact!

It’s soft and moist and the perfect way to use up a bountiful summer zucchini harvest, with less fat and sugar than a traditional zucchini cake to boot! I affectionately refer to it as a ‘snacking cake’ because it’s perfect for indulging anytime, anywhere – just slice yourself a generous square and enjoy.

It’s gluten-free and has super simple adaptations if you’re dairy-free or vegan, making it an absolute showstopper at barbecues and gatherings. And the best part is, you can make it all ahead of time: chill it, and serve it whenever you’re ready. One-bowl magic!

Watch Me Make My One-Bowl Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

If you’re in need of some more indulgent sweet treats, be sure to follow me on Facebook, or see all of my favorites (and so many other delicious recipes!) over on Pinterest.

How To Make My One-Bowl Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Step 1. Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F. Line a 8×8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray.

Step 2. In a large bowl lightly beat the eggs with a whisk. Mix in the yogurt, oil, sugar, and vanilla.  

Step 3. Using a rubber spatula, mix in the shredded zucchini.  

Step 4. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and fold into the wet ingredients until there are no lumps of flour remaining.

Step 5. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan and smooth the top.

Step 6. Bake the cake for 40-50 minutes until puffed up, golden, and just cooked through.

Step 7. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before turning it out onto a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

Step 8. While the cake is cooling, make the frosting: Beat together the butter and cream cheese for 1 minute until lighter in texture. 

Step 9. Add the powdered sugar and salt on low and increase to medium until light and creamy. 

Step 10. Spread over the cooled cake and garnish with a sprinkle or two of cinnamon around the border.  

Step 11. Enjoy!

The full recipe and ingredients are waiting for you at the bottom of this post, with a printable version for if you fall in love with this recipe as much as I have!

What Else Can I Use?

  • Dairy-free?  Simply use a non-dairy yogurt and vegan cream cheese in this recipe.
  • I call for a neutral oil, such as vegetable or safflower oil, but you can use olive oil in place.
  • I like my zucchini finely grated in this cake, so it almost melts into the batter.  You an use a medium grate if that’s your preference.  
  • Coconut sugar can be used in place of granulated sugar if you want this to be refined-sugar free.  Just expect it to be darker in color.

This One-Bowl Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is special because:

It’s made in one-bowl and can be made completely ahead of time

It’s a true cake, not a zucchini bread dupe. Fluffy, moist and moreish!

It contains less fat and sugar than a regular zucchini bread recipe, is gluten free, and has options available for dairy free/vegan friends and family!

Even More Cake Recipes:

Cold-Oven Pound Cake (Healthier + One-Bowl!)

The Famous Maialino Olive Oil Cake, But Healthier (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

My Super Moist, Gluten Free, Glazed Lemon Yogurt Cake

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

If you make my One-Bowl Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, and I hope you do, please leave me a comment here and rate the recipe. Your feedback means a lot to me! You can also post to Instagram and tag me so I can share your creations!

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One-Bowl Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (Gluten Free, Less Fat, Less Sugar)

Kat Ashmore
A delicious one-bowl, gluten free snacking cake that is fluffy, moist and the perfect way to use up a bountiful summer zucchini harvest!
4.63 from 8 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Brunch, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 9 Squares
Calories 366 kcal

Ingredients
  

Zucchini Cake:

  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup plain yogurt 2%
  • cup neutral oil such as safflower or vegetable
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup finely grated zucchini from about 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 ⅔ cups Gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon plus more for decorating, if desired

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp Kosher salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F.
  • Line a 8×8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray.
  • In a large bowl lightly beat the eggs with a whisk. Mix in the yogurt, oil, sugar, and vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, mix in the shredded zucchini.
  • Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and fold into the wet ingredients until there are no lumps of flour remaining.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan and smooth the top.
  • Bake the cake for 40-50 minutes until puffed up, golden, and just cooked through.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before turning it out onto a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

While the cake is cooling, make the frosting:

  • Beat together the butter and cream cheese for 1 minute until lighter in texture. Add the powdered sugar and salt on low and increase to medium until light and creamy. It won’t be as fluffy as a buttercream, that’s okay.
  • Spread over the cooled cake and garnish with a sprinkle or two of cinnamon around the border. Enjoy!

Notes

This cake is best served day of, but if you plan to serve this the next day, store in the refrigerator and remove 2 hours before serving to take the chill off.  Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 366kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 5gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 372mgPotassium: 107mgFiber: 2gSugar: 33gVitamin A: 325IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 88mgIron: 1mg
Keyword cake, zucchini, Zucchini Cake
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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33 thoughts on “One-Bowl Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (Gluten Free, Less Fat, Less Sugar)”

  • 5 stars
    Made this for a group gathering, it was an immediate hit.
    We all loved the cake texture; a nice change from a zucchini bread. Using zucchini makes you feel less guilty about eating dessert.

  • 5 stars
    Delicious! Made twice in the last week. My daughter is allergic to eggs, so I replaced with a combination of ground chia and flax and that worked beautifully. I used the Oikos triple protein vanilla yogurt. Enjoying for breakfast right now!

    • Hi Sue, I reference a dairy-free option in the “What else can I use” section of this post. Simply swap out the cream cheese with a dairy-free variety, and the butter for vegan butter if you’re highly sensitive to dairy.
      Kat

  • Looks like a great recipe, excited by the prospect of this being a “cake,” and not just another zucchini “bread!” Also, that’ it’s gluten-free! The recipe says AP GF flour…is that 1:1 GF flour or the regular flour without xanthan gum?

    • Hey Sarah, I reach for Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Flour a lot and it’s never failed me! It does include some xanthem gum but it’s there to provide some of the stickiness that gluten free goods lack, replacing some elasticity – I think that’s what makes it such a great replacement!
      Let me know if you give it a go!
      Kat.

    • Per slice – but keep in mind these are quite generous squares, and the calculation also includes the frosting!
      Kat.

  • Where is the list of ingredients? I have watched the video and read the recipe and I can’t see just a simple ingredient list. Can you post it?

    • The ingredients are always posted at the end of the recipe, with the option to print or save as well!
      Let me know if you give it a try,
      Kat.

    • I haven’t tried it with Almond flour but since almond flour is more dense and has more moisture, I’d recommend sticking to Gluten Free flour if that option is available to you. I highly recommend the Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Flour – it’s the one I reach for most often.
      Let me know if you give it a go!
      Kat.

  • Hello, I CAN’T wait to make this, looks so yummy! Quick baking question for ya…when baking sweets with shredded veggies like zucchini, carrots etc. Do I need to use a paper towel/cloth to squeeze moisture out of the zucchini before folding into the other ingredients? Or just finely shred then it’s good it go & ready to fold? I vaguely remember having to remove moisture from spinach before adding to a recipe in my past baking, but in regards to your recipe wouldn’t the zucchini’s moisture be needed for optimum fluff/flavor/cloud-like freshness with less density?

    • Hi! In this particular instance, I have accounted for the moisture in the zucchini so once it’s shredded, it’s ready to go! Other recipes may not have accounted for the moisture and ask that you squeeze it out, but I like to keep things fast and easy around here (and it’s less to clean up which is a major bonus in my book)!
      Let me know if you give it a try!
      Kat.

  • 5 stars
    Is there a recipe for the cream cheese frosting. The cake looks delicious. Can’t wait to try this but I would like the ingredients for the frosting. Thanks.

    • Hi Maria, the full recipe (including the cream cheese frosting!) is at the bottom of the blog here.
      Let me know if you give it a try!
      Enjoy,
      Kat.

    • Hi Arlene,
      As with all of my posts, the ingredients and process are at the bottom of the post in the printable recipe card. I hope you enjoy it!
      Kat

    • Hi Evie,
      As with all of my posts, the ingredients and process are at the bottom of the post in the printable recipe card. I hope you enjoy it!
      Kat

    • 5 stars
      The zucchini cake came out great! Adding 1 tsp vanilla and some orange zest to the frosting took it up a notch. I used frozen zucchini that I had shredded and vacuum sealed. To make sure it kept the right amount of moisture for the recipe , I thawed it just to the point that I could break up the solid block of shreds with a fork, and added the partially frozen zucchini, including any ice crystals, to the batter. It baked up just as it should, delicious!

        • 5 stars
          This is delicious and so easy – I’ve already made it twice! I have made it with and without the frosting and both were delicious – thanks for a new staple!

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