This is the best low-carb keto chocolate cake recipe ever! Shredded zucchini makes it moist and nutritious. The kids will never know you are sneaking in a vegetable.
If you’re looking for a keto chocolate cake recipe, this is for you. There are lots of recipes for low-carb and keto desserts out there, but this one is a hidden gem.
It doesn’t need a ton of ingredients, you can prep it and bake it in less than an hour, and everyone will love it (even those who aren’t low-carb fans).
If you’ve tried this german chocolate zucchini cake, you know what I’m talking about! But if the idea of zucchini and chocolate is new to you, you’re in for a treat.
With this updated adaptation of that reader favorite, you can bake a decadent chocolate layer cake using two 9-inch round cake pans, make a 9×13-inch sheet cake, or even serve up 24 cupcakes.
💛 Why you'll love it
This recipe is a healthy, low-carb treat that tastes better than any boxed cake mix you’ve tried (and even many of the recipes from scratch!). You could even make the cupcakes without frosting and call them a keto breakfast muffin.
Do you know the best way to get a moist cake when you’re following a keto diet and need to keep gluten at bay? Add zucchini!
If you’ve never baked with it before, just wait and see. It adds the moistness that all good cakes have...plus it tastes ah-mazing! This keto chocolate cake is about to become your new favorite dessert.
This keto chocolate cake recipe is really the best option for a gluten-free, sugar-free birthday cake because the texture is so traditional none of your guests will realize it’s a “diet” cake.
And if you’ve been eating low carb for a while, you probably have everything you need on hand. So what ingredients do you need to make this chocolate keto cake recipe?
Coconut flour is a thirsty gluten-free flour, so the added moisture from the zucchini is important. While many low-carb cakes use a blend of flour such as almond and coconut, this one uses only coconut flour. It’s so easy!
Coconut flour is perfect for gluten-free and keto baking recipes that use very wet ingredients, as it’s quite dry.
And, since there’s no milk or whipping cream, or butter in this recipe, it can also be a dairy-free cake if you need one (just make sure to use dairy-free frosting, too).
I would not substitute with almond flour or almond meal. If you try to use either of those things in this sugar-free chocolate cake, the entire balance of dry and wet ingredients will be altered, and the cake will be almost soggy.
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Cocoa powder is what gives the deep chocolate flavor to this keto chocolate cake. Always make sure you are using unsweetened cocoa powder!
Low Carb Sugar Substitute
In order to make keto chocolate cake, you need to sweeten it with a sugar substitute - any type will work.
Then, add some stevia concentrated powder to it too. Monk fruit sweetener is my favorite.
You'll also need the common ingredients that you might use in other keto cake recipes. Namely - cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, and vanilla extract!
I used a combination of coconut oil and eggs as emulsifiers and healthy fats for this easy keto chocolate cake.
It takes about one large or two small zucchini to get 4 cups shredded. There’s no need to be exact, so just get as close as you can.
Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips
You can use homemade chocolate like my stevia chocolate, cut up a low-carb chocolate bar, or use sugar-free chips like Lily’s or ChocZero! The chips are optional but will give the cake a richer flavor.
Please note: Check out the recipe card at the bottom for a full list of ingredients used to make this low-carb recipe.
- Shred the zucchini finely. This is key for this recipe. Use a box grater or food processor to shred - whichever you prefer.
- Don't drain the zucchini. Unlike other zucchini recipes, you shouldn't drain the shredded zucchini for this ake very much, if at all. You want the cake to be moist.
- Add chocolate chips. Now, this next part is completely optional, but if you’re looking for an extra chocolatey cake with just the right amount of decadent fudgy goodness, you’re going to want to include those optional chocolate chips!
- Make muffins. Bake in muffins tins and enjoy as chocolate breakfast muffins.
Making a keto birthday cake is so easy! Here's a bit more information about each step so you can make your own keto chocolate cake.
Mix The Chocolate Batter
First, combine coconut flour, cocoa, granular low carb sweetener, stevia, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt.
Then, mix in the eggs, coconut oil, and vanilla until well combined.
Shred The Zucchini
The shredded zucchini is going to add a lot of moisture and that light texture that’s often missing in low-carb cakes. But, there are also a few other factors that will make a big difference.
Add Zucchini to Chocolate Batter
After the zucchini is prepped, add it to the chocolate batter that you prepped.
Bake The Cake
Finally, spread the batter out in the 9x13 pan. Alternatively, you can bake it in two round 9-inch pans too. Bake for about 40 minutes at 350°F.
Make It Ahead Of Time!
Did you know that making your low-carb baked goods a day early helps with the taste? It’s true! When you let them sit, any cooling flavor from the low-carb sweeteners disappears.
While this cake’s combo of sweeteners and other ingredients will make that barely noticeable, if you’ve got sensitive taste buds, just make this cake one day early.
This is a general rule that will apply to nearly all your low-carb baked goods. If this has been something you’ve noticed in the past, this simple tip will be game-changing for you!
🍽️ Serving suggestions
I like to serve other low-carb desserts with the easy keto birthday cake. Add a scoop of your favorite keto vanilla ice cream on the side.
Since this is such a decadent dessert, I also like to enjoy it with a cup of coffee. Or, for the best of both worlds, make some coffee ice cream. It's delicious!
Before we get to the printable recipe card, here are some questions people often ask about how to make it.
This low-carb chocolate cake actually freezes well, and you can make up the layers ahead of time and have them ready to thaw and frost before use.
This is actually a great way to do it if you’ll be focusing on the decorating, too, since it will keep the cake from crumbling if you frost it when it’s only about ¾ thawed.
You can also make the batter up as cupcakes ahead of time, flash freeze them, and then store them until it’s time to bring them to room temperature and spread or pipe some frosting on top.
If you’re looking to store already frosted leftovers, you can use the freezer or simply store them in the fridge in an airtight container for several days.
Topping your cake with the best low-carb frosting is also important. You'll want one that is creamy with just the right amount of sweetness. But you also don’t want that notorious cooling sensation.
You really can’t go wrong with buttercream frosting. Chocolate goes well if you want a super-rich experience.
For a celebration cake that you are going to decorate, a traditional vanilla sugar-free buttercream like this one is a great option.
If you want to make a dairy-free chocolate frosting, I suggest using dairy-free cream cheese and powdered sugar substitute.
You can also make your own frosting with either almond milk or coconut milk.
To make a delicious frosted keto chocolate cake, let it cool completely.
Then, add frosting in between the cake layers. You can decorate this dessert cuisine however you want.
I like to use a cake stand and cover the entire cake with sugar-free frosting.
Add some parchment paper to the baking dish before adding the cake batter. This will not only help the cake not stick but will make clean-up easier too.
I especially like to use this trick when I am making a cake with multiple layers.
This is the most requested cake from those in my family who avoid sugar and gluten, and I’m sure your family will enjoy it, too!
📚 Related recipes
Looking for other sugar-free treats to make for special occasions? Be sure to check out these gluten-free keto desserts. They are some of my favorite cake recipes.
- Keto Carrot Cake is also made with grated zucchini to give it a moist and authentic texture.
- Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake is delightfully refreshing and the perfect thing to serve at parties.
- Keto Birthday Cake In A Mug is easy to bake in just a few minutes.
- Keto Chocolate Molten Lava Cake is rich and fudgy with the best filling.
- Keto Oreo Cookies and Cream Cheesecake has 5g net carbs in each slice and is worth every carb.
Best Low Carb Chocolate Cake
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ½ cup low carb sugar substitute 1:1 sugar replacement
- ¼ teaspoon stevia concentrated powder see note for alternative
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup coconut oil melted
- 8 large eggs beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 cups zucchini shredded
- In large mixing bowl, combine coconut flour, cocoa, granular low carb sweetener, stevia, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt.
- Mix in eggs, coconut oil, and vanilla until well combined.
- Stir in zucchini (and optional chocolate chips if using).
- Spread out into greased 9x13-inch pan (or two round 9-inch pans).
- Bake at 350°F for about 30-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. NOTE: smaller pans, such as 9-inch round pans should be checked around the 15 minute mark.
- Cool on wire rack. Once cool, frost with chocolate buttercream frosting if desired.
Array ( [serving_size] => 1 [calories] => 96 [carbohydrates] => 5.7 [protein] => 3.7 [fat] => 7.4 [saturated_fat] => 5.5 [cholesterol] => 62 [sodium] => 179 [fiber] => 3.2 [sugar] => 0.9 [serving_unit] => slice )
Note on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
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First Published: August 5, 2016… Last Updated: January 18, 2022, with additional recipe information.