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If you’ve got a glut of courgettes in the garden you can’t beat this fudgy Gluten Free Chocolate Courgette Cake to use them up! This courgette – or zucchini – cake is gluten free and absolutely delicious.

gluten free courgette cake with chocolate
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If your garden us overrun with courgettes and you’ve never thought about baking them into a cake, then stop everything you’re doing right now!

Because once you’ve had them in savoury dishes like my Courgette and Lemon Risotto and my Courgette and Halloumi Fritters, this is the next recipe you have to try.

Courgettes are MADE for cakes – they add a lovely moisture to cakes without making them soggy and you can’t even taste them.

I especially love a chocolate courgette cake as it makes it super fudgy, and this cake also has buttermilk and melted chocolate for a rich flavour.

Courgette season runs from June until October in the UK so this gluten free chocolate and courgette cake is perfect for a summer afternoon tea.

And before I go on, if you’re joining me from the US, courgette is actually the UK word for zucchini. A bit like the difference between coeliac and celiac.

Whichever way you say it, this easy loaf cake is one you’ll be wanting to make over and over again.

gluten free courgette cake with chocolate

Gluten free courgette cake ingredients

Making this gluten free chocolate cake with courgette only needs a few simple ingredients.

There’s a full printable recipe card below, but here are the main ingredients and ideas for any substitutions:

  • Courgette – this cake uses around 150g, which is approximately a small courgette (or zucchini), or half a large one. Yellow or green courgettes both work well.
  • Caster Sugar – also known as baker’s sugar or superfine sugar in the US. You could use a light brown sugar if you prefer but I usually use caster sugar in my bakes.
  • Vegetable Oil – it’s important to use a flavourless oil, such as vegetable oil or sunflower oil. Olive oil has a strong taste and won’t work in this recipe. You could also use melted butter if you prefer but I find oil gives a better texture.
  • Eggs – I use large UK eggs in this recipe. I haven’t tested an egg replacer so if you try any out please let me know in the comments.
  • Gluten free self-raising flour – if you don’t have this, you can use a plain or all purpose flour and add 1 tsp baking powder per 100g of flour, plus a quarter of a teaspoon of xanthan gum. You want a free from flour blend, not a single flour like coconut or almond.
  • Cocoa Powder – this is essential for that chocolate flavour. Always sieve cocoa powder into the cake mix to get out any big lumps or grit.
  • Milk + Vinegar – this is my homemade version of buttermilk. You can use buttermilk if you have it. If not I use standard full-fat milk and apple cider vinegar. Lemon juice or white wine vinegar works just as in place of apple cider vinegar.
  • Dark Chocolate – Melted dark chocolate adds a lovely, rich chocolatey flavour to this courgette cake. You can use milk chocolate if you want it a little sweeter.
gluten free courgette cake with chocolate

How to make chocolate courgette cake

This courgette and chocolate cake is super easy to make – it’s simply a cake of throwing everything together and baking it.

Add the wet ingredients to the bowl and mix, then fold in the courgette and melted chocolate.

How to prepare the courgettes

When adding the courgette/zucchini it’s important to make sure they are not too wet, otherwise your cake will be soggy.

Firstly, grate the courgette using the larger side of the grater – you don’t want them to be to fine.

Then it’s time to squeeze out any excess liquid!

You can do this using your hands, a handful at-a-time, or by wrapping the grated courgette in a tea towel and twisting it tight, squeezing out any liquid.

Then add the squeezed courgette to the mixture and fold it in so that it is fully combined with the batter.

Tips for baking this courgette cake

When folding the dry ingredients in, be careful not to over-mix the cake either.

Mix it just enough so there are no pockets of flour left, and always do this with a wooden spoon or spatula instead of an electric mixer.

Then simply pour the batter into your lined cake tin and bake until it has risen nicely and a skewer in the centre comes out clean.

Never open the over door before the minimum cooking time though, otherwise your cake may sink!

gluten free courgette cake with chocolate

Gluten free courgette cake FAQs

Before we get cracking on the recipe, here are a few frequently asked questions about my gluten free courgette cake.

If there’s anything I’ve missed do comment below and I will do my best to answer!

Can you taste the courgette in courgette cake?

If you’re not a fan of courgettes you might be wondering why on earth you’d cake them in a cake.

But trust me, you can’t even taste them – they just help add a lovely moisture.

It’s a bit like carrot cake doesn’t really taste of carrots – they just add a little something that makes it extra special.

So if you’re not entirely convinced, I urge you to give this a go before doubting!

Can this gluten free courgette cake be dairy free?

The recipe for my chocolate gluten free courgette cake does contain dairy but can easily be adapted to be dairy free.

I use oil in my recipe instead of butter, so the only thing that needs to be changed is the buttermilk.

To do this, use a dairy free milk of your choice in place of the milk in the recipe.

Also ensure you double check the chocolate you’re using to make sure it is dairy free.

Can courgette cake be frozen?

Yes, gluten free courgette cake freezes really well which is great for avoiding any food waste if you’ve made too much.

To freeze, slice the cake up and separate the slices between pieces of baking paper.

Freeze and then simply defrost a slice at room temperature whenever you fancy some.

gluten free courgette cake with chocolate

How do you make buttermilk?

If you don’t have buttermilk then don’t worry, it’s very easy to make your own at home.

Simply add 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar per 200ml of milk and stir.

Leave it for 5 minutes and it should thicken a little and curdle – making buttermilk. It really is that simple!

You can also make dairy free buttermilk by doing the above process with any dairy free milk of your choice.

Can I make this recipe without courgettes?

I know it’s a bit of an odd question in a courgette cake recipe post, but I know a few people will be wondering!

If you want a gluten free chocolate loaf cake without the courgette – try the cake in my Gluten Free Mini Egg Loaf Cake.

With or without the Mini Eggs, it’s a delicious gluten free chocolate cake and what I’ve based this recipe on when developing it.

gluten free courgette cake with chocolate

My gluten free courgette cake with chocolate

This easy gluten free courgette cake makes a 2lb loaf cake with approximately 8-12 slices.

It’s perfect for a gluten free afternoon tea and I like to serve up a slice alongside a cuppa.

If you make this recipe and love it, please do let me know by tagging me on my Instagram or using #theglutenfreeblogger. I love seeing your creations!

And please do leave a review to let others know you loved it too! It would mean the world to me.

gluten free courgette cake with chocolate
Yield: 12

Gluten Free Chocolate Courgette Cake

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

This easy gluten free chocolate courgette cake is the perfect way to use up a glut of courgettes. A rich and fudgy chocolate loaf cake recipe everyone will enjoy!


  • 150g grated squeezed courgette
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 150ml veg oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 175g gluten free self-raising flour
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 100ml milk
  • 1/2 tbsp app cid vinegar
  • 100g melted dark choc


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / Fan 160C / Gas Mark 4. Line a 2lb loaf tin with a loaf tin liner and set to one side. Mix the milk and apple cider vinegar together in a small bowl and leave for 5 minutes to curdle (this creates buttermilk).
  2. Coarsely grate the courgette and then, one handful at a time, squeeze as much of the liquid from it as possible (otherwise your cake will go soggy!).
  3. Add the sugar, oil, milk/vinegar mixture and eggs to a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 30 seconds until combined.
  4. Add the courgette and melted chocolate and stir to mix with a wooden spoon or spatula. Sift in the gluten free flour and cocoa powder and fold in. Don't overmix - just keep folding until there are no pockets of dry ingredients left. You should have a runny, chocolately batter.
  5. Pour the batter into the lined loaf tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 60-65 minutes until a skewer in the centre comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack before slicing.


  • If you have buttermilk, you can use 100ml of this instead of the milk and vinegar combination. This is just essentially a homemade version!
  • If you don't have self-raising gluten free flour, add 1 tsp baking powder per 100g of plain or all purpose gluten free flour, plus 1/4 tsp xanthan gum, and mix well before adding.
  • Got leftovers? Freeze slices of this cake between sheets of baking paper and defrost to enjoy whenever you have a cake craving!

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 366Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 294mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 2gSugar: 23gProtein: 6g

Need more gluten free cake recipe inspiration?

Here are some more gluten free cake recipes you can try out once you’ve made this Gluten Free Courgette Cake recipe.

If you do make this recipe please let me know! I’d love to see your photos using #theglutenfreeblogger, share them in my Facebook group or tag me on Instagram. 

If you have any recipe suggestions, please let me know in the comments what you’d like to see next!

Like this Gluten Free Chocolate Courgette Cake recipe?

Make sure you follow me on Pinterest and pin this recipe card below for later!

gluten free courgette cake with chocolate
gluten free courgette cake with chocolate

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About Sarah Howells

Hi, I'm Sarah! Diagnosed with coeliac disease 20 years ago, I'm on a mission to create the best gluten free recipes since sliced bread. No fruit salads or dry brownies here.

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