Zucchini Brownies are moist and chocolaty with a simple frosting. They also happen to be dairy-free/vegan. You’ll never know there’s zucchini hidden in them!

stack of three chocolate frosted zucchini brownies.

Zucchini Brownies

My first job was at a retirement home in the kitchen/dining room. One of my many tasks was shredding carrots for the salad bar. I hated shredding carrots. For one, it’s pretty boring. But it also turns your hands orange and is kind of messy. It was better than peeling hard boiled eggs though. 

Man, I loved that job. Old people are the best. 

overhead shot of frosted brownies sliced on parchment paper.

This recipe requires you to shred zucchini. It’s still not my favorite thing to do but at least it doesn’t stain your hands. Plus, it’s worth it. 

I went to the Farmer’s Market last weekend with my mom & brother and picked up some green beans and zucchini. I made roasted green beans & zucchini but made sure to save enough for a dessert.

Usually my go-to zucchini recipe is Paula Deen’s zucchini bread.

However, I saw Dorothy at Crazy for Crust make zucchini brownies and knew I had to try my version.

sliced, frosted brownies in front of zucchini.

Zucchini Brownie Ingredients

These actual brownies are vegan / dairy-free. The frosting does call for butter but it can be swapped for coconut oil to keep them vegan.

  • Flour
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Zucchini
  • Hot Water
overhead shot of ingredients laid out to make zucchini brownies.

Do I have to peel the zucchini?


Many people wonder if you have to peel zucchini before you use it in baked goods and the answer is no, you don’t. Just give the zucchini a wash then grate it, leaving the skin on, with a box grater. That’s it!

They’re all kinds of delicious. They’re very moist and chocolatey. Everyone that has tasted them has said “these have zucchini in them?!”.

I don’t like frosting on brownies so I just drizzled it over the top & they were still plenty sweet.



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Zucchini Brownies are moist and chocolaty with a simple frosting. They also happen to be dairy-free/vegan. You'll never know there's zucchini hidden in them! | www.persnicketyplates.com
4.83 from 28 votes

Zucchini Brownies

Servings: 24
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Zucchini Brownies are moist and chocolaty with a simple frosting. They also happen to be dairy-free/vegan. You’ll never know there’s zucchini hidden in them!


For the brownies

  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups zucchini shredded
  • 2 Tablespoons hot water

For the frosting

  • 1 ½ tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil (or butter) melted
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • cup water
  • splash of vanilla extract


To make the brownies

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Spray with non-stick spray and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the oil, sugar, and vanilla until well combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients and stir.
  • Fold in the zucchini.
  • Add in 2 Tablespoons water and stir. If your mixture is still powdery, add more water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until it comes together. The batter will be crumbly, but shouldn’t be powdery.
  • Spread evenly into your prepared baking dish.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes until the brownies spring back when gently touched.

To make the frosting

  • Add melted coconut oil (or butter) and cocoa powder to a small bowl, stir and set aside.
  • In another small bowl, add the powdered sugar, water, and vanilla. Stir together.
  • Stir in the cocoa mixture.
  • Spread over cooled brownies.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 160kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 175mg | Potassium: 70mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 50IU | Vitamin C: 1.8mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.8mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Photos updated August 6, 2017; originally published September 30, 2012

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  1. These look delicious! I’m going to try them this week. How many small zucchinis would you say I need to get 2 cups shredded?