First Taste of First Love

Your first love…will the flame always burn?

I’ll bet somewhere you have a collection of old love notes, pictures, concert ticket stubs and cards from your first love. When you look through those momentos, or hear a certain song (Chicago, Richard Marx, Foreigner, Cyndi Lauper… ooh the allure of 80’s love ballads. Admit it, right now you’re singing “Time After Time”), or maybe even cross paths with your former flame….your heart might beat a little faster. You might even let old emotions resurface and remember that first sweet kiss, that first taste at what you believed to be true love.


But we all grow UP (Not old. Not me. Nooooo sir.). Our tastes develop and mature and we move on. Love has more layers. Gets more complex and intricate. Kind of like appreciating Zucchini Carpaccio with Homemade Ricotta Cheese or Zucchini Blossoms Stuffed with Tomatoes and Parmesan. But just like that first kiss, I’ll never forget my fist zucchini yearning. Printed on an old recipe card found lurking in the depths of my recipe box, a straight forward, uncomplicated chocolate zucchini cake.

Simple…effortless…and fresh…

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

  • 1/4 C butter
  • 1/2 C apple sauce
  • 1 1/2 C sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 C buttermilk
  • 2 1/2 C flour
  • 1/2 C cocoa
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 C dark chocolate chips
  • 2 C finely grated zucchini


  • 1/4 C chocolate chips
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • Lightly grease a 9×13 pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time beating well after each. Add in apple sauce and vanilla.
  • Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt and cinnamon. Add to wet ingredients alternating with buttermilk. Once combined fold in zucchini and chocolate chips.
  • Sprinkle over remaining chocolate chips and brown sugar.
  • Bake for approximately 30 minutes


  • This recipe comes from my mom. It’s one of the first cakes I ever made and always turns out. I look forward to making it every summer when the zucchini is fresh.
  • This cake stores well on the counter for a day or two…if it lasts that long! It also freezes really well. IF there are leftovers (ie. I haven’t wanted to run a zillion miles the day after baking it) I wrap the leftover pieces individually and freeze to be enjoyed at a later date. But not that much later….
  • The original recipe called for 1 C butter instead of 1/4 C butter and 1/2 C applesauce. It also called for 1 3/4 C sugar. Go ahead, if you want but you really won’t notice a difference in taste. Honest.
  • My husband thinks it needs more brown sugar on top. His opinion is very important.
  • Buy some really good cocoa. It makes a HUGE difference.
  • Lastly…preheat your oven! That way it’s ready to go when your cake is mixed. It’s a good idea to NOT let your batter sit on the counter or the rising agents don’t work as well. Well, that’s what I read. And I stick to it. When I remember…

4 thoughts on “First Taste of First Love

  1. Found your recipe on tastespotting and gave it a go today. Sydney is cold and overcast at the moment and this cake brightened my day. I have been making more cakes with applesauce these days and am loving it as a lower fat option. I am also trying my hand at food photography, I have got some great shots of this cake … its very photogenic!

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