Fork Spoon Knife is the personal blog of Asha where she chronicles her journeys in food through stories, recipes and photographs. She can also be found doodling and sharing her experiences as below.



Farm to Table: Zucchini Chocolate (Basil) Loaf

Zucchini (basil) Chocolate loaf Sliced (Warm)

This is a no-brainer combination! Really! Zucchini and chocolate were meant to be. The moistness of one pairs so beautifully with the richness of the other to make one succulent and intensely flavorful bite.

How it came to be is no real story. With an overabundance of summer squash to make use of, I was racking my brains and the net for inspiration when I remembered a zucchini bread that I had made last year. That was the first time I was made aware of the selfless good nature of the said vegetable.

I mean, one needs to acknowledge it's behind-the-scenes altruism. The finished product, in every subtle and not-so-subtle way, gains from its presence. Yet, it makes no declaration of or proclamation to it! And, that indeed, is what warmed me to using this summer staple in sweet things.

Zucchini (basil) Chocolate loaf

This time around, I wanted more decadence and much more dessert likeness! The simple bread was great for breakfast or tea but wasn't quite the sweet finish to the meal. By making a cake like loaf that was light as air and fresh as summer, it just elevated the humble loaf to a level comparable to the dessert greats!

Paired with the freshest donut peaches that I have ever bitten into and ever fragrant garden basil, it was just the sublime I was looking for. The peaches add naturally fresh sweetness and the basil just the touch of herb-y savory which brought the dessert into a nice balance along with the just slightly sweetened lemon mascarpone.

Ok, fine, I'll confess, it turned out way finer than I had expected and it was all greedily consumed, swiftly at that, by the FSKs, especially the Mr.! :)

Chocolate loaf with mascarpone, peaches and basil

For more ideas on cooking fresh, seasonal produce, please click on the "Farm to Table Series" tab above.

Zucchini Chocolate Loaf

Recipe Note: Although I added the basil in the batter, we couldn't taste it in the loaf. However, sprinkling some fresh basil on the dessert served, makes a world of difference!

1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup zucchini grated
1/4 cup cocoa powder
handful chocolate chips semisweet
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
2 T basil
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup whole milk yogurt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp baking powder

Mix the wet ingredients together and sift the dry ones in a large bowl. Add the wet mixture in three parts to the dry and fold until just combined. Pour into a 5 inch loaf pan and bake at 350 F for 45 minutes or until the cake tester comes out clean. Cool on rack to room temperature before slicing.

To serve, spread a generous teaspoon of sweetened mascarpone mixed with lemon zest. Arrange peach slices on top and sprinkle fresh basil over.

Chocolate loaf with mascarpone, peaches and basil close


  1. That looks beautiful - especially with the peaches on top... no wonder Mr devoured it!

  2. Could not agree more. I wasn't expecting your bread to actually be a lovely chocolate color, what a nice touch ... and a great way to eat chocolate without feeling even the least bit guilty about it!

  3. That looks on my to do list!

  4. A very original combination! Your cake looks divine.



  5. This is totally new to me. I love zucchini but never knew you could pair it with chocolate. This I will definitely have to try! Thanks for the inspiration.

  6. Fabulous recipe and click !! I love zucchini bread and surely with chocolate in it ,it must be divine!!

  7. I am really surprised! Very interesting combination! And the pictures....they are amazing!

  8. This looks like a good and healthy cake recipe. The zucchini must help the cake stay moist. I've never tried basil with chocolate, it sounds quite intriguing.

  9. I would greedily consume that moist, delicious bread too!

  10. I've recently discovered how great zucchini is in sweet baked goods, and now I know that it also works wonderfully with chocolate!

  11. Gorgeous and ever so decadent Asha...Mmmmm! I've done a zucchini choc bake 2 years ago, but that had too much butter. This is on my list of things to bake soon! I'm lovin' it!

  12. Beautiful color and love the idea of basil! Who doesn't love the fresh flavor and aroma of basil! Great combination of flavors.

  13. This looks amazing - I've never tried the zucchini + chocolate combination but you've really sold it for me. I love your paragraph about the altruistic property of the humble zucchini ;)

  14. Love the presentation with the peaches. Gorgeous

  15. Great recipe. I love that I can pretend chocolate cake is healthy because of the zucchini in it!

  16. This looks super decadent and moist. The basil and peaches are a really interesting pairing. Sweet and refreshing.

  17. Zucchini and Chocolate do go so well together:) You can tell by your wonderful photos that this loaf looks so light and airy, just looks so delish!

  18. Lovely recipe and fantastic photos!

  19. Wow Asha, those are wonderful set of pictures and recipe too.....i simply loved them....i was always intimidated to use zucchini in baking....but i have read the combo is just brilliant....still worried, dono how the flavours are gonna blend in.....loved the dark backdrop!...i think i am getting bored of white backdrops after seeings urs:)

  20. What a wonderful combination of flavors! It sounds so delicious. Beautiful photos too :)

  21. I love this. Will make over and over again! Wonderful!

  22. What a cool combination! I love the idea of mixing basil, zucchini, and chocolate--so interesting. I tried to make some cheesecake cupcakes once using a spinach's just say they didn't turn out half as good as this! :D

  23. Gorgeous. I've never tried zucchini chocolate cake before, but I've seen a few recipes now and I'm really intrigued to give it a go!

  24. This looks wonderful! I love zucchini bread with chocolate chips but this takes it to another level!

  25. Beautiful! I haven't made my chocolate zucchini cake in ages and it was one of the best things I've ever eaten. I'll try yours next: it looks luscious and delicious!

  26. This looks like an amazingly delightful dessert :)

  27. What a stunning loaf - love the idea, love the look. Beautiful!
    Heidi xo

  28. This is too much of a coincindence! My blog is called A Spoon, A Fork, and a Knife and JUST wrote about Chocolate Zucchini Cake.

    Great minds think alike?`

  29. Just came across your blog for the first time today. Your post was so timely for us, with all the zucchini our garden is producing. Tried the recipe tonight and it turned out fantastic! Great texture and flavor. Thanks for sharing.

  30. Jack - Glad you liked the cake!! :))

  31. Your photos are beautiful! Question: does this make a regular (9 x 5) loaf or a mini loaf? Thanks.

    1. Hi Laurie,
      Thank you.

      It makes a mini loaf about 5 x 4 inch


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