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Lemon Zucchini Cake

Lemon Zucchini Cake is a super simple and delicious dessert to make when you have an abundance of zucchini! Bursting with lemon flavor and topped with a tangy buttermilk lemon glaze.

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Lemon Zucchini Loaf Cake

If you find yourself with more zucchini than you know what to do with, this cake is just perfect! The shredded zucchini keeps the cake incredibly moist and I promise your cake will not taste like vegetables!

You’ll also like these Lemon Curd Cookies made with homemade lemon curd if you are a fan of lemon desserts.

Lemon Zucchini Cake collage

How to Make Lemon Zucchini Cake:

Zucchini whole, shredded

  • Shred zucchini with a large box grater.
  • Squeeze zucchini with your hands to remove the excess moisture.
  • Place on paper towels in a single layer and blot dry.

making lemon zucchini cake

  • Add sugar to a mixing bowl and zest 2 lemons into sugar. Rub sugar and zest together with your hands until well combined.
  • Mix in buttermilk, oil, eggs and lemon juice.

Step by step making zucchini cake

  • Add shredded zucchini and mix well.
  • Next, add flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Mix until well combined.
  • Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes.

Baked zucchini cake and cooling on a wire rack

  • Cool in the pan 5 minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Buttermilk Lemon Glaze for loaf cake

  • Mix glaze together by combining powdered sugar, buttermilk and lemon juice.

Glazed lemon zucchini cake with fresh lemon slices

  • Place cake on a serving platter. Pour glaze over cake, letting it drizzle over the sides.
  • Top with lemon slices for garnish if desired.

Recipe Tips:

Don’t skip draining the zucchini or your cake will not have a cake-like texture.

I found that squeezing the liquid from the shredded zucchini by the handfuls over the sink worked best and then blotting dry with paper towels.

Let the cake cool before adding the glaze so that it will stick to the cake.

Store cake wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature up to 2 days or refrigerated up to a week.

You might also like this Zucchini Crisp that tastes just like apple! You wouldn’t ever guess that it’s actually zucchini.

Lemon Zucchini Cake with glaze - one slice off of the loaf

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Handy Tools for Baking:

Easy Lemon Desserts

My favorite lemon desserts to make for any occasion and easy enough for any day of the week!

Lemon Zucchini Loaf Cake

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Lemon Zucchini Cake

Lemon Zucchini Cake loaf

Lemon Zucchini Cake is a super simple and delicious dessert to make when you have an abundance of zucchini! Bursting with lemon flavor and topped with a tangy buttermilk lemon glaze. 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups zucchini
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • non stick cooking spray
  • FOR THE GLAZE:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°.
  2. Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan heavily with non stick cooking spray.
  3. Shred zucchini with a large box grater. Squeeze zucchini with your hands to remove as much liquid as you can. Place on paper towels and pat dry.
  4. Add sugar and lemon zest to mixer bowl and mix together with your fingers until it is mixed well.
  5. Add oil, eggs, buttermilk and lemon juice, beat mixture at medium speed for 2 minutes.
  6. Blend in shredded zucchini just until combined.
  7. Add flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt and continue to mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  8. Pour into greased pan and bake for 50- 55 minutes. A toothpick inserted will come out mostly clean.
  9. Run a knife around the pan to loosen cake and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Mix powdered sugar, buttermilk and lemon juice together until smooth.
  11. Place cooled cake on a serving tray and spread glaze over cake and let it drizzle over the sides.
  12. Garnish with fresh lemon slices if desired.

Notes

Store cake covered in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 2 days or in refrigerator up to a week.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 446Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 386mgCarbohydrates: 72gFiber: 2gSugar: 47gProtein: 6g

Nutritional calculations are estimated and may not be accurate.

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13 Comments

      1. Hi Deborah,
        The cornstarch goes in with the flour, I’ve corrected the recipe card. I appreciate you letting me know that was missing. I hope you get a chance to try it.

        ~ Milisa

  1. So, I made this cake and it smelled amazing when it was baking. After 55 minutes, the top was still quite loose so I baked it for about 10 minutes longer. It was still not fully cooked but I was afraid of over cooking it so I took it out. After it cooled, I cut into it and the top middle was still raw and the entire rest of the cake was like a rubber ball. I don’t think it was the zucchini as I really dried it before adding it. Could it have been the cornstarch? I had to throw the whole thing out. I would love to be able to make this again and have it be a wonderful, edible texture. Thank you.

    1. Hi Perri-Anne,
      I don’t think it was the cornstarch, that just lightens the flour a bit to be more like cake flour. I would guess your oven temperature might be the issue. I recently put an oven thermometer in my oven and was very surprised that my oven thermostat was way off.

      ~ Milisa

      1. Thanks so much for getting back to me. I had thought about that and had the oven serviced. They said the temperature was fine. I can understand that being the issue with the undercooking issue but what do you think caused it to be so rubbery?

        1. Hi Perri-Anne,
          I can’t think of anything other than the amount of liquid in the zucchini but you mentioned you thought it was pretty dry when you added it so I’m not sure.

          ~ Milisa

  2. I have made this 3 or 4 times since zucchini season hit and I’ve loved it every time! It’s a huge hit with my friends and it’s so easy. I have substituted butter and yogurt for the oil and been pretty non careful about amounts (flour, zucchini, etc) also added vanilla which made it perfect. Awesome recipe!!!

  3. After an hour i the oven, the cake was just liquid. Im a darn good baker and have never, ever seen this happen before. if you are wanting to put cornstarch in the flour, why not just call out cake flour – which in this instance seems to be way too light to support the cake. so disappointed as I was pulling this together for a dinner group. will have to find something else now to bake, if there’s time after cleaning up this mess in my oven. Please double check your recipes if you’re writing them on your own. Zucchini cakes are typically so simple to pull together.

    1. Hi September,
      Is it possible that you didn’t squeeze the liquid from the zucchini before you mixed it in? I have never had any trouble with this cake that is the only thing I can think of that would cause it to be liquid after baking for an hour.

      ~ Milisa

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