Sweet Olive oil zucchini cake close up of the cut edge showing zucchini pepitas and currants

Sweet Olive Oil Zucchini Cake

Sweet Zucchini Olive Oil Cake in chunky slices spread with butter

Recipe by Marnie Nitschke, Accredited Practicing Dietitian at Fork That Nutrition & Cockatoo Grove Ambassador.

Zucchini is one of the most inexpensive and versatile veggies around. I often make it into fritters, or zoodles served with spaghetti, lemon, garlic and parmesan.

Here’s a take on zucchini I hadn’t tried until recently, when the veggie patch was in full summer swing, and I had more zucchini than I could poke a stick at. 

 Huh? Zucchini cake you say?

I know. I can hear the mistrust in your voice.

Sweet Olive Oil Zucchini Cake close up on a vintage round wire cooling rack

But you know how carrot cake works? This is very similar. You’re not tasting zucchini – you’re tasting currants and spices and crunchy pepitas.

 Using Extra Virgin Olive Oil in place of butter in the cake works amazingly here. Combined with the moisture of grated zucchini, you end up with the most luscious, moist cake ever imagined.

Sweet Zucchini olive oil cake ingredients in little bowls

Depending on the seasonality and freshness, zucchini will have a different moisture level, and I find home grown ones tend to be more juicy. The fresher they are, the more juice. I go for 2 cups zucchini, which produces quite a moist, dense loaf, but you can alter to suit your taste and ingredients.

Sweet Zucchini Olive Oil cake with a thick slice cut on a vintage wire round cake cooler

Makes 1 loaf (8 chunky slices)


Wet ingredients:
2 cups grated zucchini
1 large egg
½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
½ cup currants
1/3 cup pepitas

Dry ingredients:
1 1/2 cups plain flour
2/3 cup caster sugar
½ tsp bicarb soda
½ tps baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tps ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cardamon


Grate zucchini and set aside in a large bowl, preheat oven to 175C.

Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk well to combine.

Combine wet ingredients with the grated zucchini and stir well.

Add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients, in 3 separate lots, folding gently until fully combined. The batter should be fairly thick but sloppy. If it’s too dry and stodgy, add a little milk or yoghurt.

Roughly line a loaf pan with baking paper (I don’t cut and measure, I just shove it in and fold around the edges, leaving paper sticking well up the sides to make for easy removal and washing up).

Carefully tip the batter in the pan, and bake for 50 minutes, or until browned and starting to crack and open up on top.

Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then lift out and cool on a baking rack for up to an hour.

Slice thickly and serve with butter.

Uneaten slices can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days (if they last that long!)

Here's a bit about Marnie ...