Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Whole Wheat Frosted Zucchini Brownies

We didn't plant a garden this year because I knew I simply wouldn't have time to tend to it. I really love fresh veggies from the garden, but even without my own, I wouldn't be out of luck this summer. My dad is a habitual over-planter. There are always plenty of extra zucchini, tomatoes, green beans, etc to go around when he starts harvesting. This year is no exception, and his zucchini are beautiful and ready for picking. On a visit last weekend, my parents brought me four zucchini, and as soon as I saw this recipe, I knew exactly what I'd be doing with two of them!
Nicole already made one adjustment that I normally do in baking, which is to replace all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour. I took it a step further and used my favorite sugar adjustment - evaporated cane juice. I loved her suggestion of using applesauce instead of oil, but decided to go for the glory on the first try, and use that one later if I make them again. I reduced the sugar to 1 cup, as she suggested, but after a quick sampling of the final batter, decided that was too little and added 1/4 cup more. It was definitely an interesting batter to work with, and they turned out to sort of be a cross between cake and brownie. No matter what you call them, though, they certainly are delicious!
These brownies are well on their way to being a great dessert for clean eaters, and it almost pained me to pour the full-of-powdered-sugar frosting on top. The frosting is quite sweet and is a fabulous complement to the brownies, but I was hoping for something a little more healthy. The good news is that I might have just the right frosting recipe! It's been waiting on the sidelines, for just the right companion to come along. I will definitely be making these brownies again to test out this (hopefully) great match!

Whole Wheat Frosted Zucchini Brownies
Whole Wheat Frosted Zucchini BrowniesSource: Slightly adapted from Prevention RD
Yield: 30 brownies


For the brownies:
  • 1/2 cup safflower or canola oil
  • 1 1/4 cups evaporated cane juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup (dutch processed, if available) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups zucchini, shredded (about 2 zucchini)
For the frosting:
  • 6 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking dish, or line with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl mix together oil, sugar and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract until well blended. In another bowl combine the flour, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. A little at a time stir into the sugar mixture. Fold in zucchini. Note: the batter will be dry and crumbly. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish.
  3. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the brownies spring back when gently touched. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool.
  4. To make the frosting, melt together the cocoa powder and butter in a small sauce pan over low heat. Set aside to cool. In a medium bowl blend confectioner’s sugar, milk, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir in the butter/cocoa mixture. Spread over cooled brownies and cut into squares. Refrigerate 1-2 hours to set.


  1. I honestly can't imagine how zucchini would taste in brownies, cause I haven't tried that but I really like the way they look :)

  2. Medeja - you can't taste the zucchini! :-)