Enjoy the flavor of banana bread and zucchini bread in this amazing Zucchini Banana Cake. The zucchini cake bakes up soft and moist because of the zucchini in it. Adding spices and a creamy caramel frosting gives it a warm and rich flavor.
Grab some zucchini from the garden or farmer’s market and get ready to make the best zucchini cake.
I’m always on the lookout for fun and exciting ways to use zucchini. Yes, it’s delicious for dinner, but but I would rather use it in muffins, cookies, or brownies. Baking with zucchini is the best because it adds moisture and makes everything soft and delicious.
One of my favorite recipes is this Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake. I decided to change the recipe slightly with the extra zucchini I had. This time instead of adding chocolate, I added some mashed banana. Best idea ever!
This zucchini cake has all the flavors of banana bread and zucchini bread but in sheet cake form. A creamy caramel frosting and chopped pecans on top give it a great sweet and salty touch. It’s such a great recipe for summer picnics or barbecues.
What You’ll Need
For the Zucchini Cake
- Butter – Unsalted and melted.
- Sugars – A mixture of granulated sugar and brown sugar makes this homemade zucchini cake sweet.
- Banana – Make sure the banana is very ripe. Dark spotty bananas are best for using in cakes and breads.
- Sour Cream – Gives the cake a moist texture.
- Egg – Adds liquid and binds the ingredients together.
- Vanilla Extract & Salt – Adds flavor and balances the flavors.
- Zucchini – Grate a medium unpeeled zucchini using the smallest hole on a box grater. Do not pack the grated zucchini into the measuring cup.
- Flour – Adds structure to the cake. Make sure you are measuring correctly using the spoon and sweep method.
- Baking Soda – Reacts with the sour cream to create lift in the cake as it bakes.
- Spices – Cinnamon and nutmeg give the cake a little extra flavor.
For the Caramel Frosting
- Butter – Softened ahead of time.
- Marshmallow Cream – It is also called marshmallow fluff and is found in the baking aisle at most grocery stores.
- Caramel Ice Cream Topping – Gives the frosting the sweet caramel flavor.
- Salt & Cinnamon – Balances out the sweetness and adds a great flavor.
- Powdered Sugar – Thickens and sweetens the caramel icing.
- Heavy Whipping Cream – Gives the frosting a light fluffy texture when it is whipped into the ingredients.
How to Grate Zucchini
Using a box grater will shred the zucchini into small tiny pieces that will “melt” into your baked goods. No one will even know there are veggies hiding in your decadent desserts.
Choose small to medium sized zucchinis because they usually have more moisture and flavor. The big ones tend to be drier and have less flavor.
Cut off one end of the zucchini. Hold the uncut end and pass the zucchini over the holes in the grater. There is no need to peel your zucchini unless you prefer it that way. Just wash the zucchini and start grating.
How to make a Zucchini Banana Cake
This zucchini cake is a delicious and great way to use up ripe fruit and veggies. The homemade cake batter comes together easily in one bowl following these easy steps.
Step One: Make the Cake Batter
- Beat the melted butter and sugars in a large bowl until it resembles a coarse wet “sand”.
- Add the mashed banana, sour cream, egg, and vanilla and beat again.
- Stir in shredded zucchini gently.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix until everything is mixed in.
- Pour into a greased 9×13 baking pan and bake.
Step Two: Make Caramel Frosting
- Beat the butter in a medium bowl until creamy.
- Add the marshmallow cream, caramel topping, and salt and beat again.
- Slowly mix in the powdered sugar and cream until everything is mixed in.
- Beat on high speed for 1-2 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy.
- Spread on top of the cooled zucchini cake.
- Add chopped pecans to the top of the cake, if desired.
Tips and Variations
- This cake gets better after sitting, so it is a great recipe to make a day ahead of time.
- Add one cup of chopped nuts to the batter before baking.
- Chocolate chips would be a delicious addition to this sweet zucchini cake.
- Make sure the cake is completely cool before spreading the frosting on top.
- Make a cream cheese frosting instead of the caramel icing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need to peel zucchini before grating?
No. Just wash it first then pass it over a box grater. The size holes you use will determine how big the pieces of zucchini will be. I usually use the smallest hole on my grater, so the pieces bake into things better.
Do you squeeze the water out of the zucchini before using it?
Not for this recipe. Every recipe is different, so make sure you follow the directions in the recipe that you are using.
How do you store zucchini cake?
Keep the frosted cake on the counter in a tightly sealed container for 2-3 days.
You can also refrigerate the cake and it will keep 5-6 days. Pull the cake out of the fridge an hour before serving, so it has time to come to room temperature.
Can you freeze a zucchini cake?
Yes, the unfrosted cake will freeze well. Wrap the cooled cake tightly in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer safe bag or container. Thaw it before adding the frosting.
More Zucchini Recipes
- Best Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
- Butterscotch Zucchini Bars
- Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake
- Pineapple Zucchini Sheet Cake
- Zucchini Cookies
- Chocolate Zucchini Brownies
- Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
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For the Cake
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups shredded zucchini
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
For the Frosting
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup marshmallow cream
- 1/4 cup salted caramel ice cream topping
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with non-stick baking spray.
- Beat the butter and sugars until mixed together. Add the banana, sour cream, egg, and vanilla and mix again.Stir in the zucchini.
- Stir together the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Slowly add the dry ingredients and beat until mixed together.
- Spread in the prepared pan. Bake for 35-37 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
- Remove and let cool completely.
- Beat the butter until creamy. Add the marshmallow cream, caramel topping, salt, and cinnamon and beat again.
- Add the powdered sugar and heavy whipping cream alternately until everything is mixed in. Beat on medium high until light and fluffy.
- Spread the frosting on top of the cooled cake. Cut into 24 squares. Store in a sealed container.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 210Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 204mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 1gSugar: 26gProtein: 2g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and are not guaranteed to be accurate. If you need special diet advice, please see a registered dietician.
*The post for Zucchini Banana Cake was first published July 2016. The post and pictures were updated and republished August 2021.