Chocolate Zucchini Cake!

I love zucchini because of the versatility of it!  You can use it in so many recipes, both savory and sweet.  It's particularly good in baked goods, because of the high water content, which makes whatever you bake it in very moist and the fact that it picks up and melds with whatever flavors you add to it.  

This recipe for chocolate cake is somewhat healthier than some recipes.  Some of the fat is replaced with applesauce and zucchini.   However, you would never miss it in the flavor.  Here is what you will need for this cake: 

1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil ( we used canola)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, beat sugar and oil with an electric mixer for 1 minute.  Add the eggs, applesauce and vanilla.  Beat just until mixed.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  Add to the sugar mixture alternating with the buttermilk.   Beat just until blended.   Fold in the zucchini.

Pour into a 9"x13"  baking pan that has been sprayed well with nonstick baking spray.  Bake for 20 minutes.  

Sprinkle the top with the mini chocolate chips and the chopped pecans.  Return to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until a pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cut into squares to serve!

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