Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake Waffles

There’s a fine line between breakfast and dessert, and I never know if I’ve crossed it or not. Muffins, scones, sweet biscuits, cinnamon rolls, and doughnuts, are they breakfast or dessert? I say breakfast, but only because I’ve been known to eat all of those first thing in the morning—and all at once, but that’s a whole other story. Maybe I’m just calling them breakfast so that I won’t feel so guilty eating them early on in the day. Doughnuts double as a dessert for me though, because I love them in the evening just as much as in the mornings. I love them during midday as well. I just love doughnuts in general, have I mentioned that before? This isn’t about doughnuts though. This post is about waffles. Focus Jon, focus. 

Pancakes, waffles and French toast, now those are for sure breakfast items, right? They’re always present at every breakfast I’ve ever been to. So I’m gonna go with, yes. Mentioning the three together of course brings up a very important question, Which do you prefer? Waffles, pancakes or French toast? I’m all about the pancakes…that is when I’m not scarfing down a stack of French Toast, then I’m all about the cinnamon and bread. But then there are the times when I’d kill for a waffle. A thick Belgian style waffle with a mountain of whipped cream (and if my doctor or mother are reading this, fresh fruit, of course). 

What happens though when said waffles are made to taste just like dark chocolate zucchini cake topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream? That’s totally, hands down, without a doubt, 100% still considered breakfast, right? Of course it is. Phew, I’m glad we settled that. I wouldn’t of been able to enjoy the rest of my day without hearing the right answer. Let’s go have dark chocolate zucchini cake waffles for breakfast, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, of course. Breakfast, I love you. Really, I do. 

Waffles and pancakes, as a whole, are super easy to whip up. That’s why they’re my favorite things to make for breakfast. You don’t have to worry too much about time, because the hardest part is just measuring out all of the ingredients and mixing them together, and that’s not hard at all, right? 

Let’s start by mixing together the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until completely combined. 

**Note: Most grocery stores now carry a dark cocoa powder, so if you can find it, use that! That’s what I put in these waffles. Unsweetened dark cocoa powder. It’s a thing. A very delicious thing.**

You’ll then make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and dump in the wet ingredients. Add the melted coconut oil, egg yolks, buttermilk and vanilla. 

**Tip: I used coconut oil because that’s what I had on hand, but you can definitely use melted unsalted butter, or vegetable oil, if you’d prefer. Any of those will work perfectly in this recipe and won’t alter the taste!**

Give the batter a stir until just combined. There should be no more lumps, but at the same time, don’t mix it too much because then you’ll end up with tough dry waffles. No one wants that. I think we’re all looking for the same thing, moist dark chocolate waffles. 

Set that batter off to the side while we turn our attention to the egg whites. Whip up the egg whites, in a separate clean bowl, until it has doubled in size and stiff peaks form. 

**Note: It’s very important that your bowl and beaters be super clean and dry because if they’re not, it’ll prevent the egg whites from fully whipping up to their highest peaks. Humidity will also affect the whipping of egg whites, keep that in mind.** 

Add the egg whites to the waffle batter, in batches, and fold it in gently. Do not stir or mix vigorously because that’ll deflate the egg whites. Just fold them gently with a rubber spatula until they’re all incorporated. 

Your waffle cake batter is essentially done, but because I want to take these to the next level, we’re not really done. Let’s grate up a few zucchinis. (Zucchini?) Cut off the ends and shred them with a box grater. 

Add the grated zucchini to the batter along with the chopped up dark chocolate (only because there wasn’t enough chocolate for my taste). 

Fold them both in until they’re well combined. 


Heat up your waffle iron and wait for it to get super hot. I like to spray mine with a bit of non-stick cooking spray, just to be super safe. I’m haunted by nightmares of perfectly delicious waffles getting stuck to the iron. That sounds dreadful. 

Drop in about 1/4 cup of batter into the middle of the hot waffle iron. Cook as directed by your manufacturer’s settings. My waffle iron has a red/green light indicator, I just go by that. Green when they’re done. Easy. 

You can serve them up as you’re cooking along, or you can place the cooked waffles on top of a wire rack set over a baking sheet and keep them warm in a 250°F oven until ready to serve. 


If you’re having these for breakfast, add a pat of butter on top and drizzle the waffles all over with some maple syrup, that’s the classic route you can take. You can also dust them with a hefty amount of powdered sugar. Just make it rain down sugar. Either of those would be delicious, if you ask me. 


For those of you wondering, no you can’t taste the zucchini at all. It’s not like someone is going to try these waffles and say something like, “HARK! There’s totally shredded zucchini in these here chocolate waffles!” If someone does that, they’re probably magicians or psychics. I’d be scared. The zucchini really just makes these waffles super moist. 

This is a great way to get your kids (if you have them) to eat more veggies. You’re sneaking in a green vegetable, prepare to be parent of the year. That’s a major big deal. I’m not sure if kids like zucchini or not, but they’ll for sure eat it now. No one has to know. 

And if you’re not feeling these for breakfast and are looking for a tasty dessert after dinner, well you always have the option of slapping a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Yes, ICE CREAM. There’s nothing better than waffles and ice cream. 

Good news: You can make these waffles in advance and then freeze them. That way, next time you’re looking for a quick dessert or breakfast, you can warm them up in the oven for a few minutes and then top them with that scoop of ice cream we were talking about…you know you want to. 

Waffles should always be made of chocolate and they should always have a scoop of ice cream on top. You can quote me on that. Let’s make this a trend. Enjoy! 

Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake Waffles
These waffles are the perfect combination of dessert and breakfast. Dark chocolate zucchini cake batter made into fluffy waffles and topped with butter, maple syrup and vanilla ice cream!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 2 cups cake flour
  2. ½ cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  3. ¼ cup light brown sugar
  4. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  7. 3 large eggs, separated
  8. 2 cups buttermilk
  9. ½ cup coconut oil, liquid form (or melted butter or vegetable oil)
  10. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  11. 1 medium zucchini, shredded
  12. 1 cup dark chocolate, chopped
  13. butter, for topping
  14. maple syrup, for topping
  15. vanilla ice cream, for topping (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 250°F and place a wire rack over a baking sheet, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk until evenly combined. Make a well in the center of the bowl and pour in the egg yolks, buttermilk, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Mix until just combined and lump-free.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Make sure the bowl and beaters are super clean so that the egg whites fluff up properly. Add the beaten egg whites to the batter, a little at a time, and fold them in gently until evenly combined. Fold in the shredded zucchini and chopped dark chocolate.
  4. Heat waffle iron and lightly grease with cooking spray. Add about ¼ cup of batter to the center of the hot waffle iron. Close lid and cook according to your waffle iron's instructions. Transfer to prepared wire rack baking sheet. Keep waffles warm in the preheated oven while you continue to cook the rest. Serve with butter and maple syrup or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!
  1. yield: about 10 waffles
  2. Tip: Waffles can be made ahead and frozen in airtight container. Rewarm in oven or toaster before serving!
The Candid Appetite http://www.thecandidappetite.com/


  1. avatar says

    These waffles look amazing! Your photography is beautiful :) I always think that I’ve probably tasted every possible dessert in this world, but the truth is that I’ve never had chocolate waffles before (especially not with zucchini)! Sounds delicious.

  2. avatarSweet E says

    Just made them (actually still making them) this morning – topped them with cherry jam from the farmer’s market. AMAZING! Thank you! Chocolate for breakfast or brunch is always welcome in our house. :)

    • avatar says

      Cake flour is a finely ground flour used in many (but not all) cake recipes. Cake flour has a lower protein content of about 8%, as compared to a 10-11% protein content in all-purpose flour. It’s not urgent to use cake flour for this recipe, you can definitely use all-purpose flour and it will still turn out just fine!

  3. avatarKris says

    OMGoodness! and I thought my chocolate chocolate chip zuch cake with chocolate frosting was killer. (well, it is, but still!) I am so gonna make this.

  4. avatarMaya R. says

    A few years ago I made the mistake of buying a waffle iron and threw it out because everyone in the house put on +20 lbs. within months. This recipe makes me regret that decision.

    Would it need to be altered for pancakes?


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