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Pineapple Zucchini Cake (without) Cream Cheese Frosting


Who knew that Zucchini and dessert even went together? This Pineapple Zucchini Cake is so easy to make, that you don't even need to use a mixer! It's very moist, with just the right balance of spices. There's a cream cheese frosting that makes this cake even decadent and richer-- and you can make this is a sheet pan. For me, I made this in a bundt-style pan, and sprinkled it with powdered sugar. Know what? I didn't even miss the frosting! It's a great snack cake that just might sneak in a little fruit and veggies for your kids. Super delicious and a keeper.

To see how I made this, visit my food blog at:

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  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (can use all white flour if you don't have this)
  • 1-1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut (optional, I didn't use)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon), (you can use pre-ground, too)
  • 1 pinch ground dried ginger (about 1/16 teaspoon)
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 whole large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups grated (unpeeled) zucchini (*see Note)
  • 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice, drained (reserve in case you need it for the cake batter or the frosting)
  • NOTE: I think that half the pineapple would have been better, and I will do that next time.
  • NOTE: Because I'm trying to cut back on my sweet tooth, and fat, I didn't frost this cake. Undoubtedly, the frosting below is phenomenally good with this cake!
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 8 ounces low-fat cream cheese, softened (can use full-fat cream cheese)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Splash of milk or pineapple juice, if necessary
  • Chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)


Servings 10
Preparation time 25mins
Cooking time 50mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F.

To prepare cake, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, coconut, baking soda, salt, and spices in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk.

Combine oil, eggs, and vanilla; stir well. Stir egg mixture, grated zucchini, and pineapple** into flour mixture. Batter might be stiff and dry but keep folding it and it will all come together. If it still seems too dry, just add a little splash of the pineapple juice.

NOTE: I found that the batter was easy to work with, and I didn't need the addition of pineapple juice.

**I felt that one 20-ounce can of pineapple was a little too much for this cake. However, adjust this or not, according to your preferences.

TASTING NOTES: Loved this cake! It was super delicious and I did use whole wheat pastry flour. I did not miss the icing one little bit-- it's a great snacking cake, and maybe a great way to sneak in some veggies.

Spoon batter into a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for about 33-35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs and cake is pulling away from sides of pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.

To prepare frosting, combine butter and cream cheese in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla just until smooth. Add a splash of milk or pineapple juice if necessary. Spread frosting over top of cake. You can garnish with chopped pecans or walnuts, if desired.

NOTES : If your zucchini are huge, scrape the seeds out of the center before you shred it so it’s not too watery. Also, I spread it all out on layers of paper towel to drain it and dry it off a bit. Then I measure out 2 cups. Not sure if this is critical though. Nuts can also be added to the cake batter if desired. This recipe makes a very generous amount of frosting.

And this recipe can be turned into a Carrot Cake just by substituting shredded carrots for the zucchini.

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