Go Back
+ servings
lemon zucchini cake with lemon buttercream frosting topped with candied lemons. cake has a couple slices cut out

Lemon Zucchini Cake

An ultra-moist zucchini cake bursting with lemon flavor topped with a luscious lemon buttercream frosting. This is the ultimate way to use up all your fresh garden zucchini this summer!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course dessert
Cuisine american
Servings 15 people
Calories 581 kcal


  • 1 13x9 baking pan
  • 1 electric hand mixer
  • 1 stand mixer optional
  • 1 set of mixing bowls
  • 1 cooling rack
  • 1 box grater or hand grater


Dry Ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Wet Ingredients

  • cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 4 large eggs room temp
  • cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 3 cups zucchini grated, NOT DRAINED

Lemon Buttercream

  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temp but not warm
  • 4 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt


Mixing the Dry Ingredients

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F then line a 13x9 (metal) baking pan with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with non-stick cooking spray
  • Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl then set aside until needed

Mixing the Wet Ingredients

  • In a separate large bowl, use a hand mixer on medium speed to combine both sugars and olive oil
  • Mix in the eggs one at a time, scraping down sides between each addition
  • Add the lemon juice, vanilla extract and lemon zest. Blend until fully incorporated
  • Fold the dry ingredients into the wet using a rubber spatula
  • Fold in the shredded zucchini
  • Pour cake batter into prepared pan then bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean or with only a few crumbs
  • Allow the cake to cool completely on a wire rack

Making the Lemon Buttercream

  • Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed for 1-2 minutes
  • Add the powdered sugar, lemon juice, zest and salt. Mix on low until combined
  • Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes until buttercream is light and airy
  • Top the fully cooled cake with frosting
  • Enjoy!


  • Use a box grater, hand grater or your food processor to shred your zucchini. I prefer using the large holes of a box grater.
  • You can freeze any extra grated zucchini! See the FAQ section below for instructions.
  • Use the paddle attachment or the whisk attachment to make your lemon buttercream frosting. The whisk adds more air to the frosting so I usually end up stirring it vigorously with a rubber spatula afterwards to get some air out. The paddle will add less air to your frosting. It's a personal preference which you prefer.
  • DO NOT squeeze the zucchini. Leave all the moisture and water in it so that you have a nice moist cake.
  • Use room temperature eggs! If you forget to take the eggs out ahead of time you can just place them in a bowl of warm-hot water for about 5 minutes.
  • Don't skip out on the lemon zest. A little lemon zest adds SO MUCH lemon flavor to this amazing cake!
  • Room temperature butter for the lemon buttercream should not be warm. It should be soft but not greasy with a SLIGHT chill to it in the center of the stick.
  • You can use round cake pans to make a layer cake, a Bundt pan for a Bundt cake or even a loaf pan (2) to make this into a Lemon Zucchini Bread recipe! Keep in mind bake times will be slightly different. Less time for the round cake pans or the loaf pans. Slightly more in a Bundt pan.
  • You can add a teaspoon ground cinnamon to the dry ingredients for more of a spiced cake. I like to do that when we get closer to the fall!
  • Enjoy this gorgeous cake with a cup of coffee or cup of tea!


Calories: 581kcalCarbohydrates: 80gProtein: 5gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 406mgPotassium: 133mgFiber: 1gSugar: 59gVitamin A: 492IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 2mg
Keyword buttercream, lemon frosting, summer recipes, zucchini, zucchini cake
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!