Cinnamon Sugar Zucchini Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Sugar Zucchini Coffee Cake from Pinch of Yum

Cinnamon Sugar Zucchini Coffee Cake may or may not be the best thing to come out of my kitchen all week, but I need to start this post with some b-a-d news:

House #2, the Charmer, sold.

After 5 days on the market. To someone else. The same night I posted about it. Dramatic sad mopey face.

Even though the Charmer isn’t even an option anymore, can I just say how much I loved and appreciated all your advice? There were a few comments that seriously honestly for real might have swayed our house-buying decision one way or the other, and I mean literally just A COMMENT, from you sweet readers, across the internet world somewhere, which is just weird and amazing. You all are a very house savvy bunch, so thanks a mil for taking the time to leave your two cents about which house we should buy.

The funny thing about this is that now that the Charmer has sold, we don’t feel any special pull towards buying the Happy Easy home. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be with that old cutie and maybe it’s a good sign that we should keep looking. I’ll keep you posted, you house lovers you!

And when we DO find a house, hey! I know what to make for our We Finally Found a House celebration. It starts with Cinnamon Sugar and ends with Zucchini Coffee Cake.

Cinnamon Sugar Zucchini Coffee Cake from Pinch of Yum

So do you remember my jumbo ZUCCHINI? All caps for size representation.

Giant Zucchini

Here’s how I’ve used it, by fifths.

1/5: Zucchini Parmesan
1/5: Zucchini Pancakes
1/5: sauteed veggie salad
2/5: Cinnamon Sugar Zucchini Coffee Cake

I made this Cinnamon Sugar Zucchini Coffee Cake twice – get it? 2/5? – and the first time I didn’t make it with the middle layer of cinnamon sugar. Like, it didn’t exist in my brain yet.

But then the second time I got this food vision for an extra cinnamon sugar layer through the middle because I like things that are have sticky sugary middle layers, yeah? Go look at one of the pictures and see if you can spot that little layer in there. It’s subtle, like the kind of thing where you might not notice it at first bite and then BOOM! You get a forkful that has that sweet layer running through it and your world is rocked. If you don’t like sticky cinnamon sugar middle layers in your zucchini coffee cake, you’re allowed to leave it out. Buuut that does make you a weirdo.

Cinnamon Sugar Zucchini Coffee Cake from Pinch of Yum

PS. Possibly even more than middle layers, I like LOVE cinnamon sugar top layers. For the heavenly top crust on this zucchini coffee cake, the butter and sugar and cinnamon get crumb-ed, spread over the top, and baked into some kind of wonderful cinnamon sugar crunchyyy. There you are going about your business, and all of a sudden you find yourself eating this thin crunchy cinnamon sugar layer on a cake that sort of melts in your mouth and that just so happens to have VEGGIEZ in it, and I bet you’re having a lot of fun.

This is one of those cakes that you can eat for breakfast, morning snack time, after school snack time, bedtime snack time, dessert, and come to think of it, anytime in your whole life.

I adore anytime cake.

Cinnamon Sugar Zucchini Coffee Cake from Pinch of Yum

4.9 from 8 reviews
Cinnamon Sugar Zucchini Coffee Cake
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 20
For the cake
  • 1⅓ cups brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup oil (I used olive oil but Canola oil works too)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk (you can sub milk + vinegar, even almond milk!)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (I just eyeballed a little pinch)
  • 2½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1½ cups grated zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
For the topping
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Press or drain the excess moisture out of the zucchini shreds. Mix the cake ingredients in order given.
  3. Combine the topping ingredients with your fingers or in a food processor to make a crumbly topping. Pour half of the batter into a greased 9×13 cake pan. Cover with half of the crumbs. Repeat with the remaining batter and topping.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes. The top will be crunchy and textured and the cake will bounce back when you gently press it. And then it will be gone fast.


Happy Labor Day to all the laborers! Now go make a cake.

Subscribe for these valuable resources:
  • eCookbook with our top 25 recipes
  • Email Updates for new recipes
  • Exclusive discounts on our products



  1. This looks awesome! (Especially that gooey sticky sugary layer in the middle). Can’t wait to try it!

  2. Oh man! Such a bummer about the charmer!! So sorry, but I bet there is something even better out there for you guys!! Plus, You will have fun finding it!

    Ok now this cake?? The cinnamon sugar layer totally sold me. Heck yes!! It is the perfect still summer, but kind of fall coffee cake and I love it!

  3. AH! I have that zucchini’s first cousin at home! So far I’ve gotten a few loaves of bread and this crazy southwest stuffing. I bought it for $1. I mean, who could resist?!
    PS. Your perfect house is waiting. I just know it!

  4. Hi Lindsay,

    I have to admit, I’m one of the few people out there who have never baked anything with zucchini in it! Well, except maybe lasagna and other Italians style oven dishes… but nothing sweet.
    This coffee cake looks amazing though! I guess it’s time for me to fire up my oven!

  5. After this week’s posts you could do a zucchini cookbook next right? These are great, especially the zucchini parm.

  6. Mind. Blown.

    Cinnamon everything always – you might have just swayed me to put veggies in my cake.

  7. That zuc is seriously, ridiculously huge! Crazy town!

  8. I NEED to get on this! Delicious!

  9. I always volunteer to take friends huge garden zucchinis because I love to make zucchini bread. This recipe looks amazing and right up my alley!!!

  10. So is this the last of the jumbo zucchini!? I’m almost sad to see it go!

  11. I had a zucchini that size too! This seriously looks to.die.for. Anytime cake is always a winner in my house! Yummy!

  12. I hate to say it but this cake is going to have me out buying zucchini after I just spent weeks trying to get rid of it. Amazing!

  13. I love the little flecks of green and orange floating through the cake. And that middle layer! To die for! Don’t worry your house is still out there!

  14. Aw, sorry about the house! But at least you have this cake and it looks fantastic so I’m sure it’ll help cheer you up a little!

  15. Good luck with your house hunting! I’m sure the perfect one is just waiting for you to find it :)
    Anytime cake really is the best and this looks so delicious! I love coffee cake and I love zucchini bread, so this mashup is just genius. Thanks for the recipe!

  16. Cake with zuke is always SO Good and so moist. This looks excellent especially b/c of all that cinn-sugar topping. YUM!

    And the house buying stuff – interesting to know that properties are flying off the market in 5 days in Mpls. I dont think that’s happening yet in San Diego. I hope the perfect house for you guys turns up. I know it will :)

  17. Cinnamon sugar and zucchini cake? A perfect combination! Also, perfect for breakfast in my opinion :)

  18. Sorry about ‘The Charmer’, but you are right….keep looking. I didn’t say this in my original advice, but you will know the right house when you find it. The gap between your head & your heart will be small, and you and Bjork will agree.

    Now, about this coffee cake….THANK YOU!! So many coffee cake recipes are for a wimpy 8×8 or 9×9 pan. And who could resist a middle layer of cinnamony, sugary, gooey goodness?!?!?!?! This will be made soon. :-)

  19. Glad to see you put that ginormous zucchini to good use! I love the idea of adding zucchini to coffee cake, I’ve only thought to make zucchini bread before but now I’ll have to give this a shot.

    Are you all zucchini’d out yet?!?

  20. I’ve been baking with zucchini like crazy lately, and now I will have to add this recipe to the list to try next. Looks pretty much like perfection!

  21. Oh my goodness!! I’m so glad that it has zucchini in it to make it healthy! :)

  22. Yum. I’ve made zucchini bread, but never thought of putting it into coffee cake. Such a fab way to sneak it in there for my boys…who happen to LOVE coffee cake (just ask Starbucks.)
    I’m on it.
    Much aloha!

  23. I am making this tonight! I’ve gotten lots of zucchini from our CSA and am getting tired of sautéing it, frying it….but now I am super excited to make this!! Thanks!

  24. Deb Champagne says:

    That would probably regular olive oil and virgin?

  25. Zucchini coffee cake, yes, please. Looks like you were doing a great job bouncing that massive zucchini on your head.

  26. Lizabeth K. says:

    I can’t wait to try this! Zucchini is my really big success of gardening this summer (because it’s really easy to grow).

    Major bummer about the house…. it’s crazy because it sounds like when it comes to buying houses in the area, you have to be ready to make an offer right away. Since this charmer didn’t work, maybe it’s helping you realize that’s what you want and you’ll be ready to make an offer on even a more charming charmer next time!!!

  27. Everything with cinnamon in it sounds delicious to me 😉 Are you really surprised? haha
    I started baking with zucchini a few months ago and I love it! It gives a nice moist texture to whatever cake you want to bake.
    Good luck with your happy home search :)
    PS: love the backlight in your pics!

  28. I have yet to bake with zucchini – so loving all these recipes! Cake looks gorgeous!
    Yes, it just wasn’t meant to be – happy house hunting!

  29. when I was house hunting, my charming fixer-upper sold while I was looking at it. After being on the market for well over a year, someone decided to move on it while I was looking. It made me feel pressured to rush the next time I liked a house, and I think if I had really taken a step back that I might’ve not bought the one I have. Don’t feel pressured! Take your time and find one you love

  30. Sometimes I despise those large zucchinis. They were supposed to be picked a few days ago. But it happens and then you’re left trying to figure out what to do with it. I can’t wait to try this recipe! I’ve never tried it in a coffee cake yet. Thanks!

  31. I made this, took the first bite and was like wait, did i forget the salt? looked at the recipe, there isn’t salt. tastes to me like its missing :-(

    • Hm, I am 99% sure that I did add salt both times I made it, but since I was working off of an old recipe I must have forgotten to add it to this new version. I’ll change that. :) Thanks for the comment!

  32. Do you think this would freeze well? I would like to make it for a brunch I have coming up and I want to try and get as much done ahead of time as possible.

  33. I am so sorry about the house but like you said – it was not meant to be..I love the idea of extra sugary layer :)

  34. Cinnamon sugar toppings are my favorite part of any coffee cake!! My family picked our favorite brunch restaurant based solely on their coffee cake: blueberry with a thick crumb topping. They offer a second flavor too that changes with the seasons; maybe I can convince them to try your zucchini one next summer!

  35. So I was a little late in reading (and commenting) on your house post…oops! Sorry it was snatched up, but now that you know what you love it’ll make it even more fun to keep looking! Good luck!

  36. Made this delish dessert/breakfast. My family had no idea that there was zucchini it in. It was moist and light and wonderful (zucchini & buttermilk add so much tenderness to most baked goods). Changed it a bit… adding more cinnamon & more brown sugar and using whole wheat white flour. Linked it back to yours – as always your recipes are a home run :) Even with the extra step of putting layers in – was surprised how quick and easy it is. Making it again soon! :)

  37. Made it! Loved it!

    And I got my 3-year-old nephew to eat zucchini! Just don’t tell him 😉

  38. Made this and it turned out great.

  39. camila pita says:

    I just finish bake this , my house smell like heaven and it taste even better , thanks for sharing this wonderfull dish ! , i use plain natural yogurt instead of buttermilk and more sugar ( only because yolo ) , thanks from the bottom of my heart.

  40. My husband and I have made this recipe about 4 times already! Everytime we make it it is an instant hit, in fact I just made it for today’s work food day and it was gone by lunch time. Everyone had absolutely raving comments and when I told them it had that much zucchini in it they just looked at me like I was making it up. Thanks for our new go-to dessert :)

  41. Made it. Love it. You are genius!

  42. Absolutely amazing!! Thank you for the recipe. I made it gluten free so I can actually enjoy it, and I cannot stop eating it! Yum!

  43. this looks amazing – im really to keen to give it a go, but am struggling to see where the coffee is listed in your receipe, there doesnt seem to be any!

    maybe its my browser but is there any chance you could let me know

    many thanks


Speak Your Mind


Rate this recipe: