Oh, it’s not all that strange.
Think of it this way: you like pumpkin pies. You like pumpkin in sweetened coffees. Pumpkin is squash, right? Zucchini is squash. So if pumpkin and sugar and cinnamon work, why not zucchini and sugar and cocoa?
Alice Gleitsman tells a story about a similar recipe in the October 8, 1973 edition of the Redlands (California) Daily Facts in her “Alice’s Koffee Klatch” column:
A friend recently gave me a recipe for zucchini bread, which was so yummy that it inspired me to experiment on my own. On the premise that grated zucchini looks much like grated apple, with roughly the same texture, I reasoned that they might be interchangeable in recipes. So I whipped up a batch of chooclate zucchini cake, heretofore known as chocolate apple cake.
Just after I took it out of the oven a neighbor called to invite me over for coffee to see a former friend who was back in town after two years in Ethiopia. I carried my cake over and made them guess what was in it as they ate it. Well, the guesses ranged form seaweed through ‘pot’ and on to dates before someone threw out “squash.” I let her win without having to identify it any closer.
Later I took another one (same recipe) to the Panhelleneic party and got so many requests for hte recipe that I’ll stop right here and share it.
Cocoa and Zucchini Cake (Serves 12 or more)
Beat together until fluffy:
Sift together and add to egg mixture:
Fold in to blend:
Spoon into a greased, floured 10 inch tube pan and bake 70 minutes at 325 degrees. No frosting necessary.
From a box sold in River Forest, Illinois.
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Combine 2-1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup margarine
1-1/2 cups sugar
Add 3 eggs.
Add dry ingredients.
1/2 cup milk
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup chopped nuts
Greased tube pan, floured. 350 degrees, 1 hour.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar.