Chocolate zucchini muffins are moist, tender, and chocolatey- the perfect summer treat for using up that garden zucchini! Enjoy a chocolate muffin with your morning coffee or as a less sweet dessert.
I've turned my recipe for chocolate zucchini bread into muffins - chocolate lovers will love them! They've got the perfect amount of sweetness and tons of chocolate flavor with melty pockets of chocolate chips throughout.
Serve chocolate zucchini muffins as a less sweet dessert or enjoy with your morning coffee or tea.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Zucchini - You'll need 220 grams or 1.5 cups of finely grated zucchini. Do not drain or squeeze the liquid from your zucchini - the liquid adds moisture to your muffins. For this recipe, you'll need about 1 to 1.5 medium or 2 small zucchini.
- Granulated sugar - Adds sweetness and moisture to your muffins. These muffins are lightly sweetened as written. If you'd like a sweeter dessert muffin, the sugar can be increased by ¼ cup.
- Vegetable oil - Adds moisture to your muffins.
- Eggs - Add moisture and structure to your muffins.
- Vanilla extract - Adds depth of flavor to your muffins.
- All-purpose flour - Adds structure to your muffins. I have not tested this recipe with other types of flours, so I don't suggest making any substitutions. Baking is an exact science, and altering main ingredients can change the density and texture of your muffins. Instead, search for a recipe that includes the flour you'd like to use.
- Cocoa powder - I've written this recipe to use natural cocoa powder. Natural cocoa powder is more acidic than Dutch cocoa powder. When paired with the listed leavening agents, you'll get the proper rise.
- Leavening agents - This recipe uses both baking soda and baking powder. They cannot be substituted for one another - you'll need both for the proper lift.
- Chocolate chips - The chocolate chips are optional, but add nice melty pockets throughout the muffins. Feel free to use milk chocolate, semi sweet chocolate, white chocolate, or peanut butter chips for a unique flavor.
Frequently asked questions
- Do I need to squeeze the liquid from my zucchini? No. For this recipe, you should not squeeze the liquid from your zucchini. We're using that liquid to add moisture and thin the batter to achieve the proper rise in the oven.
- Do I need to peel my zucchini? No, there's no need to peel zucchini for zucchini muffins. The skin and flesh melt seamlessly into the muffins as they bake. The dark color of chocolate zucchini muffins also helps hide the tiny green flecks.
- Can I use cucumber instead of zucchini? No, zucchini has a mild flavor that makes it ideal for baking. Cucumber has a fresh "melon" flavor that's much more pronounced and not ideal for hiding in baked goods. For more information: Zucchini vs Cucumber - What's the Difference?
- How do I grate zucchini for muffins? I recommend shredding zucchini using the small or "fine" side of a box grater. The smaller pieces melt right into the zucchini muffins as they bake. A larger grate also works but adds a more noticeable texture. Here's the box grater I use: Amazon: OXO Good Grips Box Grater
- What size pan do I need? This recipe makes about 14 standard size muffins (I made 15 smaller muffins in the photo above before deciding 14 was the best quantity). Any standard size cupcake/muffin pan will work for this recipe. Jumbo or mini muffins will need the baking time adjusted. Here's the cupcake pan I use: Wilton Non-Stick Muffin Pan, 24-Cup
For detailed information on storing zucchini bread, check out my full post: How to store zucchini bread
Room temperature - Zucchini muffins can be stored in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for 3 to 4 days.
Refrigerator - If your muffins are extremely moist/wet, you may want to store them in the refrigerator instead. Zucchini muffins will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week in a tightly sealed container.
Zucchini muffins can be carefully wrapped in plastic wrap/foil and stored in a freezer safe bag or container in the freezer for up to 6 months. Set out on the counter top for 1 to 3 hours to thaw to room temperature.
Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
- 1.5 cups (220 g) finely grated zucchini, do not drain liquid out
- ¾ cup (148 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (100 g) vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups (150 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (40 g) natural cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (127 g) chocolate chips, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.
- In a large bowl, add finely grated zucchini (including any excess liquid), granulated sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Stir until evenly combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Add chocolate chips and stir to incorporate.
- Divide batter between 14 muffin tins, filling to about ⅔ full. Bake for about 16 to 20 minutes, OR until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with crumbs (baking times will vary based on your oven and type of pan used).
- Transfer muffins to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before unwrapping (muffins/cupcakes will stick to the wrappers if they're still warm).
- Leftover zucchini muffins will keep in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for 3 to 4 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. If your muffins are very moist/wet, I recommend refrigerating.
- Muffins can be frozen for up to 6 months. Tightly wrap in plastic wrap/foil and store in a freezer safe bag or container. Thaw on the counter top for 1 hour.
- Chocolate chips are optional and can be substituted with your favorite flavor of baking chips, like peanut butter or white chocolate.