Zucchini cookies are buttery, chewy cookies filled with crunchy walnuts and cozy spices. Their flavor is reminiscent of a freshly baked loaf of zucchini bread.
Do you love making zucchini bread, but are looking for something different to make with all that garden zucchini? Try these zucchini cookies - their flavor mimics that of your favorite loaf of zucchini bread but in cookie form!
These cookies are filled with crunchy walnuts, shredded zucchini, cinnamon, and nutmeg. They have the texture of a chocolate chip cookie - buttery, chewy, and sweet - but with the flavors of lightly spiced zucchini bread.
Make zucchini cookies any time of year. They're great for using up abundant garden zucchini in the summer or adding to a holiday cookie tray in the fall and winter months. You will also love my recipe for zucchini chocolate chip pecan cookies!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Butter - Unsalted butter can be substituted with salted butter (omit the salt listed in the recipe).
- Sugars - I used a combination of granulated and brown sugars in this recipe for a classic chewy chocolate chip cookie texture.
- Egg - Adds structure and moisture.
- Vanilla extract - Adds depth of flavor to the cookies.
- Flour - Adds structure and balances with the wet ingredients. I've only tested this recipe with all-purpose flour, so I can't say how your cookies would turn out using an alternative. Baking is an exact science so instead of potentially wasting ingredients, I'd suggest searching for a recipe that's written using the ingredients you have on hand.
- Leavening - Baking soda is needed for this recipe to provide the proper lift.
- Salt - Enhances the flavor of your cookies without making them "salty".
- Spices - Cinnamon and nutmeg add cozy, lightly spiced flavor.
- Zucchini - You'll need about 1 cup of finely shredded zucchini (measured including the liquid) for this recipe. This equals about 135 grams before squeezing the liquid out, and about 70 grams after squeezing the liquid out. I recommend using finely shredded zucchini because it melds easily into the cookie dough while baking.
- Walnuts - Can be substituted with pecans or omitted entirely if desired.
Tips and tricks
Room temperature ingredients cream together seamlessly to make an even, consistent dough. Place your butter and egg on the counter top about an hour before beginning. Cold ingredients can leave lumps in the dough that bake up inconsistently. Melted butter can make your dough spread too much in the oven, which is why we're using room temperature instead.
Improperly measured flour is the most common issue I see in baking. Scooping flour directly from a bin with a measuring cup compacts flour into the cup, adding up to 25% extra flour to the recipe. I highly recommend measuring your flour by weight (this is the only method I use) or using the spoon and level method (gently spoon flour into the measuring cup then level off with a knife) instead.
Use parchment paper or a silicone mat to line your baking sheet. Grease on the baking sheet can cause your cookies to spread more while baking.
Squeeze the liquid from your zucchini before adding to the dough. Extra liquid can cause your cookies to spread more in the oven or puff up and get cakey/gummy from the excess liquid.
Frequently asked questions
No. Zucchini has a mild, neutral flavor that can't be detected in baked goods. Make sure you're using zucchini, not other green vegetables (like cucumber) that do have a strong flavor. Not sure which one you have on hand? Check out my post - Zucchini vs cucumber - what's the difference?
Yes, for this recipe you need to squeeze the liquid from your shredded zucchini before adding it to the dough.
Zucchini chocolate chip cookies will keep for 4 to 5 days in a tightly sealed container at room temperature.
Yes, the raw dough and baked cookies can both be frozen for up to three months in a freezer safe container. To thaw, transfer dough to the refrigerator to thaw overnight, or bake from frozen, adding 1-2 minutes to baking time. To thaw frozen cookies, transfer to the counter top and allow to come to room temperature for about 1 hour.
Healthy is a relative term that can mean different things from one person to the next. I would not consider these cookies "healthy" by any means. They're made with flour, sugar, and butter, just like a regular chocolate chip cookie. The addition of zucchini allows us to reduce the amount of butter and egg slightly, but not so much that I'd consider them a healthy option. I recommend enjoying your zucchini cookies just like any other dessert!
- ¾ cup (170 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup (160 g) brown sugar
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups (300 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (135 g) finely shredded zucchini, measure before squeezing liquid out
- 1 cup (114 g) chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, add room temperature butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. With a hand mixer (or stand mixer), beat until creamed and fluffy, about a minute. Add egg and vanilla extract and beat until fluffy, about a minute.
- In a separate bowl, add dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add to butter mixture and stir to combine (do not overmix).
- After measuring zucchini, wrap in a few layers of paper towel or a kitchen towel, then squeeze firmly over the kitchen sink to remove excess moisture. Do not skip this step, excess moisture will make your cookies cakey and/or soggy.
- Add shredded zucchini and walnuts to dough and stir to incorporate.
- Scoop dough using a medium cookie scoop or shape by hand into 1.5 inch balls. Place cookie dough balls 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 11-14 minutes, or until lightly browned and set across the tops. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Measure 1 cup (135 grams) of finely grated zucchini, then squeeze liquid out (about 70 grams) before adding to the dough.
- Baked cookies will keep for up to 5 days in a tightly sealed container at room temperature. Cookies (and dough) can be frozen for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container.