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These Chocolate Zucchini Muffins are rich, moist, and oh-so-good. The zucchini adds both extra nutrients and moisture, while cocoa powder and chocolate chips add a bit of rich chocolate decadence.

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A chocolate zucchini muffin on a plate

Have you ever baked with zucchini? These chocolate zucchini muffins are actually the first baked good I’ve made with zucchini but they definitely won’t be the last!

Inspired by my bakery style chocolate muffins, these zucchini muffins are rich, moist, and decadent. And, no – you can’t really taste the zucchini.

Baking with zucchini is actually a sneaky way to add extra moisture into muffins, breads, etc. Plus it adds some extra nutrients because it is a vegetable, after all.

A chocolate zucchini muffin with a bite missing

Bake these in a muffin tin, freeze them, then thaw on busy mornings! It’s the perfect way to use up extra zucchini, especially during zucchini season, AND eat vegetables for breakfast!

Chocolate lovers will enjoy the decadent chocolate flavor and soft texture of these delicious muffins!

Why You’ll Love These Chocolate Muffins

These may become my new go-to muffins for any chocolate craving. Here’s why.

  • Made with easy-to-find ingredients. The majority of ingredients are pantry staples so as long as you have zucchini and cocoa powder, you likely already have everything you need.
  • Super easy prep. The most time-consuming part of preparing these muffins is giving the batter time to rest.
  • Great way to use up zucchini. Keep this recipe on hand for those summer months when the garden is overflowing with zucchini.
  • Super soft and moist. These muffins are SO moist, thanks to the zucchini as well as the buttermilk and oil. It makes them feel even more decadent!

Recipe Ingredients

This easy muffin recipe is made primarily with pantry staples, plus zucchini and chocolate. You will fall in love with our double chocolate zucchini muffins!

  • All-purpose flour
  • Natural unsweetened cocoa powder – Infuses every bite of the muffins with rich chocolate flavor.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Baking powder & baking soda
  • Salt – Helps to balance out the sweetness of the muffins.
  • Eggs
  • Buttermilk – Buttermilk adds fat and moisture to the muffins.
  • Vegetable oil – Like the buttermilk, oil helps keep the muffins nice and moist.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Zucchini – It’s important to finely grate the zucchini for this recipe, not chop or dice it.
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips – I used regular chocolate chips and chocolate chunks for a variety in texture. You can also try dark chocolate chips or milk chocolate chips.

How to Make Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

These rich, moist zucchini muffins come together in just a few easy steps. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full instructions.

Grate the zucchini. Finely grate the zucchini with a cheese grater or box grater.

Combine the dry ingredients. Mix the dry ingredients with a spoon. Set aside.

Combine the wet ingredients. In a separate large bowl, combine the eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract.

Mix the ingredients. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients and the shredded zucchini. Stir just until combined. Fold in 3/4 cup of the chocolate chips.

Allow the muffin batter to rest. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel. Let it rest for 15 minutes while you preheat the oven.

Chocolate zucchini muffins in a pan before and after they've been baked

Fill the muffin liners. Divide the batter into 12 muffin liners, filling them all the way to the top.

Add more chocolate chips. Press the remaining chocolate chips into the tops of the muffins and add sanding sugar if desired.

Bake. Bake for 7 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350F, and bake for 12 to 14 minutes. Cool in the pan.

A chocolate zucchini muffin with a bite missing

Recipe FAQs

Here are a few common questions about baking with zucchini.

Do I need to peel the zucchini? No, the skin on zucchini is very soft, so it does not need to be peeled.

Do I need to squeeze the moisture from the zucchini? No, there’s no need to squeeze the grated zucchini to remove the excess moisture. In fact, that moisture is important to keep the muffins moist as they bake.

What should I use to grate zucchini? The easiest way to grate zucchini is using a cheese grater.

To make gluten-free chocolate zucchini muffins, replace the flour with with a one to one gluten free flour mix. I recommend King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour.

A chocolate zucchini muffin in the muffin wrapper

Tips for the Best Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Here are a few things to keep in mind for bakery-style chocolate zucchini muffins.

  • Let the batter rest. This is key to making sure that the muffins rise nice and tall in the oven.
  • Use all of the batter. Yes, all of the batter will fit into 12 liners! It seems like a lot but using all the batter helps produce those bakery-style muffin tops.
  • Don’t open the oven when you reduce the heat. When you turn down the heat to 350, resist the urge to peek inside the oven. Wait until they’re almost done to open the oven and check their doneness.

How to Create Bakery Style Muffins

Bakery style muffins are known for their domed tops. Plus who doesn’t love them? I used a few techniques to help “lift” these muffins so they would have domed tops.

1. THE REST PERIOD

Let the batter rest for 15 minutes after it’s mixed and before you scoop it into the muffin pan. During the resting period, starch molecules in the flour are absorbing the liquid in the batter, causing them to swell and giving the batter a thicker consistency (ref the kitchen whisper). Our 15 minute rest is just a quick rest.

2. BAKE AT HIGH TEMPERATURE INITIALLY

Bake the muffins at a high temperature (425ºF) initially then lower to 350ºF. Starting the muffins off at a higher temperature causes the batter to rise rapidly, producing a domed shape.

3. FILL THEM TO THE TOP

Fill your muffin liners to the top with batter. Yes, this goes against everything you’re heard but it’s important in helping the muffin gain that height.

4. FILL EVERY OTHER MUFFIN CUP

This tip has been a game changer! For bakery style muffin tops, line a 12 count muffin pan with 6 muffins liners, meaning you’ll only fill every other muffin well with batter. Filling every other cup allows the muffins to spread and dome without running into each other. This technique also encourages the muffins to brown, creating a golden muffin top.

Chocolate zucchini muffins in the muffin pan

How to Store Homemade Muffins

Muffins can be stored at room temperature for about 3 days in an airtight container. They’ll last an extra day or two in the fridge too. Just let them come to room temperature before serving.

Can I Freeze Zucchini Muffins?

Yes, these chocolate zucchini muffins freeze well. You’ll want to wrap them individually in plastic wrap. Sometimes, I’ll wrap two together, with the bottoms of the muffin liner touching, since I usually want to pull two from the freezer at a time. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap then place them in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag.

Thaw on the counter to room temperature or pop them in the microwave for 15-second intervals until warmed.

How to Properly Measure Flour

The most accurate way to measure flour is to use a kitchen scale, weighing it in grams. 

If you don’t have a kitchen scale, follow this method. 

  • Aerate the flour with a whisk or spoon. Flour becomes heavy and compact as it sits. Aerating is the same as fluffing the flour, but not the same as sifting it. Do not sift the flour unless the recipe specifically calls for it.
  • Use a spoon to sprinkle the flour into the measuring cup. Do not tap the cup against the counter, as this will compact the flour.
  • Use the back of a butter knife to level off the excess.

More Easy Muffin Recipes

A chocolate zucchini muffin on a plate
5 from 9 ratings

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Chocolate Zucchini Muffin Recipe

By: Beth
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12 muffins
These Chocolate Zucchini Muffins are rich, moist, and oh-so-good. The zucchini adds both extra nutrients and moisture, while cocoa powder and chocolate chips add a bit of rich chocolate decadence.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour, 240 grams
  • cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ small to medium zucchinis, finely grated, about 1 heaping cup
  • 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided (I used regular and chunks)

Instructions 

  • Use a cheese grater to finely grate the zucchini. Set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir with a spoon to combine and set aside.
  • In a larger mixing bowl combine the eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine with a spatula or beat with electric mixer on low for 30 seconds.
  • Gradually mix in the dry ingredients and grated zucchini, mixing just until combined. Using a spatula, fold in 3/4 cups of the chocolate chips. The remaining chocolate chips will be added to the tops of the muffins. The batter will be very thick!
  • Cover the bowl with a towel and allow the batter to rest for 15 minutes. During this time, preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  • For bakery style muffin tops, line a 12 count muffin pan with 6 muffins liners, meaning you’ll only fill every other muffin well with batter. Filling every other well allows the muffins to spread and dome without running into each other.
  • Fill the liners to the top with batter. Yes – to the top! You might think there is no way to fit all the batter in 12 liners, but keep dividing the batter among the cups and fill the liners FULL! Use a butter knife to smooth the tops of the muffins if lumpy.
  • Press the additional 3/4 cup of chocolate chips on top of the muffins and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
  • Bake for 7 minutes at 425ºF, then keeping the muffins in the oven, turn the temperature down to 350ºF and bake for 12-14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan. Repeat with the remaining batter, making sure to bump the temperature back up to 425ºF.

Notes

4 Tips for Bakery Style Muffins

Please reference the post for an explanation of why I use each tip. 

1. THE REST PERIOD

Let the batter rest for 15 minutes after it’s mixed and before you scoop it into the muffin pan. 

2. BAKE AT HIGH TEMPERATURE INITIALLY

Bake the muffins at a high temperature (425ºF) initially then lower to 350ºF. 

3. FILL THEM TO THE TOP

Fill your muffin liners to the top with batter. Yes, this goes against everything you’re heard but it’s important in helping the muffin gain that height.

4. FILL EVERY OTHER MUFFIN CUP

Filling every other cup allows the muffins to spread and dome without running into each other. This technique also encourages the muffins to brown, creating a golden muffin top.

Nutrition

Calories: 363kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 330mg | Potassium: 325mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 133IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 3mg
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About Beth

I believe that everyone should have a go-to dessert to bring to parties! With hundreds of recipes, I'll help you find yours!

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Recipe Rating




13 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These muffins were phenomenal. Love all of Beth’s muffin recipes. I highly recommend following her “super dome” 4-step method to creating bakery-style muffins. Such easy steps to make them so pretty!

  2. Hello Beth,

    Can you please let me know what size zucchini you are using? Or how many grams I am aiming for..Here in Austria they range from small to extra large depending on the season. Thanks!

    1. Hi Carina! Thanks for asking! I used 1 & 1/2 small to medium sized zucchinis!

  3. Hi Beth. I am excited to try your recipe tomorrow. One question: Do you use the regular size muffin tins or the jumbo size muffin tins for this recipe. It is difficult to tell by the photos.

  4. 5 stars
    Another great recipe created by Beth! They turned out just as they should’ve, with the super dome, and tasted even better!

  5. Hi, Beth ! 
       I have been a wedding cake baker and decorator for more than 30 years…but I’ve made muffins *maybe* three times in my life ! 

      After studying your blog for a few days, I knew I wanted to make muffins just like you.   I weighed out my ingredients  and followed your recipe exactly.

    ummm…let me just say these 3 words: WOW!  WOW!  WOW!  

    Large and pretty muffins of goodness!    I would not change a single thing. 

    I guess I will be known now as the neighborhood MUFFIN MAN !

    -christopher from salem, oregon

  6. 5 stars
    This is my second  recipe of Beth’s that I tried and it was just as impressive as the first one. Five stars all the way. These have incredible flavor and high domes making them look like true bakery style muffins. I will definitely be making these again!

    1. I test all of my recipes with regular all purpose flour and King Arthur’s Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour. I’ve been gluten free for 18 years, but don’t label myself in the gluten free niche since almost anything can be made GF these days!

  7. 5 stars
    My sister is a picky eater so I wanted to see if she would she eat zucchini like this.  And she didn’t even tasted the zucchini! She thought they were normal chocolate muffins. Great way to incorporate more veggies.