Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes are perfect for chocolate lovers and picky eaters, and a delicious way to use up some of that zucchini taking over your garden!
I was asked to make cupcakes for a very special birthday party.  Mike’s grandmother turned 90!  How cool is that!  She is an amazing lady, who loves chocolate.  This request came shortly after I made Zucchini, Banana and Flaxseed Muffins, and I had zucchini on the brain.  Then it hit me – Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes.  Perfect!

I knew this birthday crowd would appreciate the use of zucchini in these delectable goodies, though you would never guess that’s the secret ingredient simply by taste.  (Score if you’re serving a picky eater!)  The zucchini creates a moist cake, makes it slightly healthier, and is the perfect complement to this delicious chocolate cupcake!

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes
These are a delicious way to use up some of that zucchini taking over your garden. Perfect for chocolate lovers and picky eaters. You would never guess there's zucchini in there!
Yields: 24 cupcakes
  • 1½ cups brown sugar
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups grated zucchini (squeeze out excess moisture)
  • ¾ cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dutch processed cocoa, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Frosting:
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • ⅔ cup dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. CUPCAKES: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffin pans with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, cream the brown sugar, butter and oil. Beat in eggs, one at a time until incorporated. Stir in vanilla, buttermilk, zucchini and chocolate chips.
  4. Add liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir gently until combined (do not over mix).
  5. Spoon batter into muffin pans, filling them until about ¾ full. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool for 5 minutes in pan and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Once cooled, frost with chocolate frosting and decorate as desired. Store cupcakes at room temperature in an air tight container.
  7. FROSTING: Melt the butter. Whisk in the cocoa powder, whisking until smooth.
  8. Stir in vanilla and alternately add powdered sugar and milk, using a hand mixer (or stand mixer) to beat to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed.

Adapted from  Two Peas and Their Pod


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  1. Very beautiful and irresistibly delicious!

  2. Happy 90th to your grandmother! I am sure she has seen a lot in her time. Great cupcake choice-these do look tasty and love the healthy addition of zucchini and flax.

  3. yeah i agree with you…it is really irresistible.

  4. Never baked with zucchini before…..can’t wait to try it out now! 😀

  5. Thanks for the follow on Twitter! Glad to find your blog, these cupcakes look delish, and your photos are really beautiful!

  6. Secret healthy foods – clandestine subterfuge! These look delicious and I’m sure that no one ever expected a veggie was in the works. Great recipe!

  7. These cupcakes look so delicious! 🙂

  8. These look great! just wondering can you taste the zucchini in the cupcakes at all?

  9. The Procrastobaker says:

    Beautiful! This is the perfect way to make use of some of those lovely zucchini that are currently taking over my veggie patch! These look so perfectly moist and pretty 🙂 lovely recipe

  10. @ Irishbaker, thank you! I personally don’t taste the zucchini (you can’t see it either). They are very chocolaty with a hint of cinnamon, and the zucchini makes them very moist. With that being said, I like zucchini. Thanks for visiting!

  11. Zucchini AND buttermilk? I bet they were amazing! Buzzed!

  12. I just got a bunch of zucchini from my mother in law – this would be a tasty way to use it up!!

  13. I love the addition of the zucchini in these cupcakes, they look so rich and tasty! I hope the birthday lady enjoyed them!

  14. Amazing pictures, a luxury muffins well prepared, I really like your recipes, hugs.

  15. Especially like the hint of cinnamon-

  16. Thanks to your Grandma. This is such a wonderful cupcakes.

  17. I have two very large zucchinis in my refrigerator right now that were just waiting for a recipe like this!!! Thank you 🙂

  18. Sugar Buzzed says:

    I can’t wait to make my cupcakes a bit ‘healthier’ with this recipe! Yummy!