Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins
Zucchini muffins are the perfect way to indulge in summer goodness in a totally delectable way. These muffins are the perfect harmony of moist zucchini and rich chocolate. The rich chocolate flavor, and moist crumb, make these a delight in every bite.
Double chocolate, chocolate chunk, zucchini muffins! It is the funnest way to eat a vegetable.
I have a small kitchen garden, and every year there are a few zucchini that hide under leaves, or don’t get picked in time, and they are huge. They got left on the vine a little too long, and aren’t as tender and delicious as the zucchini you would use in a Spicy Sausage and Zucchini Skillet Ziti or Beef Stuffed Zucchini Boat. But these are the perfect addition to baked goods.
Baking with zucchini is awesome several reasons.
- Zucchini adds moisture and tenderness to baked goods, giving them an amazing texture.
- Adding shredded zucchini to baked goods is a clever way to incorporate an extra dose of veggies into your diet. Zucchini is rich in vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, potassium, and folate.
- The flavor is mild, so it goes well with tons of ingredients, giving you added nutritional benefits without the drawback of a weird tasting muffin. The zucchini melts into the batter, leaving you with a chocolate muffins you barely realize there is zucchini in. And bonus tip: Grate the zucchini extra fine and you won’t notice it at all.
What You Need to Make Zucchini Muffins
With just 13 simple ingredients you likely already have in your pantry, these muffins are so simple to make. Everything is easy to find, and when combined, they make something magical.
- Sugars: granulated sugar and dark brown sugar
- Vegetable oil
- Pure vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Baking soda
- Instant coffee
- Ground cinnamon
- Grated zucchini
- Semisweet chocolate chunks or chips
How to Make Chocolate Zucchini Bread Muffins
Making these tasty zucchini chocolate chip muffins is fairly simple, and follows all the standard rules of baking. Here’s how”
Step One: Combine Sugars, Oil, Eggs, Vanilla
In a large bowl, combine sugars, oil, eggs, and vanilla, and mix with a hand mixer until well combined.
In this recipe, I use dark brown sugar rather than light brown. While you can swap it out, I have found the dark brown sugar gives it a richer, more decadent flavor. Here are some of the perks of using dark over light brown sugar in this recipe for zucchini muffins:
- Richer Flavor: Dark brown sugar contains molasses, which enhances the taste of baked goods, especially those with chocolate, spices, or warm flavors, like these chocolate zucchini muffins.
- Moisture Content: Dark brown sugar has a higher moisture content, which in these already moist muffins isn’t super important, but can lead to a softer, more tender result.
- Tender Texture: Using a dark brown sugar can contribute to a softer crumb and a chewier texture in these double chocolate zucchini muffins.
- Helps Enhance Other Flavors: Dark brown sugar pairs exceptionally well with warm spices like cinnamon, and the chocolate in this recipe, giving you the ultimate decadent muffin.
- Subtle Caramel Note: It just gives this zucchini muffin more complexity of flavor, with hints of caramel or toffee in addition to the deep chocolate flavor.
Step Two: Whisk Dry Ingredients and Slowly Incorporate into Wet
In a medium bowl add flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, instant coffee and cinnamon. Whisk together. Then alowly add these whisked together dry ingredients into the bowl with the sugar mixture and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
The cinnamon and cocoa powder are going to give this great flavor, and the instant coffee is the secret ingredient to take these from good to amazing.
Using instant coffee in chocolate baked goods, like these zucchini chocolate muffins serves to enhance the rich, chocolatey flavor.
The instant coffee will incorporate into the batter, and doesn’t have to be brewed first, and the addition of the coffee flavor will not leave your muffins tasting like coffee, instead, it will simply add depth and complexity to the chocolate flavor. Creating a more complex and robust taste profile.
Note: Adding instant coffee doesn’t make the muffins taste like coffee; instead, it enhances the natural cocoa flavors, resulting in a more indulgent and satisfying chocolate experience.
Step Three: Fold Zucchini and Chocolate Chunks into the Muffin Batter
At this stage it is time for you to fold in the zucchini and chocolate chunks. You want your zucchini to be grated fine enough to incorporate into the batter. And then fold in the chocolate chunks or chocolate chips.
Before you stir the zucchini into the batter, you want to remove some of the excess moisture. Zucchini can be very watery, and removing some of the extra water is crucial to getting the right texture and results in this recipe.
Take your grated zucchini, and place it in a bowl, then use a paper towel to press the moisture out of zucchini before baking with it. Here is why:
- Prevents Sogginess: Zucchini contains a lot of water, which can release during baking and make the final product soggy. Taking a minute to remove some of the excess moisture, helps you to maintain the desired texture of your baked goods.
- Improves Texture: If there is too much moisture in the recipe, it can lead to a dense, heavy texture, and too little can result in a dry and crumbly muffin. Again, taking some time to remove the excess moisture will result in a more consistent and desirable texture.
- Enhances Baking Time and Consistency: If the zucchini is too wet, it can affect the overall cooking process, and lead to uneven and inconsistent results. Removing the excess moisture just helps to achieve consistency.
- Affects the Baking Soda: Excess moisture in the batter can interfere with the baking soda acting as a leavening agent. In other words, if the zucchini is not properly drained, it can impact the rise and texture of the muffins by lessening the power of the leavening agent.
I used a paper towel to press excess moisture out, but you can also grate or shred the zucchini, then place it in a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth. Then use your hands to squeeze the cloth tightly to extract the extra liquid.
Step Four: Fill Muffin Tins and Bake
Your muffin tins should be lined, or sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Then use a large cookie scoop, about 3 Tablespoons, to divide the muffin batter into 18 muffins.
Your oven should be preheated to 350 degrees F, and the rack should be in the middle position.
Bake muffins for 22-28 minutes. Because the moisture content in the zucchini can differ the baking time also differs. So bake until top appears dry, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Step Five: Let Cool and Enjoy!
These muffins are better if they cool. The chocolate flavor will be more intense, and they maintain a moist and tender texture. So let them cool before consuming.
This recipe is so perfect for a quick breakfast or even a snack and I love pairing it with:
I love this recipe as is, but it is also a great recipe to add some fun mix-ins like the following:
- Milk Chocolate Chips
- Walnuts or Pecans
- Dried Cranberries or Raisins
- Coconut Flakes
- White Chocolate Chips
- Mini Marshmallows
- Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)
Tips and Tricks
Making this recipe is Eazy Peazy, but here are a few tips for getting superior results every time:
- Use High-Quality Ingredients: This is especially important for the cocoa powder, the better quality, they more flavor. You also was to use fresh flour, baking soda, and eggs, as older ingredients of any of these can impact the effectiveness. Especially the baking soda, which is the leavening agent which gives your muffins rise.
- Measure Ingredients Accurately: Baking is a science, so use proper measuring cups and spoons to ensure accurate measurements, including using a liquid measurer for the oil. Slight variations can affect the final outcome.
- Sift Dry Ingredients: This incorporates air giving a lighter texture, and can help remove lumps, giving you a better crumb for your zucchini muffins.
- Don’t Overmix the Batter: This results in tough and dense muffins. Mix until the ingredients are just combined, leave some small lumps.
- Grate Zucchini: A finer grate will allow the zucchini to melt into the muffins better and be less obvious. It will also help with reducing the excess moisture in the zucchini. A box grater is a good place to start, and using the finer setting is also good, but not necessary.
- Preheat the Oven: Make sure your oven is fully preheated before you put the muffins in. This ensures they cook evenly, and helps them achieve that muffin top you want.
- Choose the Right Pan: Use a good-quality muffin tin or liners to prevent sticking and ensure even baking.
- Fill Muffin Cups Correctly: Fill the cups about 3/4 full.
- Check for Doneness: Every oven is a little different, and the zucchini moisture content can differ, so pay attention at the end of the cook time, and use a toothpick or cake tester to check for doneness. Insert it into the center of a muffin – if it comes out clean or with a few crumbs, they’re done.
- Cool Completely: Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely, this will help them not get soggy, and give you better flavor and crumb.
- Store Correctly: Store muffins in an airtight container at room temperature or freeze them for storage longer than 2-3 days.
Make Ahead and Storage
These muffins are amazing made ahead, so you do not have to make them fresh to enjoy them. Instead make them ahead and store until ready to eat. Here’s how:
- Allow them to Cool Completely: If they are warm when placed in an airtight container, this can create condensation and make them soggy.
- Use an Airtight Container: Lock in moisture and freshness, and prevent your chocolate chip zucchini muffins from becoming stale by storing them in an airtight container.
- Layer with Parchment Paper: If you’re stacking multiple layers of the muffins, place parchment paper between the layers to prevent them from sticking together.
- Store at Room Temperature: If storing at room temp, eat within 2-3 days.
- Refrigerate: If you want to enjoy the muffins past 2-3 days, but don’t want to freeze them, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
- Freeze: For longer storage, or if you make a bunch because you are wanting to use up your zucchini, these zucchini muffins can easily be frozen. Simply, wrap each muffin individually in plastic wrap, and place in a freezer-safe bag. Store for up to 2-3 months.
Thawing Frozen Muffins: To thaw, leave them at room temperature for a few hours or overnight. For a quick thaw, you can use a microwave on a low setting, but don’t overheat.
Other Great Recipes:
Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee not prepared
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cups grated zucchini pressed with a paper towel to remove excess moisture
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks or chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Prepare muffin tin by spraying well with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper liners. Liners are recommended.
- In a large bowl combine sugars, oil, eggs, and vanilla and beat with an electric hand mixer until thoroughly combined.
- In a medium bowl add flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, instant coffee and cinnamon. Whisk together.
- Slowly add the whisked together dry ingredients into the bowl with the sugar mixture and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
- Fold in zucchini until it is evenly distributed into the batter. Stir in semisweet chocolate chunks. Reserve a few chocolate chunks to put into the top to make them look better (optional).
- Use a large cookie scoop (3 tablespoons) to divide batter amongst the muffin wells.
- Just before baking, press a few chocolate chunks into the top to make them look awesome.
- Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Our recipe card software calculates these nutrition facts based on averages for the above ingredients, different brands, and quality of produce/meats may have different nutritional information, always calculate your own based on the specific products you use in order to achieve accurate macros for this recipe.
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