Two Peas and Their Pod

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

It’s that time of year where everyone is overloaded with zucchini. Our friend’s gave us a monstrous zucchini and I was determined to not let it go to waste. I made zucchini brownies, but that only made a small dent in the giant zucchini. I decided to make Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes with the rest of the zucchini. You can’t go wrong turning a vegetable into a chocolate dessert:)

If you think adding zucchini to cupcakes sounds weird, gross, or just wrong, think again. These cupcakes are one of the most moist, rich, chocolaty cupcakes I have ever tasted. If you think no one will eat them because there is zucchini involved, just don’t tell them. It will be our little secret. One of the kid’s in our neighborhood stopped by and we gave him a cupcake. He licked his wrapper clean and had chocolate all over his face. I think he liked it:)

If you are wondering what to do with your garden zucchini, try these Zucchini Chocolate Cupcakes. And if you don’t have any zucchini, I am sure a friend or neighbor would be happy to share with you:) I am going to have to hunt down some more zucchini so I can make these cupcakes again. They are a new favorite!

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

Yield: 20 standard cupcakes

Cook Time: 30-35 minutes


For the cupcakes:

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
3/4 cup canola oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup dutch processed cocoa, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the frosting:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2/3 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two muffin pans with paper liners and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the brown sugar, butter, and oil. Beat in eggs, one at a time until well incorporated. Stir in vanilla extract, buttermilk, zucchini, and chocolate chips.

3. In a separate large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients. Add the liquid ingredients and mix until well combined. Spoon batter into large muffin pans, filling them about 3/4 the way full. Bake in the center of the oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool cupcakes on a wire rack, while you make the frosting.

To make the frosting:

1. Melt the butter. Whisk in the cocoa powder, whisking until smooth. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. Frost the cupcakes with the chocolate frosting. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Store cupcakes at room temperature in an air tight container.

* Note-the frosting makes about 2 cups, you might have a little extra.

Cupcake recipe adapted from Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook-seen on 101 Cookbooks
Frosting recipe from Hershey's

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106 Responses to “Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes”

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  1. Blog is the New Black — August 15, 2011 @ 4:19 am

    I love this idea- I always think of making zucchini bread, but not “treats” like cupcakes and brownies!

  2. Kathryn — August 15, 2011 @ 4:29 am

    I have a long standing phobia of zucchini but maybe these cupcakes will help me get over it! They look absolutely delicious.

  3. Apron Appeal — August 15, 2011 @ 4:51 am

    This is one of those instances where you DON’T want to leave a bit of what’s inside on the side of the plate or on the top of the goodie as garnish in fear that no one will take one. Something about veggies in treats make people pass it up…it’s kind of like labeling something “sugar free” or “vegan”. You just tell the people/person who needs to know and let everyone else figure it out (if they can, which they probably can’t)

  4. Maria these are awesome looking. The neon green sprinkles against that chocolate frosting is just beautiful!

  5. Heather @ Multiply Delicious — August 15, 2011 @ 6:51 am

    These look delicious Maria! A great way to get the greens in with the little ones too! :)

  6. bellini — August 15, 2011 @ 6:52 am

    Zucchini would make these cupcakes moist and delicious, of this I have no doubt!

  7. Erica — August 15, 2011 @ 6:52 am

    Love the sprinkles on top! Youre totally going to be everyones favorite mom with the awesome baked goods

  8. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — August 15, 2011 @ 7:02 am

    Fantastic looking cupcakes! I love adding veggies to my baking!

  9. Jessica @ How Sweet — August 15, 2011 @ 7:04 am

    I love the green sprinkles!

  10. Pingback: Chocolate Zucchini Cupcake Recipe « Recipes

  11. Heather (Heather's Dish) — August 15, 2011 @ 7:59 am

    these look so perfect for st. patrick’s day…and i love the combination of zucchini and chocolate!

  12. Barbara @ Barbara Bakes — August 15, 2011 @ 8:43 am

    The green sprinkles on top are so fun. A perfect way to use zucchini.

  13. jenna — August 15, 2011 @ 9:46 am

    oooo lala these look decadent!

  14. Mari's Cakes — August 15, 2011 @ 9:47 am

    They look rich and tasty! Would love to taste this combination soon :)

  15. Kristie — August 15, 2011 @ 9:50 am

    These sound great! I have so many zucchini, I wish i could donate some to you for your baking :) I also love the zucchini fries- after i made it, my friends and family started making them too for cookouts :)

  16. Bev Weidner — August 15, 2011 @ 9:54 am

    PERFECT idea! And the colors are so nice, too!

    I need like 14 of these, right now, in my head.

  17. Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. — August 15, 2011 @ 9:56 am

    chocolate and zucchini is such a great combo! Hope you had a great weekend!

  18. Tamsin — August 15, 2011 @ 10:00 am

    Finally a cake recipe using courgettes that looks appetising! We’ve got a glut of courgettes too, and I tried courgette muffins and not even my husband (hoover) would eat them!
    I will be trying these for certain x

  19. Deborah — August 15, 2011 @ 10:13 am

    We didn’t plant a garden this year, so I’m not overburdened with zucchini like usual, but this makes me wish that I had lots of it right now!

  20. bridget {bake at 350} — August 15, 2011 @ 10:14 am

    Oh my goodness….those are darling with the little green sprinkles! :)

    {and thanks so much for the shout-out!}

  21. CouponClippingCook — August 15, 2011 @ 10:44 am

    What a great idea. Love the idea of eating veggies too whenever possible. Your picture of these cupcakes is so cute…the green sprinkles are perfect for zucchini.

  22. Lauren at Keep It Sweet — August 15, 2011 @ 10:47 am

    These look fantastic and I love that you topped them with green sprinkles!

  23. foodwanderings — August 15, 2011 @ 11:07 am

    I must admit my savory ingredients sweet muffins, carrots, zucchini turn out horribly, though I like it whenever everyone else makes them. Maybe the lack of chocolate in mine, explains it!! :)

  24. Amanda — August 15, 2011 @ 11:42 am

    Just added to my list of must makes… we have so much zucchini… these would be PERFECT!! :)

  25. Julia — August 15, 2011 @ 11:44 am

    I love zucchini, and zucchini cupcakes, well, that’s a no brainer! Um, I’m sorta loving the cute little green sprinkles too 😉 You’re gonna be such a great mom, kids and sprinkles = great combo!

  26. I have zucchini in my refrigerator and I’m not afraid to use it….especially with chocolate. 😉 Yum!

  27. marla — August 15, 2011 @ 11:45 am

    The little green sprinkles make these so extra fabulous!!!

  28. susan — August 15, 2011 @ 11:57 am

    chocolate and zucchini is such a winning combo. these are adorable, Maria!!!!

  29. Jess @ littlegirlbigappetite — August 15, 2011 @ 12:11 pm

    Looks so moist! Love the green sprinkles!

  30. Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking — August 15, 2011 @ 12:39 pm

    Maria, those green sprinkles on top are wonderful! I’ve been thinking about making chocolate cake with our zucchini, but I like your idea of cupcakes better.
    Thanks for the post.

  31. Joanne — August 15, 2011 @ 1:14 pm

    I love sneaking veggies into baked goods…especially when it involves coercing my brother into eating veggies he THINKS he doesn’t like! These look fabulous.

  32. DessertForTwo — August 15, 2011 @ 1:34 pm

    I wish you were my neighbor–I would give you a million zucchinis! And then could I come over every day for a zucchini dessert? 😉

    • Two Peas replied: — August 15th, 2011 @ 6:06 pm

      I wish I was your neighbor too:)

  33. Melissa @ Baking For The Boys — August 15, 2011 @ 1:49 pm

    I think I must have come from a home that did not care for zucchini, though I really like it very much. I don’t even remember eating zucchini bread or desserts at any of my family’s tables. I guess I need to find some zucchini and try this-so I won’t feel left out! :)

  34. I am just in love with the deepness of the chocolate and the green sprinkles on top. Makes me want to eat the whole batch.

  35. Jeanette — August 15, 2011 @ 3:48 pm

    What a terrific way to use up all the zucchini that’s overflowing this time of year – would never think to pair chocolate with zucchini in a cupcake, but why not! I love zucchini bread and muffins, so moist.

  36. Lana @ Never Enough Thyme — August 15, 2011 @ 4:17 pm

    Love using zucchini in baked goods! Feels good to know there’s *something* healthful in there :-)

  37. HeatherChristo — August 15, 2011 @ 4:39 pm

    I love chocolate and zucchini together! I think the green sprinkles are an adorable nod to the zucchini!

  38. Our recipe uses ground cloves too — and it’s delicious! I love the buttercream frosting, although I am partial to our whipped cream frosting. I tinted it a light pink color and served our chocolate chip zucchini cake as cupcakes for a little girl baby shower :-) No one knew there was a veggie in there!

  39. Nancy@acommunaltable — August 15, 2011 @ 6:09 pm

    Love this trick of adding vegetables to sweet treats … and yes, it will be our little secret!!

  40. TheFromagette — August 15, 2011 @ 6:26 pm

    Ooh, thanks for showing us a pic of the inside! I LOVE that there is no visible evidence of zucchini :) It’s best to keep that a secret…

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