Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

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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!

Check out our other favorite zucchini recipes here! You will want to make them all!

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

The BEST chocolate cupcakes! You will never know they are made with zucchini!
Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Total Time
50 minutes
20 standard cupcakes


For the cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 3/4 cup canola oil or vegetable 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.
  4. To make the frosting, 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.
  5. * Note-the frosting makes about 2 cups, you might have a little extra.

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Maria Lichty

I’m Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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CommentsLeave a reply

  1. 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)

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

  3. 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

  4. 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!! πŸ™‚

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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! πŸ™‚

  8. 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.

  9. 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 πŸ™‚ No one knew there was a veggie in there!

  10. We too have some beasts of zucchini growing in the veggie patch at the momento, but i have never eaten a baked good with them in! crazy i know. This summer this simply must be changed, and as you say you really cant go wrong with a choccy cupcake πŸ™‚ great recipe thanks!

  11. I so cannot believe that this will work, but since I stumbled across your blog lately I have read so many wonderful, mouth-watering recipes that I trust you with those, too!
    Thank God my maternity leave starts in 3 months, there is so much to try out before finalizing the Christmas dinner plans πŸ™‚
    Thanks, Cati

  12. Made these after you posted the recipe and came out great!!! My zucchini didn’t grate the way I wanted it to but it didn’t affect the recipe or taste at all – will link to you guys when I post on my blog – thanks for another great treat!!

  13. Beautiful decoration hint at the goodness within! Love it!
    BTW…bought Biscoff spread over the weekend. Half of the jar is gone, I’m blaming it on the baby. πŸ™‚

    Hope your pregnancy is going as well as mine is! Six weeks to go!

  14. I’ve always wanted to try this combination. Thanks for the recipe! (I found you through Todays Creative Blog.) Cheers!

  15. These are awesome! Very moist and tasty! No one knew they had zucchini in them, I even used the green sprinkles for presentation!

  16. Fantastic! My veggie hating 5 year old raved about these and bragged about how he made them! This made 30 cupcakes for us so we got to freeze some! thanks for a yummy recipe

  17. I made these cupcakes last night, while my husband was out and my boys were alseep. If they knew there was zucchini in these I think they would run. I was a little freaked out at the whole zucchini chocolate idea when I first read this post, but I love your other recipes and thought I’d give these a try. I’ll sneek veggies in where ever I can to feel less guilty.
    These cupcakes are SO good! They are rich and puffed up beautifully and made me very happy. The cinnamon smell in my house was wonderful. Thank you for this recipe!

  18. These look delicious! What do you recommend though if I don’t want to use eggs? I know there are many possible substitutes, but I’m not sure which is best.

  19. After multiple attempts to GIVE zucchini away I have decided to make desserts with all the zucchini I have. These are the most moist soft cupcakes I’ve tasted; so delicious!!! Thanks for sharing your recipe; definitely making these again this year!….and again next year! πŸ˜€

  20. This might be a silly question, but since I’ve never baked with zucchini before…… When you shred it, do you leave the skin on??

  21. I used this recipe to make cupcakes for my son’s school birthday treat. The only change I made was substitute 2/3’s of the oil with applesauce and I halved the frosting recipe. These were so delicious and I am definitely keeping this recipe in my rotation! Thank you for posting all those years ago!

  22. These sound delicious, and I will be making them when zucchini are in season here.
    Just one small piece of feedback – Plurals (friends, kids) don’t need an apostrophe.

  23. I have made these several times. Adults and kids have enjoyed them equally. Thanks for the great recipe. I love new ways to use my zucchini bounty every summer!

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