Chocolate Zucchini Muffins are packed with zucchini and double the chocolate for a muffin that tastes like dessert, yet healthy enough for breakfast.
No one will complain about eating their veggies when enjoying one of these Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Muffins. Just like Carrot Cake Muffins, Healthy Chocolate Chip Muffins, and Pumpkin Muffins, this healthy muffin recipe makes eating veggies feel decadent!
Healthy Zucchini Muffins
Whether you happen to have a garden overflowing with fresh zucchini or have just finished visiting your farmer's market, Chocolate Zucchini Muffins are a perfect recipe to put that zucchini to use.
These Zucchini Muffins are tender, light, and filled with chocolate. DOUBLE THE CHOCOLATE! And yet, they are much better for you than classic Zucchini Muffins.
Instead of being loaded with refined flour and sugars, my recipe for Zucchini Muffins is made with whole grains, naturally sweetened with honey, and lower in fat thanks to using applesauce in place of part of the oil.
One thing is for sure, these Chocolate Zucchini Muffins make eating your veggies a pleasure!
Notes on Ingredients
- Whole White Wheat Flour: Instead of all-purpose flour, I opt to use whole white wheat flour for a dose of whole grains. However, you can use all-purpose flour or even 1:1 gluten-free flour blend, for a gluten-free option.
- Chocolate Chips: Chocolate Chips can be omitted to keep these muffins 100% free from refined sugars, but I recommend adding them for a burst of fudgy deliciousness. I love to use mini chocolate chips but regular chocolate chips work as well. And be sure to use dairy-free chocolate chips if you need your muffins to be dairy-free or vegan.
- Applesauce: Applesauce is used to cut back on the amount of oil needed, while still keeping these muffins light and tender. It also helps to naturally sweeten the muffins.
- Canola Oil: Just a small amount of oil is needed. Feel free to use melted and cooled butter or coconut oil in place of canola oil.
- Honey/Maple Syrup: Instead of using granulated sugars, these muffins are sweetened with honey or maple syrup. I personally prefer honey in these Chocolate Zucchini Muffins as the honey does not overpower the chocolate flavor, as the maple tends to, but if you need a vegan-friendly muffin, use maple syrup in place of the honey.
- Milk: To keep the muffins light and fluffy, milk is needed. But you can use dairy or non-dairy milk, depending on your preference.
How To Make Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
- Preheat your oven and line a 12-cup muffin tin with silicone liners or paper liners. Alternatively, you can grease your muffin tin well with butter, melted coconut oil, canola oil, or cooking spray.
- Shred one medium zucchini, using a boxed grater or a food processor fitted with the grating blade.
- It is important to remove the excess water from the zucchini, just like you would when making Zucchini Bread. This will keep the muffins from becoming dense and mushy. To do this, place the shredded zucchini into a piece of cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel and give a firm squeeze over a sink or bowl. Set the zucchini aside until ready to use.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk or sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together honey, egg, applesauce, oil, milk, and vanilla together.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir together until JUST combined, being careful to not over-mix.
- Fold shredded zucchini and chocolate chips into the muffin batter.
- Meaure out ¼ cup of the batter into each of the prepared muffins cups. I have found that using an ice cream scoop is best. It is exactly ¼ of a cup and is the least messy way to distribute the batter into the muffin tin.
- Top each muffin with a few more chocolate chips if desired.
- Bake the zucchini muffins until the muffins rise, the tops are set and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out dry.
- Remove zucchini muffins from oven and place muffin tin on a cooling rack.
- Let cook for 10 minutes then remove muffins from tin and let cool completely on a cooling rack.
Storing Zucchini Muffins
Because these zucchini muffins are loaded with zucchini and are whole grains, they are best stored in the refrigerator if storing longer than 24 hours.
Once cooled, pop the muffins into an airtight container or freezer-safe bag and place the muffins in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Alternatively, you can freeze the muffins for up to 3 months. Just pop them into a freezer-safe storage container bag once fully cooled and place them into the freezer.
- Gluten-Free Zucchini Muffins: I have made this recipe using a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend with success.
- Dairy-Free Zucchini Muffins: Be sure you use dairy-free chocolate chips and use your favorite non-dairy milk in place of milk for this recipe. I tend to use unsweetened plain almond milk when making these muffins dairy-free. Canned coconut milk is a great addition if using melted coconut oil, just be warned it will result in a slight "coconut" flavor. But chocolate + coconut is a great match!
- Egg-Free Zucchini Muffins: A flax egg substitute can be made to keep these muffins egg-free with great success. Simply mix 1 tablespoons of ground flaxseed with 2 tablespoon of water and let sit for 5 minutes before adding to the muffin batter.
- Vegan Zucchini Muffins: With SEVERAL changes, these muffins can be made vegan-friendly. I have done this many times and the results are spectacular. Use a flax egg to replace the egg, use maple syrup in place of honey, and use non-dairy chocolate chips and non-dairy milk.
More Recipes using Zucchini
- Healthy Zucchini Bread
- Zucchini and Squash Saute
- Ratatouille Recipe
- Air Fryer Zucchini Fries
- Italian Baked Vegetables
- Instant Pot Minestrone Soup
- Air Fryer Squash
If you enjoyed these Chocolate Zucchini Muffins, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
- 1 ½ cups white wheat flour or all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ½ cup honey or maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- ½ cup applesauce unsweetened
- ¼ cup milk any variety
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup zucchini shredded, and squeezed dry
- ½ cup chocolate chips optional, and divided
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a muffin pan by lining it with paper or silicone liners or greasing the muffin cups really well with butter or nonstick spray.
- Wash and dry the zucchini. Cut off the stem of the zucchini and using a box grater or food processor fitted with a grating blade, shred the zucchini. Remove excess moisture from the zucchini by placing the shredded zucchini into cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel and squeezing it firmly over the sink. Alternatively, place the shredded zucchini into a fine-mesh colander and use your hands to really press down hard on the zucchini to remove the excess liquid.
- Using a fine-mesh strainer, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt over a large mixing bowl. Alternatively, whisk the ingredients together, just be sure to remove any lumps.
- In a separate smaller mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, egg, applesauce, honey, and vanilla extract until well combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined, careful to not overmix, as this can result in tough muffins.
- Fold the shredded, drained zucchini and ⅓ cup of chocolate chips into the batter.
- Scoop out ¼ cup of batter into each muffin cup. Sprinkle each muffin with a couple of chocolate chips if desired.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out dry.
- Place the baked muffins on a cooling rack and allow them to sit in the muffin tin for 5-10 minutes, before removing them from the tin. Allow the muffins to cool fully before enjoying.
This post was originally published in 2018 but updated in 2020.