Meet the best Zucchini Muffins, ready to fill up adults and toddlers alike! Made with just-the-right amount of zucchini and warmly spiced with cinnamon, these zucchini muffins are nutritious, scrumptious, and mega moist. They’ll brighten up your mornings (and snacks too!).
Made with simple, wholesome ingredients like yogurt, pure maple syrup (and of course, zucchini!), these zucchini muffins wear no mask.
Like all of my dozens (and dozens!) of healthy muffin recipes, they are full of whole ingredients, taste tender and flavorful, and are a delight!
I’ve baked A LOT of zucchini muffins and breads over the years. You can find one for every craving.
When you want a CLASSIC, perfect zucchini muffin, however, this recipe is the best!
Tips for the Best Zucchini Muffins
- Use the Best Tool for Grating. For shredding zucchini, a sharp a box grater like this one or a coarse plane-style grater like this one is the ticket.
- Dry Your Zucchini. Zucchini naturally has quite a bit of moisture. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible by squeezing the shredded zucchini between a kitchen towel lined with paper towels. If this step is skipped, the muffins will be wet mush.
- Let Batter Rest. When working with whole wheat flour in particular, if time allows, let the batter rest for 30 minutes prior to scoping into the muffin tin and baking. This lets the gluten in the flour relax, resulting in a more tender muffin with a higher rise.
- Don’t Overbake. We all know the “clean toothpick” test, but I additionally like to check for doneness by gently pushing down on the top of the muffin with a finger. If it springs back up, it’s done. Also, watch the edges to be sure they are not overbrowned.
How to Make Zucchini Muffins
This healthy zucchini muffin recipe is easy!
Once you’re past the shredding and squeezing of zucchini, they whisk together quickly. No mixer required!
- Zucchini. These muffins contain an entire zucchini! Zucchini is so much more than a carbohydrates substitute (like with Zucchini Lasagna or Zucchini Enchiladas). It is mild but delicious, and full of nutrients like vitamin C and potassium.
- Whole Wheat Flour. I’m a big fan of substituting whole wheat flour for all purpose flour in quick breads and muffins. This nearly undetectable swap adds fiber and protein to the muffins, keeping you fuller longer.
- Canola Oil. It makes the muffins ultra moist and its neutral flavor allows the other ingredient to shine (plus, unlike butter it’s ready to use right out of the pantry, making these muffins extra quick and easy).
- Greek Yogurt. Greek yogurt steps in to substitute some of the fat typically in muffins, adding moisture.
- Maple Syrup + Brown Sugar. These muffins are almost 100% maple syrup; you need just 2 tablespoons of brown sugar to round out their flavor (they were missing something without it).
- Eggs. If you remember, pull your eggs out of the refrigerator before baking so they can come to room temperature and best combine with the other ingredients. (And if you forget, place them in a bowl of room temperature warm water for about 10 minutes. It helps!).
- Vanilla Extract. Pure vanilla extract is the must for just about any baked good in my book. It adds a depth of flavor and makes them taste extra homemade.
- Cinnamon. The secret ingredient for a warm and comforting-tasting muffin. Additional warm spices like a pinch of nutmeg or ginger would also be lovely.
- Baking Powder. Not to be confused with baking soda.
- Salt. A quarter teaspoon salt sharpens the flavors.
- Grate zucchini and squeeze out moisture.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
4. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until just blended. Let batter rest for 30 minutes (it’s worth it!).
5. In a pan prepared with muffin liners or cooking spray, bake zucchini muffins at 425 degrees F for 5 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking for an additional 15 to 18 minutes.
6. Let the zucchini muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. ENJOY!
Zucchini Muffin Mix Ins
One of the many things I love about muffins is their versatility. Try adding up to 1/2 cup of any of these mix-ins, or a combination.
- Chocolate. Use mini or regular chocolate chips; they go with the zucchini nicely. You know I’m going to say dark chocolate is the best.
- Blueberries. Fresh or frozen blueberries (no need to thaw!) can be mixed into easy zucchini muffins. To keep blueberries from sinking to the bottom of the batter, first toss in a bit of flour. See my Blueberry Zucchini Bread for a loaf version.
- Nuts. Nuts add a nice crunch and warmth to the zucchini muffins. Walnuts or pecans would be delicious. Toast and chop them prior to adding to the batter for maximum flavor.
- To Store. Store muffins in a paper towel-lined airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
- To Freeze. Individually wrap each muffin in plastic, then place in a ziptop bag in freezer for up to 2 months.
What to Serve with Zucchini Muffins
These zucchini muffins would make a lovely addition to your next breakfast or brunch spread, or popped alone as a mid-day snack.
- Muffin Pan. If you don’t need the lid, this one is fabulous.
- Batter Scoop. For big, beautiful muffin tops and evenly-proportioned muffins.
- Grater. Grates zucchini mess-free and with ease.
Zucchini muffins taste fantastic, and you are going to feel fantastic after you eat one (and maybe even better after two!).
Frequently Asked Questions
No, you do not need to remove the peel from zucchini before shredding them for zucchini muffins. Simply wash and trim the ends, then grate. The peel is not noticeable, and also provides added nutrients and pretty specks of color.
As long as your zucchini aren’t super huge (giant, late-season zucchini can have some larger seeds you may want to remove), you do not need to remove the seeds from zucchini prior to baking.
Apple sauce swapped 1:1 for the canola oil or vegetable oil is a common healthy substitute for baked goods, but I do not recommend the full replacement here. You can experiment with swapping up to half of it, but note that the muffin will taste a little chewy and not be as “bouncy.” Recipes need some fat to hold together and to taste satisfying.
Resting muffin batter for 30 minutes prior to baking results in a more tender muffin, because the gluten in the flour has some time to relax. I find it also gives a higher rise and more desirable domed muffin top. That said, if you aren’t as particular about the top of texture, you can certainly bake this batter immediately after mixing.
- 1 medium unpeeled zucchini about 10 ounces; 2 cups once shredded
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 2/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons packed light or dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour or a blend of regular whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Trim off the ends of the zucchini, then grate. Squeeze out the excess water: place a kitchen towel on the counter, top it with a few paper towels, then place the grated zucchini in the center. Wrap the towels up and around the zucchini, then thoroughly squeeze it over the sink (or over a bowl) to remove as much moisture as possible. Repeat a second time, replacing the paper towels.
In a large mixing bowl, place the squeezed zucchini, oil, yogurt, maple syrup, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk until combined.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl with wet ingredients, with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir by hand just until they are blended. Do not over mix.
Allow the batter to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes (this allows the dry and wet ingredients to better incorporate, will result in muffins with a higher rise in the oven and allows the gluten in the flour to relax so you have a more tender muffin). Meanwhile, place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 425°F . Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners or lightly coat with nonstick spray.
Once the batter has rested, give it one big, gentle stir, then scoop into the prepared muffin cups, dividing evenly between each (the cups will be about three-fourths or so of the way full).
Bake the zucchini muffins for 5 minutes at 425°F, then without opening the oven, reduce the temperature to 350°F and continue baking for an additional 15 to 18 minutes, until the tops of the muffins are risen and domed and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes in the pan, then gently transfer to a wire rack to cool completely…or enjoy them warm immediately (who could blame you?!).
- TO STORE: Store muffins in a paper towel-lined airtight storage container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
- TO FREEZE: Individually wrap each muffin in plastic, place in a ziptop bag, and freeze for up to 2 months.
- See post How to Store Muffins.
Serving: 1 muffinCalories: 180kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 5gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 28mgPotassium: 207mgFiber: 2gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 73IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 86mgIron: 1mg
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