Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes


Chocolate and zucchini are a match made in heaven, as far as I’m concerned! I love the way that zucchini adds moisture to baked goods (evidenced by my other recipes for Zucchini Lemon Bread, No Fail Zucchini Bread, and Zucchini Cinnamon Freezer Muffins!) and these dark chocolate zucchini cupcakes are no exception.

Of course we probably all hope that adding zucchini also adds a bit of nutritional value – but, hey, they are cupcakes, after all. Though I DID try to make them as real-food healthy as possible by using less sugar and more chocolate than normal cupcakes, in addition to using a healthy fat and whole wheat pastry flour. So I’ll let you be the judge.

Frosted Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

The frosting, though – well, that’s another story. I have one – and only one – chocolate frosting that I use and it’s THE best frosting ever. And I don’t say that lightly. Everyone loves it. But of course it uses lots of butter and powdered sugar, so it’s definitely a special occasion kind of thing (here’s the link to this amazing Chocolate Silk Frosting recipe). You can also dust these cupcakes with powdered sugar or use your favorite frosting recipe – these are great with a peanut putter frosting, too.

Making Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

There’s nothing fancy or time-consuming with this recipe, it’s simply a matter of mixing the wet ingredients with the dry and dividing the batter between lined muffin tins. It will probably work with frozen shredded zucchini as well, if you have any put away.

The recipe makes 24 cupcakes and they freeze beautifully (frosted or not), so you can have cupcakes whenever the occasion calls for them.

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcake on Stand

And with less sugar and more chocolate these cupcakes really do have a darker chocolate flavor, which I’m always aiming for with any chocolate recipe. Bring on the chocolate!


Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

Makes 24 cupcakes


  • 2 c. shredded zucchini
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c. brown sugar (or sucanat)
  • 3/4 c. coconut oil, melted (olive oil works, too)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • frosting of choice or powdered sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. Add zucchini, eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla to a large bowl and mix well.
  3. Add remaining cupcake ingredients, mixing until all is combined.
  4. Spoon the batter evenly between the lined cups (the cups will be about half full).
  5. Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
  6. Frost with your favorite frosting (chocolate or peanut butter are both good) or dust with powdered sugar when they are completely cooled.


I’m sharing this at: Chic & Crafty, The Better MomWeekend Wrap-Up and Countdown to 2013: Desserts.


  1. Crystal says

    Delicious!!! My mom used to bake zuchini bread when I was younger. I’ve often thought about it, but haven’t yet. I’m definately going to try these cupcakes!!! They look delicious!!

  2. daisy says

    I love that you offered sucanat and olive oil as substitutes. I use both instead of traditional ingredients. ( Just a note that light olive oil is best for baking, extra virgin for savory dishes.)
    Did you use the Special Dark cocoa? Can’t wait to try this with the whole wheat pastry flour. I want to start using it in more of my treats. Thanks, Jami!

    • Jami says

      Actually, Daisy, I use whatever olive oil we have and I don’t notice a difference, but others might – you’re right. I buy an organic cocoa in bulk, so no special cocoa. What makes these dark is the amount of cocoa to sugar ratio – meaning, they’re more chocolatey than sweet. :)

  3. says

    I had your Zucchini Cinnamon Freezer Muffins on my menu plan for this morning, but when this showed up in my inbox yesterday I decided to give it a try instead. I was surprised at how thick the batter was so I doubled checked the recipe and noticed that the picture of your unbaked cupcakes look just as thick. I used half the batter for full size muffins and half for mini muffins (mostly because I don’t have two muffin tins). We are still waiting for the full size cupcakes to finish but the mini ones are wonderful (no frosting, but we will top with straight peanut butter to make these little treats work as a breakfast). Thank you!

    • Jami says

      I’ve not had them for breakfast before, but I like them with pb frosting, so plain pb would be good, I bet. I’ve found the thicker batter produce a really moist cupcake that doesn’t dry out as much as thinner batters. It is different, though. Glad you enjoyed them!

  4. Marina says

    This sounds delish and I’m going to try it very soon. Do you think it would work if I substituted the coconut/olive oil for apple sauce? I generally do that in baking, but I wouldn’t want to spoil this recipe.

    • says

      I firmly believe (good) fats are good for us, Marina, and applesauce ups the sugar/carb ratio so I don’t ever do that. It makes the texture a bit more rubbery, too, in my opinion (when I’ve tasted other’s baked goods with only applesauce) – but you are free to do whatever you’d like! That’s one of the joys of making things from scratch yourself. :)

  5. says

    I made these but used 1/2 bean puree and 1/2 coconut oil (to increase fiber and protein and decrease a bit of fat) and they baked up super fluffy and high and were so filling! And don’t worry you don’t taste the beans at all…just yumminess! Thanks!

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