Zucchini tends to overwhelm gardens and markets by late summer. If you have friends or family looking to offload their harvest then these chocolate zucchini muffins are for you! A lower-sugar muffin, these are made with whole wheat flour, dark chocolate, and olive oil. The zucchini adds most of the moisture so not too much oil is needed.
Made in one bowl with less than a dozen ingredients, it's a simple recipe that anyone can make. And like any good vegan recipe, they use pantry staples and don't need eggs or butter, so they're budget friendly too. Also try our vegan bran muffins if you're in search of some more egg-free muffin recipes!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Whole wheat flour: sub plain white flour, whole wheat pastry flour, or spelt. We haven't tested this recipe with gluten-free flour types.
- Sugar: brown sugar and coconut sugar also work.
- Milk: use any kind of milk, dairy or non-dairy - whatever you have on hand.
- Olive oil: use another oil that's liquid at room temperature if you prefer.
- Zucchini: no need to squeeze any liquid out, the recipe has been tested using grated zucchini as is.
- Chocolate chips: chopped dark chocolate can also be used.
Step 1: Whisk the dry ingredients in a larger bowl to combine.
Step 2: Add the wet ingredients, including the zucchini.
Step 3: Mix until just combined, being sure not to over-mix.
Step 4: Spoon into a lined muffin tin and bake for about 20 minutes.
- Use a larger zucchini: small summer squash should be reserved for eating as is - use the too-big ones for muffins.
- Top with extra chocolate: this is optional, but it makes the muffins more appealing to kids and adults alike.
- Don't over-mix: as soon as the flour is just mixed in, stop stirring. Over-mixing can lead to tough muffins.
We made this recipe into a chocolate zucchini loaf, but it didn't work well. We think because the zucchini weighs down the batter the loaf needed a much longer baking time. Though the muffins are light, fluffy, and cake-like, the loaf we baked was heavy and dense, and not in a good way.
Any type of summer squash can be used here, not only the dark green zucchini (courgettes). Pattypan/flying saucer, crookneck, yellow, and globe squashes all work just as well.
How to Store
Storage: store zucchini muffins in a sealed container at room temperature for 2-3 days, or in the fridge for up to 5 days. They will spoil more quickly at higher temperatures due to the zucchini.
Freezing: these muffins freeze well! Simply place cooled muffins in an airtight container and freeze for up to three months.
Does the zucchini need to be peeled for muffins?
Definitely not! It's a summer squash, so the skin is thin and edible. Don't make more work for yourself by peeling it.
What's the best way to grate zucchini for muffins?
Cut the ends off the zucchini first. Use the large side of a box grater, or, if you have a food processor, make quick work of it with the grating attachment.
Why are my muffins sticking to the paper cups?
This is usually because the muffins are still warm. Once they cool completely, the paper liner should come right off. It can also happen if you omit oil from recipes.
If you make these Zucchini Chocolate Muffins or any other muffin recipes on the Baked Collective, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more baking, follow along on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
- Measuring cups and spoons or a digital kitchen scale
- 12-cup muffin tin
- muffin cups
- Large bowl
- Wooden spoon
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
- ½ cup cocoa
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 ½ cups non-dairy milk
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup zucchini grated and packed
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips plus extra for topping
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC) and line a 12-cup muffin tin with muffin cups.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the milk, oil, vanilla, and zucchini to the flour mixture. Stir until just combined and no streaks of flour remain. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Scoop equal amounts of batter into the muffin tins, a little over three-quarters full, until all of the batter is used. Top each muffin with a few extra chocolate chips.
- Place the tin in the pre-heated oven and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
- Place the baked muffins onto a wire rack and cool in the tins for 10 minutes before removing and cooling fully. The muffins can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for 3-4 days, or frozen.