Zucchini is a very versatile vegetable. It can be used in sweet or savory recipes; it can be eaten raw or cooked. Its flavour is neutral and allows it to be combined with other intense flavours and it is also nutritious and healthy to consume.
This time I have used the zucchini as an ingredient to make some delicious, sweet muffins. I have combined it with cinnamon and ginger and this recipe is adapted from multiple versions available on the web, since it is a very common way to enjoy this ingredient. I hope you like this version.
Details to be considered
I often share recipes for muffins or cupcakes because they are easy to prepare and do not require special machines but are perfectly made by hand. That’s why there aren’t too many things to keep in mind to make them super tasty, but I always tell you a little about the ingredients and their substitutions based mainly on the frequently asked questions that I usually receive in this type of recipe.
I have used the zucchini grated on the coarse side of my grater. If you prefer, you can use the thinner side and make it look more discreet in the batter. Many times, the zucchini is strained or moisture is extracted before adding it to a preparation, in this particular case that step is not necessary, because the zucchini corresponds to the liquid ingredient of the recipe.
The flour is all-purpose wheat, not self-rising. That is, it does not contain baking powder, and instead we will add it ourselves. I always prefer to do it this way to make sure I use the amount I want to use and not depend on the ratio used by the company that produces the flour. For this recipe I have used only baking powder and I have not included baking soda, since there are no acidic ingredients that react with it and the amount of muscovado sugar does not provide an unpleasant acidity that could need to be balanced with the soda.
Since I mention muscovado sugar, I tell you that I combine white and brown sugar in these muffins for the caramelized flavour and the touch of colour that brown sugar gives them. Muscovado sugar is a pure unrefined sugar that has all its flavour. To prevent it from adding too much acidity, I have combined it with white sugar and also so that the flavour is not too intense. You can use only white sugar without any problem, in that case you use 160g in total, that is, just over three-quarters of a cup of sugar. Muscovado sugar is also known as panela, papelón, piloncillo or chancaca in different countries. But if you don’t have access to this ingredient, you can either use dark brown sugar or as I mentioned before just use white sugar.
Many times, for my muffin recipes I use oil as fat, because it provides moisture. This time I wanted to have the flavour that butter provides and thanks to the fact that the zucchini as an ingredient provides a lot of moisture, I was not worried that they could end up dry. I used melted unsalted butter, and if you’ve seen the video, I’ve added it while whisking the other wet ingredients, so that if it was still hot from melting it, it wouldn’t cook the eggs. When using butter as a fat, it is important that the eggs are at room temperature. This will make combining the ingredients easier. If oil is used as fat, the same amount can be used, only considering that it will change the flavour and perhaps they will be a little moister. You can use margarine too if you prefer. If you use salted margarine or butter, you can omit the salt from the recipe. And if you use oil, you can add all together and then whisk the dry ingredients, no need to wait and add it later like I did with the melted butter.
To accompany the zucchini in the recipe I have chosen chopped hazelnuts. I like them because they provide texture and a delicious flavour. If you don’t like hazelnuts, you can omit them or substitute for other nuts of your choice, for example walnuts, pecans, or almonds. You can even use fruit like raisins or chopped dried apricots. The amount of hazelnuts corresponds approximately to one cup and can be substituted for another ingredient using that proportion in volume in the recipe if you prefer. By weight it is 150 grams.
This recipe makes 14 muffins, measuring each muffin with a portion corresponding to a 5cm (2 inches) diameter ice cream scoop. As my muffin tray has 12 units, I have baked the other two portions together in a greased 10cm (4 inches) diameter cake pan. If you prefer, once the first 12 muffins come out of the oven and have rested for 10 minutes, you can add two more portions to the tray and bake them individually. In that case, it is important to let the mixture rest in the refrigerator while the first muffins are baked. If you have an extra muffin pan, maybe a 6-pan, you can of course use it either at the same time (if your oven has enough space) or right away when you take out the first pan. Another option is to use larger than usual muffin wrappers, where the entire mixture can be distributed among the twelve units of the main tray.
It should be noted that for the option I chose to bake in the 10cm cake pan, I lowered the oven temperature to 180°C or 350°F and the baking time varied because of the shape of the pan and the amount of mixture. This mini cake was ready in 27 minutes.
The baking time for the muffins is always indicative, since each oven is different. Therefore, even with the same quantities, the tray of 12 muffins may require more or less time than it did in my particular case, which was 17 minutes.
And now the recipe step by step
Zucchini muffins - easy and delicious
- 300 g All purpose flour (2 Cups. + 1 Tbsp.)
- 2 Tsp. Baking powder
- 1 Tsp. Ground cinnamon
- ½ Tsp. Ground ginger
- ½ Tsp. Salt
- 150 g Chopped Hazelnuts (1 cup)
- 3 Medium eggs (Room temp.)
- 60 g White sugar (⅓Tza.)
- 100 g Muscovado sugar (½ Cup)
- 1 Tsp. Vanilla extract
- 150 g melted unsalted butter (⅔ Cup)
- 300 g Grated Zucchini or courgette (A little more than 2 cups)
Optional before baking
- Finely chopped hazelnuts
- Brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to200°C / 400°F.
- Prepare a muffin pan for12 muffins with their paper wrappers (see notes 2)
- In a large bowl sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Mix briefly.
- Add the chopped hazelnuts and mix. Set aside.
- In another bowl add the eggs, vanilla and sugar. Whisk until incorporated.
- While continuing to whisk, add the melted butter until incorporated.
- Add the grated zucchini and incorporate with a spatula.
- Transfer the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and carefully incorporate until all the flour is moistened.
- Distribute the mixture in the muffin tin.
- Optionally add more chopped hazelnuts (into smaller pieces) on top of each muffin and sprinkle with brown sugar as well.
- Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 15 to 17 minutes.
- Once ready, remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes at room temperature.
- Unmold and let themuffins rest on a wire rack until they have completely cooled to roomtemperature.
- Muscovado sugar is granulated, unrefined sugar. That is to say: panela, papelón, piloncillo or chancaca. Can be substituted for brown sugar.
- As this recipe makes 14 units, you can read in the text of the article the options you have to bake the 2 additional units or how to integrate them to make 12 large muffins.
And we will have these delicious muffins or zucchini cupcakes ready. These muffins are perfect to eat fresh but can also be kept up to 3 days in an airtight container so they don’t lose moisture. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months, for this they will have to be stored in an airtight ziploc bag and when you want to eat them, you will have to let them defrost in the refrigerator overnight and then take them out about 20 minutes before eating them.
I hope you liked the recipe.
If you make this delicious recipe for zucchini muffins, I’d love to hear about it and see your photos. You can send them to me via Instagram or Facebook to @lovefortheoven.
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Thank you very much for reading this far and see you in the next recipe.
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