Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins

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Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins are big, bakery style muffins with crunchy tops on the outside and melted chocolate chunks on the inside. They’re the perfect breakfast, brunch or dessert treat!

zucchini chocolate chip muffins lined up in a row.
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Why You’ll Love Zucchini Muffins

If you have a garden and you’re asking yourself, “What can I do with all these zucchinis?”…this recipe is it!

Even if you don’t grow a garden, Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins are an excellent choice. They’re loaded with healthy zucchini, pecans and cinnamon.

Your family may never know it’s there, but adding this nutritious vegetable creates a moist muffin with tons of flavor. Of course, throwing in some dark chocolate chunks and semisweet chocolate chips doesn’t hurt either!

Zucchini muffins are freezer-friendly and reheat nicely for a quick and easy snack. They’re perfect for stuffing lunch boxes, gift giving, and every day munching!

close up of chocolate chips melting inside muffin.
Melted chocolate is hard to resist!

Ingredients

I’m a big fan of using buttermilk in recipes because it creates a tender crumb. The ingredients below produce a crave-worthy muffin that’s quick, easy, and delicious when served with a hot cup of coffee or tea!

  • granulated sugar
  • vegetable or olive oil
  • egg
  • vanilla
  • all purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • cinnamon
  • buttermilk
  • shredded zucchini (unpeeled)
  • chocolate chunks or chips
  • pecans
  • extra chocolate chips (to add to the tops)

See recipe card for quantities.

ingredients needed to make zucchini chocolate chip muffins.
Ingredients needed for recipe

Instructions

The secret to creating the perfect muffin top is to preheat the oven to a high temperature for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat for the last 15 minutes of baking.

1 – Shred zucchini by hand with a box grater, or use a food processor. Set aside.

2 – With a mixer, blend sugar with oil until incorporated. Add egg and beat 1 minute until creamy. Add vanilla and stir.

3 – In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Whisk together.

4 – Alternate adding dry ingredients to wet ingredients in mixing bowl in sections, alternating with buttermilk. Blend well.

5 – Fold in shredded zucchini, chocolate chunks and pecans. Stir batter and scoop into muffin liners in a tin pan. Fill to the very top. Add a few extra chocolate chips to the top of each muffin if desired.

6 – Bake at 425 for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 for 15 minutes until tops rise and spring back to the touch. Take care not to over bake or muffins will be dry.

Recipe FAQS

Does shredded zucchini need to be drained?

If the zucchini is dripping wet with water, dab it with a paper towel. Otherwise, you do not need to drain it because the moisture is needed in the recipe to keep from adding extra oil.

How do I know when the muffins are done?

Muffins are done when a toothpick comes out clean after inserting it into the middle. Or, use the finger test and check to see if muffins spring back after gently pressing the tops.

Can I substitute the sugar in this recipe?

I have only tested this recipe with granulated sugar, but you could try substituting brown sugar, honey, or even applesauce.

Can zucchini muffins be frozen?

Yes! These muffins freeze for up to 3 months if wrapped and stored in an airtight container. Thaw on the countertop or microwave for a few seconds to defrost.

zucchini chocolate chip muffins on a baking rack.

Variations

Create zucchini bread instead! Feel free to pour the batter into a loaf pan and bake for 50 to 55 minutes at 350 degrees. Insert a toothpick in the middle and bake until it comes out clean.

Mix things up by adding walnuts instead of pecans, or substituting dried fruits such as cherries or cranberries instead of chocolate chips.

Top Tips

  • Leave the peelings on the zucchini for easy prep and ultimate nutrition. The peelings are soft and won’t be noticed once baked.
  • Be sure to fill the muffin tin cups to the very top. Muffin tops will rise quickly when initially baked in a high temperature oven.
  • Batter will be thick. If it is thin, there was too much liquid in the zucchini. If this happens, add a little extra flour to thicken up the batter before baking.
muffins on a rack with a floral towel underneath.

Warm and melted chocolate muffins coming out of the oven are hard to resist! Try these other baked goods that are sure to please…

Recipe Card

zucchini chocolate chip muffins on a floral towel.

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins are big, bakery style muffins with crunchy tops on the outside and melted chocolate chunks on the inside.
4.67 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breads and Muffins
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 381kcal

*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.

Equipment

  • grater or food processor
  • mixer (hand or free standing)
  • bowl and whisk

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini unpeeled
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chunks or chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • extra chocolate chips for topping optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Shred unpeeled zucchini by hand with a box grater, or use a food processor. Set aside.
  • Using a mixer, blend sugar with oil until incorporated. Add egg and beat 1 minute until creamy. Add vanilla and stir.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Whisk together.
  • Alternate adding dry ingredients to wet ingredients, alternating with buttermilk. Blend well with mixer while adding ingredients.  
  • Fold in shredded zucchini, chocolate chunks and pecans. Stir batter and scoop into muffin liners in a tin pan. Fill to the very top. Add a few extra chocolate chips to the top of each muffin if desired.
  • Bake at 425 for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 for 15 minutes until tops rise and spring back to the touch. Take care not to over bake or muffins will be dry.

Notes

  • All ovens are different as well as altitudes. Be sure to check your temperature and adjust accordingly. You may need to bake muffins longer if necessary. 
  • If the zucchini is dripping wet with water, dab it with a paper towel. Otherwise, you do not need to drain it because the moisture is needed in the recipe to keep from adding extra oil.
  • Be sure to fill the muffin tin cups to the very top. Muffin tops will rise quickly when initially baked in a high temperature oven.

Nutrition

Calories: 381kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 230mg | Potassium: 229mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.

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8 Comments

    1. Great question! No need to squeeze it, but if it’s dripping liquid, you can dry it with a paper towel. Some of the moisture needs to be in the recipe so it’s okay to use as is.

  1. 5 stars
    Followed this recipe to the T and the muffins came out great and they taste moist and delicious! Thanks for this recipe!

  2. We grew zucchini this summer and I want to try your recipe with my crop. We had a frost three days ago and our plant has come to its end! That’s okay because I was getting tired of eating it. I do have 5 or 6 left so I am going to try your muffins. Here is my question: I have the large muffin tins and I want to know if I still need to fill to top and approximately how long would they take to cook through? I will be using silicone muffin liners sprayed with PAM which allows for the cooked product to slip right out. Thank you for any info you can give me. My husband is the one who sent me this recipe and said MAKE THESE, PLEASE!

    1. Hi Lynda. Thank you so much for writing! I would definitely still fill the large muffin cups to the very top. It helps form the dome that you want to see on every muffin. As far as cooking time, I have never made the larger muffins so I can’t say for certain. But I recommend that you check on them often and press down on the tops with your fingertips. If they spring back, they’re done. It shouldn’t take much longer than the time listed in the recipe. Tell your husband thank you for sending you to me! 🙂 And, please let me know how things turn out!

  3. 4 stars
    I followed the recipe The only problem i have is they seem to be sticking to the paper lining the muffin cups. They rose nicely and are very moist. i didnt see anything in the recipe that said to spray or grease the paper liners.
    also do you have any idea what the nutritional information on each muffin? I didnt see that either
    Please let me know because I do want to make them again.

    1. Hi Edie. I’m sorry you had trouble with the paper liners you used. All liners are different so I’m not sure why that happened. I always use a bakery muffin liner that is coated with wax so it releases well. Maybe you should try something like that next time. As far as nutritional info is concerned, I do not have that enabled on my blog yet because it is quite expensive to do so. But, I calculated it for you on Whisk.com and entered it into the recipe card so you would have it. Check the card again and it should be there. 🙂

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