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You’ll love these easy zucchini muffins because they pack a lot of wholesome flavor and only require about 30 minutes start to finish. Enjoy cinnamon, vanilla, and sweet brown sugar in a moist yet fluffy crumb. (And you can’t even taste the zucchini!)

I bake zucchini bread often in the summertime and recently made a couple small tweaks to my usual method. This zucchini bread comes from an award-winning recipe and is now updated with a little more volume (taller 9×5 inch loaf!) and moisture. It’s better than ever!

You could turn the quick bread recipe into muffins or try today’s muffins recipe, which is quite similar.

Here’s Why You’ll Love These Zucchini Muffins

  • The batter comes together quickly.
  • No mixer required.
  • Easy way to use a plentiful summer vegetable.
  • Perfect balance of moist, hearty, and soft.
  • Dairy free if using dairy-free milk.
  • Adaptable to your liking with any add-ins you love in a muffin.

BONUS: Zucchini muffins are vegetable delivery vehicles that even picky vege-skeptics will love. You can’t taste the vegetable because the zucchini takes on the flavor of the cinnamon-spiced batter. Hop on over to this chocolate zucchini cake recipe… you can’t even see that sneaky vegetable inside!

Zucchini Bread vs Zucchini Muffins

As I was experimenting with ways to perfect my zucchini bread recipe, I also wanted to get the muffin version just right. Muffins usually have a thicker batter and heartier texture than quick bread. If a quick bread batter is too thick, your bread may easily dry out during the long bake time. Additionally, quick bread slices can become flimsy and fall apart if you stuff the batter with too much, but the compacted muffin shape welcomes extras.

Comparing today’s muffins and the quick bread version, here are 3 differences:

  1. I use a little more zucchini in the muffin batter.
  2. I slightly reduce the brown sugar in the muffin recipe (you could successfully do the same quick bread recipe though).
  3. I use a touch of milk to thin out the muffin batter. In the zucchini bread, I use applesauce. You could use applesauce instead of milk in the muffins, but I do not suggest milk in the bread recipe because the bread will be too moist.

Key Ingredients You Need & Why:

whole wheat flour and other ingredients including eggs, milk, oil, and zucchini

In addition to baking powder, baking soda, and salt, the following ingredients are imperative for the success of this recipe:

  1. Whole Wheat Flour or All-Purpose Flour: Like these applesauce muffins and morning glory muffins, today’s zucchini muffins taste wonderfully hearty and wholesome with whole wheat flour. You can use all whole wheat or all all-purpose flour or a combination of the two.
  2. Vanilla, Cinnamon, & Nutmeg: Use all 3 for unbeatable flavor.
  3. Oil & Eggs: Oil adds moisture and eggs give the muffins structure.
  4. Brown Sugar & White Granulated Sugar: Brown sugar not only sweetens the muffins, it adds flavor and moisture. Using all brown sugar weighs down the muffins, so use a combination of brown and white sugars. If you’re curious about using unrefined sugar, try substituting both the brown and white sugars with coconut sugar, or you may enjoy turning this Greek yogurt zucchini bread into muffins instead.
  5. Milk: Like banana muffins, this batter needs some liquid to help thin it out. Dairy or nondairy milk work wonderfully. Orange juice works too; it sounds odd but I swear by it when making pumpkin bread!
  6. Optional Add-ins: Chocolate chips, chopped nuts, and raisins are favorites.

And of Course… Shredded Zucchini

Zucchini adds flavorless moisture. It’s truly a magical ingredient in your baked goods—just wait until you try this zucchini crumb cake or a batch of zucchini oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

  • Shredding Zucchini: I use and love this box grater because it’s easy to use, grates quickly, and has held up well with regular use. No need to blot the shredded zucchini before adding it to the muffin batter.

All you’re doing is whisking the dry and wet ingredients together separately, and then combining everything. Expect a thick batter. If desired, sprinkle coarse sugar on top of the muffins before baking. It adds a sweet crunch that also happens to make homemade muffins look like they came from a bakery display case. 🙂

Can I Add Crumb Topping?

Absolutely! Feel free to top the muffins with the crumb topping used in these apple cinnamon muffins.

chocolate chip zucchini muffin with bite taken out

Plain or chocolate chip are the favorite varieties around here. You might also love these slightly different (but just as marvelous!!!) cream cheese zucchini muffins with a thick cream cheese swirl hiding inside.

Print
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two zucchini muffins stacked

Zucchini Bread Muffins

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 muffins 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Flavorful and moist, these zucchini bread muffins are an easy summertime baking staple. No need to peel the zucchini before shredding, but you certainly can if you’d like. See Notes for freezing instructions.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 and 3/4 cups (220g) all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour (or mix of both)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil (or melted coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (67g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) milk (dairy or non dairy)
  • 1 and 3/4 cups (about 190g) shredded zucchini (no need to blot)
  • optional: 1 cup (180g) semi-sweet chocolate chips (or chopped nuts, raisins, etc)
  • optional: coarse sugar, for sprinkling on top

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray or line with cupcake liners.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and milk together. Whisk in the shredded zucchini. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk or stir until just combined. Fold in any add-ins you want to include, if any. Avoid over-mixing. Batter is thick.
  3. Spoon the batter into liners, filling them all the way to the top. Sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.
  4. Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F (218°C); then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce heat to 350°F (177°C) and continue baking for another 15–17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The total time these muffins take in the oven is about 20–21 minutes, give or take. (For mini muffins, bake 11–13 minutes at 350°F (177°C) the whole time.)
  5. Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes in the muffin pan, and then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling, or enjoy warm.
  6. Muffins stay fresh covered at room temperature for a few days, then transfer to the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: For longer storage, freeze the muffins for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then heat up in the microwave if desired.
  2. Zucchini: I do not peel the zucchini before shredding, but you certainly can if you’d like. I like to use a box grater for shredding zucchini. Zucchini can vary in size, but 2 medium zucchinis are plenty for this recipe.
  3. Can I reduce the sugar or oil? You can absolutely slightly reduce either or both, but understand that sugar and oil help produce moist, tender muffins and the results may be disappointing. For the oil, feel free to swap *some* for applesauce. You could also try substituting all or most of both sugars with coconut sugar. Or you may enjoy this Greek yogurt zucchini bread as muffins instead.
  4. Can I add a crumb topping? Absolutely! Feel free to top the muffins with the crumb topping used in these apple cinnamon muffins.
  5. Why the initial high oven temperature? Like I do for most muffin recipes, bake the muffins for 5 minutes at a very hot temperature. Then, keeping the muffins in the oven, switch to a lower temperature for the remaining bake time. This initial high temperature will quickly lift the muffin tops so they’re extra high, then the centers will bake during the lower temperature bake time. This trick makes beautiful bakery-style muffins every time.

Keywords: zucchini muffins

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Can I substitute oat flour. I love all of your recipes. I know that this will become another favorite.

    1. Hi Tanya! Oat flour absorbs liquids differently than all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour, so it would take some recipe testing and tinkering with other ingredients in order to guarantee results. If you do decide to experiment, we’d love to know how it goes!

      1. Thank you for responding. I baked them last night. I decided not to deviate from your recipe. They were great. I will be baking these often

  2. I have a bag of frozen spiralized zucchini – can I use it in place of the fresh zucchini in this recipe? If I can, should I thaw it in the fridge, or cook it according to the directions, cool, and then add it to the mix? I’m asking because fresh veggies tend to be forgotten and rot in my fridge, so I try to only get them frozen.

    1. Hi Steph, you can thaw, drain, and very finely chop before using in the recipe. Cooking shouldn’t be necessary.

    1. Hi Sheila, thank you! With the other wet ingredients. Looks like I had that out of order. Thank you for catching that!

  3. I made these last night! They are delicious. I added one cup of Libby’s dark chocolate chips and used fully whole wheat flour. I will definitely be making these again!

    1. So glad you loved them! They’re a new favorite and I love how they taste using all whole wheat flour.

  4. My son has declared these the best muffins I’ve ever made. Thank you for another stellar recipe.

  5. Would this recipe work with GF flour? Thank you. All your recipes I have tried are always great. I especially LOVE your details.

    1. Hi Kathrine, we haven’t tested these muffins with GF flour, but some readers have had success using a 1:1 GF all-purpose flour like Bob’s Red Mill in our other recipes. Let us know if you give anything a try!

  6. Just made these for my kiddos after school snack and though they were suspicious of zucchini in a muffin (lololol), they were a huge hit!

    Easy and delicious. I added 1 cup of chocolate chips!

  7. Delicious as all of Sally’s recipes! Followed directions exactly. Accidentally doubled the recipe, so many to share with friends! Thank you again Sally!

  8. Had these for breakfast this morning. They are very tasty, light, and above all, easy to make! Just another way to get my husband to get more vegetables.
    Thanks, Sally for sharing this recipe with us.

  9. Super quick and easy to make. I used all whole wheat flour and subbed applesauce for half of the oil. I added chopped walnuts and raisins and it is absolutely to die for. Light and sweet with a crunch from the coarse sugar on top. Ready to use up some zucchinis this summer!!

  10. Loved this recipe! Thank you Sally for the technique of baking at high temp for 5 minutes to get a big rise out of the muffins. I learn something new every day! I used half shredded carrot and half zucchini. I also used 3 tablespoons of full fat plain Greek yogurt instead of the milk. This yielded 6 jumbo muffins.

  11. Sally, I absolutely love this recipe. I adjusted the flour by mixing it with almond flour. I added about 1/4 cup of almond flour. I did 1 cup and 1/2 cup of flour. Combine the flour and almond flour. It came out absolutely perfect . I wish I can send you a photo picture of it. It tasted delicious. I also added walnuts. I love all your recipes. Thank you for sharing.

  12. This will be my go to for zucchini bread/muffin. Very moist and tasty. I’ve never used whole wheat flour let alone mix it with regular flour. I loved them. I also put cinnamon crumb on top
    Definitely 5 stars

  13. Another great recipe from Sally!!! Not a week goes by that I don’t try one of her recipes and they have all been wonderful. This zucchini muffin recipe is light, moist and with the flavor of zucchini, very refreshing. Great for a snack, for a breakfast bread or on the side with a salad luncheon. Another “keeper”!
    Thank you Sally and team!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind feedback, Donna! We truly appreciate it.

  14. These look amazing!
    Can I use monk fruit sugar instead of regular sugar?

    1. Hi Drinda, We’d love to help but we are not trained in baking with sugar substitutes. For best taste and texture (and so you don’t waste your time trying to adapt this recipe since it may not work properly), it may be more useful to find a recipe that is specifically formulated for sugar substitutes. Thank you!

  15. I’ve made these a few times for my family and friends and the recipe is fantastic! The batch is usually gone in one day. What a great way to use up the overflow of summer zucchini from the garden.
    On a side note for glute-free: I made this by substituting the flour with 1 cup oat flour and 3/4 cup garbanzo flour and they came out great! My gluten-free friends couldn’t tell the difference.

  16. This recipe left my kitchen smelling wonderful ! I love them! These are a perfect snack!

  17. Hi! Can these be made as mini muffins? Do you have any suggestions for temp/timing? Thanks in advance!!

    1. Hi Marian! See step 4 for mini muffin directions – enjoy!

  18. This is the best zucchini muffin recipe EVER! I followed the recipe as written using almond milk for the milk but I had to improvise a bit because I only had one medium zucchini and it yielded 1 1/2 cups shredded. So, I shredded a small peeled carrot to make up the remaining 1/4 cup. Both were grated finely using a box grater. The result is so good!! The crumb is perfect and the trick of starting in a 425° oven for 5 minutes gave the muffins a perfect dome. Your harvest bread recipe is my go-to recipe for fall, now this is my go-to recipe for spring. Thank you for sharing!!

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