Soft and fluffy, these healthy zucchini muffins are slightly sweet and full of unexpected veggies. Makes the perfect breakfast or snack that the kids will love! This easy, healthy muffin recipe comes together in under 30 minutes with a sweet and subtle, buttery flavor. They freeze well too!
I love baking with my son. He loves to cook and is mad about using kitchen tools. He has been cutting the vegetables since he was 2. And although we had to start him with a butter knife, he graduated up to the sharper ones. But his favorite kitchen tool?! The boss kitchen aid mixer of course! He’s the cutest baker ever. Or maybe I am just biased.
When I tell him we are making muffins and his face lights up, it makes my day! We love fun breakfast muffins like Summer Squash Muffins, Blueberry Muffins with Crumb Topping, and Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake. Like a zucchini bread muffin, this is actually the recipe that our super popular Squash Muffins are based on.
Since these are customizable, they have their own unique blend of sweet and savory flavors. They’re seriously SO fluffy, flavorful, moist, infused with sweet cinnamon flavor and a nice crunch thanks to the pecans (leave out if you aren’t into nuts).
Ingredients and Notes
Here is an overview of the ingredients you will need for this recipe including sizing and substitutions.
Zucchini: You need 2 cups of zucchini, which is about 2 medium zucchini or 3 small ones. Cut the ends off, but no need to remove the seeds or dry them.
Flour: I use all-purpose flour, but wheat will also work as a 1:1 substitution in the muffins.
Oil: Vegetable or canola oil are the best choices.
Nuts: I like chopped pecans particularly in these. They are perfectly balanced with the sweetness of the raisins.
Unsweetened Applesauce: This makes the muffins lighter in calories as well as balances out the flavor. In most of my recipes, the applesauce is a substitute for ½ of the oil. I use unsweetened unflavored, but sweetened or cinnamon flavored will work if that is what you have on hand.
Zucchini Muffins Step by Step
The recipe quantities and notes are in the recipe card at the bottom, but these quick instructions give you a visual guide for how it all comes together.
- Shred the zucchini. For quick work, I run zucchini spears through the shredding blade on my food processor. You can also use a zoodle spiralizer, chopping blade in the food processor, or a mandolin/large grater.
- Prepare the batter. This is a really simple no-fail muffin batter. Whisk together the dry ingredients – Flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients – Eggs, oil, and applesauce until the eggs are broken and incorporated. Add vanilla, sugar, and brown sugar. Mix until smooth. One cup at a time, add dry mixture to wet and blend a little before adding the next cup. This keeps the mixture from puffing into the air without overmixing.
- Fold in the goodies. I use a spatula to evenly distribute the raisins, pecans, and zucchini.
- Spoon into muffin pan. Grease a standard muffin pan with butter or use muffin cups. I fill them up pretty high, at least ¾ full or a little higher for nice, rounded tops. The cooking time may increase a few minutes if the muffin cups are really full.
After baking they should be a nice golden light color with bouncy tops.
Recipe Tips from Our Kitchen
- Choosing Zucchini. Size varies a lot but it should feel firm and evenly dark green. While scratches are common, it shouldn’t have soft spots. Smaller ones tend to have less or smaller seeds than larger ones.
- Use fresh baking powder. This will ensure that the muffins rise properly. If your baking powder is older than a year, it’s time for a replacement.
- Don’t overmix the batter. Mix the flour into your wet ingredients until it’s just combined. If you overmix the batter your muffins may turn out denser.
More Hidden Vegetable Recipes
- Yellow Squash Muffins
- Pumpkin Bread with Cheesecake Swirl
- Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake
- The Best Carrot Cake
Serving And Storing Suggestions
Serving Ideas: Muffins are always best served warm, and these yummy zucchini bread muffins are no exception. Pop them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds and enjoy! Store them away when not eating to keep them fresher longer.
Store: Store in a cool, dry place in an airtight container. They can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer easily. They last 4-6 months in the freezer and about 2-3 days if covered.
Freeze: Be sure to let the muffins completely cool before sealing and storing it in the freezer.
Make Ahead: These can definitely be made ahead of time and stored. I would not store uncooked batter because they won’t rise as well.
Frequently asked questions
The moisture content of zucchini can vary quite a bit depending on the source and season. They tend to be drier when purchased at the grocery store when they are not in season. I grow zucchini in my garden, and mine are always pretty moist. If you end up with some that you find to be a bit too dry after shredding, you can spray a little water on it.
I love these healthy zucchini muffins with crunchy nuts and the raisins make it a little more interesting. You can omit either or both though if you prefer them without. You can also substitute the raisins for cranberries or any other dried fruit you like.
You sure can! I would allow them to cool and par-freeze them till solid and place them in a freezer safe plastic bag. They should be good for about 2 months once frozen. Pull from freezer and let thaw on the countertop for about an hour. Enjoy!
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PS. If you make this recipe, leave a COMMENT AND A STAR RATING in the comments section at the bottom and be sure to take a photo and tag it #cravingcreative on Instagram! I appreciate you for taking the time to read about me and my family recipes.
Healthy Zucchini Bread Muffins
- 2 cups Shredded zucchini
- 3 Large Eggs
- ½ cup Vegetable Oil
- 2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup Granulated White Sugar
- ¾ cup Brown Sugar light or dark is fine
- ½ cup Unsweetened Applesauce
- 3 cups All-purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 2 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ½ cup Raisins
- 1 cup Walnuts or Pecans
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease muffin tins or use muffin liners.
- In a mixing bowl, blend oil, applesauce, and eggs together. Add vanilla, sugar, and brown sugar. Mix until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon together. One cup at a time, add dry mixture to wet and blend before adding next cup until all are just mixed.
- Using a spoon, stir in the shredded zucchini, raisins, and nuts.
- Spoon batter to ¾ full in muffin tins. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until golden brown. Increase baking time for larger muffins.