The absolute BEST Zucchini Muffins recipe! They have the perfect texture with a super soft and moist crumb (thanks to the abundance of fresh zucchini added) and that classic spiced flavor that will leave you craving more!
I made these zucchini muffins last night and used a gluten free flour that is 1 to 1 with regular flour and they turned out great! My family is asking me to make them again!— Kathy
Summer is now in full swing and I’m betting that if you have your own garden, the zucchini has started taking over, which is the perfect excuse to bake some delicious zucchini muffins! You may also want to try this lemon zucchini bread or stuffed zucchini boats!
Growing up, zucchini bread was one of my favorite summer treats! I love that sweet bread laced with cinnamon and once you add some soft butter; I could easily kill a whole loaf on my own!
The moist, warmly-spiced, sweet flavor of classic zucchini bread is delicious in muffin form, too! So, I took my all-time favorite zucchini bread recipe and turned it into the best zucchini muffins. Prepare to ravenously consume several of these soft, fluffy muffins straight from the oven. They’re so good.
Ingredients and substitutions
This zucchini muffins recipe is made with simple baking ingredients to give them the perfect soft, tender crumb. Here are all of the ingredients you’ll need:
- Flour. For best results, use all-purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, whole wheat pastry flour or a combination of the three.
- Baking powder & baking soda. To ensure these have the perfect rise and texture.
- Salt. This will help pull the flavors together.
- Flavor makers. Cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla are all optional, but the combination of these ingredients add a wonderful warm, cozy flavor.
- Oil. A bit of oil makes these babies super moist. I used vegetable oil, but feel free to sub a light olive oil, canola oil, melted butter or melted and cooled coconut oil.
- Unsweetened applesauce. to cut down on the amount of oil needed to make these perfectly moist, we’re using 1/4 cup of applesauce. You can just use additional oil, if you’d like.
- Sugar. The combination of brown and white sugar is great because brown sugar helps to make baked goods soft, moist and flavorful. You can just use all white, granulated sugar, if that’s what you have available.
- Egg. You’ll need one egg to help with binding and ensure these bake properly.
- Zucchini. The star of the show! This recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini. Good news, there’s no need to peel tender-skinned zucchini. Simply wash the zucchini, big or small, doesn’t matter, and shred it with the smalls holes of a box shredder.
- Add-ins. Feel free to add up to 1 cup of any favorite mix-in ingredients – nuts, chocolate chips, or fruit (dried or fresh).
Nothing complicated about making these zucchini muffins! Get out a muffin pan and spray it with cooking spray or line it with parchment paper liners. Here’s the simple method:
See the recipe card below for a printable version.
- Mix the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, start the batter by whisking together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Stir wet ingredients and sugar. In a separate bowl, mix the oil, applesauce, sugars, egg, vanilla and zucchini.
- Combine dry and wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients in with wet ingredients and gently stir until mostly combined. Do NOT over mix!
- Fill muffin tin and bake. Evenly spoon batter into each muffin cup and bake muffins for 5 minutes at 425ºF, then with the muffins still in the oven, reduce the heat to 350ºF and continue to bake for 13-15 minutes more and until golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.
- Serve. Allow muffins to cool completely on a wire rack. Enjoy with a smear of butter, jam or a drizzle of honey!
These zucchini muffins are really very easy to make, but here are a few tips to make sure they bake up wonderfully!
- Shredded zucchini. You don’t need to squeeze the zucchini dry before adding it to the batter. The moisture in the zucchini will keep the muffins nice and moist.
- Measure the flour correctly. Too much flour can cause muffins to be dry and crumbly. Whisk the flour first, then spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the top (without shaking the measuring cup).
- Do NOT over-mix batter. Stir the wet and dry ingredients together by gently stirring them together and mix just until moistened. Over-mixing the batter can produce tough muffins.
- Oven temperature. These will rise beautifully, thanks to a little trick! Preheat and start the muffins baking at a high temperature of 425ºF. That bit of high heat will help the tops of the muffins rise up. Then, after 5 minutes of baking, reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF and cook the center. Such a simple trick that makes such a difference to the appearance of these yummy gems.
- Do not over bake. Ovens can vary so be sure to check these a few minutes before they should be done. They are done baking when you insert a toothpick into the center and it comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.
Frequently asked questions
For this particular recipe and due to the ratio of ingredients, there is no need to squeeze the zucchini dry. There is plenty of flour in this recipe to keep the muffins from being soggy. However, if the zucchini is overly watery, lightly blot it with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel.
No, you do not need to peel the zucchini first! The peel being on or off will make no difference to the overall taste and texture of your muffins or bread.
Start by wash and drying the zucchini, and then cut off both of the ends. Hold the grater over a bowl or cutting board with one hand. With the other hand, run one side of the zucchini over the grater. We find it easiest to use the small holes of a box grater. Continue this motion until you’ve shredded as much of the zucchini as needed.
Add-ins & variations
I adore these as-is, but there are so many different ways to add new flavors and textures! Here are a few of my favorite ideas:
- Nuts. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans for a lovely crunchy texture.
- Fruit. You can add 1/2 to 1 cup of dried cranberries, raisins, or golden raisins to the dry ingredients. You could even add some chopped berries to the mix.
- Chocolate. Add 1/2 to 1 cup regular or miniature chocolate chips to the dry ingredients. Tossing them with dry ingredients before mixing in the wet ingredients helps to ensure they don’t sink to the bottom.
- Streusel topping. Try a delicious streusel topping by mixing together 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 cup melted butter. Sprinkle the streusel over the top of your muffins, then bake as directed.
These are absolutely incredible warm, straight out of the oven, but they also can be made ahead of time and will store very well!
Be sure to allow them to cool completely before storing. I recommend you move them to a wire rack for the quickest cooling time.
- Room temperature storage. These will keep for 3-4 days on the counter at room temperature, if they last that long!
- Refrigerator storage. When stored in the fridge, they will keep well for up to 1 week. We store them in a large resealable baggie or other airtight container.
- Freezer storage. Freezing these will keep them fresh for up to 3 months. We recommend wrapping them, individually, in plastic wrap, then place them in a resealable bag that has been labeled with the date.
- Reheating muffins. Frozen muffins will need to thaw at room temperature for 3-4 hours before serving. Or microwave for 20-30 seconds. I love to make these ahead and freeze them. When mornings get busy, I have an easy breakfast ready to go.
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
- 1 1/2 cups (188g) all-purpose flour (do not scoop with measuring cup, spoon in and level with the straight edge of a butter knife)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- optional: 1 cup (180g) semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped nuts
- 1/4 cup (59ml) vegetable oil (or other preferred oil)
- 1/4 cup (62.5g) unsweetened applesauce (or additional oil)
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini (about 1-2 medium to large zucchinis)*
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (218°C). Prepare a muffin pan with cooking spray or liners. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together until combined. Set aside. (if adding any optional ingredients, stir them in with the dry ingredients)
- In a separate medium bowl, stir together the oil, applesauce, brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg, vanilla, and zucchini until combined.
- Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and gently stir until just combined. Do NOT over-mix. Spoon batter into the prepared muffin cavities, filling each one completely full.
- Bake muffins for 5 minutes at 425 degrees F (218°C) and then with muffins staying in the oven, reduce heat to 350 degrees F (177°C) and bake muffins for 13-15 minutes more or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. The high heat will cause muffins to rise and then you will lower heat to cook the center of the muffin. Remove muffins from the oven and allow them to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. You might need to run a butter knife along the outer edge of the muffins to loosen them from the pan.
**Leftover muffins will keep fresh, covered, at room temperature for up to 3-4 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.