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!
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!
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.
zucchini bread ingredients and substitutions
These homemade zucchini muffins are 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 muffins 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 give the muffins a wonderful warm, cozy flavor.
- Oil. a bit of oil makes these muffins super moist. I used vegetable oil, but feel free to sub 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 muffins moist, I used 1/4 cup applesauce. You can just use additional oil, if you’d like.
- Sugar. I love using a combination of brown and white sugar because brown sugar helps to make the muffins 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 the muffins bake properly.
- Zucchini. the star of the show! This recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups shredded 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 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).
how to make zucchini muffins
Nothing complicated about this zucchini muffins recipe! Get out a muffin pan and spray it with cooking spray or line it with parchment paper liners. Here’s a quick overview of the process, with more detail in the recipe card below.
- Start the batter by whisking together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Mix the 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 pan and bake. Evenly spoon batter into the muffin pan 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.
- Allow muffins to cool completely on a wire rack. Enjoy with a smear of butter, jam or a drizzle of honey!
tips for making homemade zucchini muffins
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.
- To peel or not to peel. 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.
- 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 muffins 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 muffin rise up. Then, after 5 minutes of baking, reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF and cook the center of the muffin. Such a simple trick that makes such a difference to the appearance of these yummy zucchini muffins.
- Do not over bake the muffins. Ovens can vary so be sure to check muffins a few minutes before they should be done. The muffins are done baking when you insert a toothpick into a muffin and it comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.
add-ins & variations
I adore these simple zucchini muffins as-is, but there are so many different ways to add new flavors and textures to these muffins! Here are a few of my favorite ideas:
- Nuts. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans for zucchini nut muffins.
- Fruit. You can add 1/2 to 1 cup of dried cranberries, raisins, or golden raisins to the dry ingredients.
- 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 for your muffins 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 zucchini muffins are absolutely incredible warm, straight out of the oven, but they also can be made ahead and will store very well!
Be sure to allow the muffins to cool completely before storing. I recommend you move them to a wire rack for the quickest cooling time.
- Room temperature storage. These muffins 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. I store mine in a large resealable baggie.
- Freezer storage. Freezing your muffins will keep them fresh for up to 3 months. I recommend wrapping muffins, 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.
Once you try these easy zucchini muffins, you will never want to try another zucchini muffin recipe again – they are so good and an instant family favorite!
more favorite muffin recipes
If your family loves muffins as much as mine, give these other muffin recipes a try!
- Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
- Banana Protein Muffins
- Healthy Double Chocolate Banana Muffins
- Best Banana Muffins
looking for another zucchini recipe?
If you try this easy zucchini muffins 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. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! 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.