Wholesome, delicious and easy, these zucchini muffins, with chocolate chips thrown in for good measure, are light and fluffy and completely irresistible!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

Every year, I join the millions of people racking their brains to figure out something new and fun and exciting to do with the bumper crop of zucchini hanging out in the garden. While I’m researching recipes and over-analyzing the best ways to use the zucchini, they are aggressively growing to epic, baseball bat proportions. There’s no time to waste! Bring on the zucchini recipes.

It’s not as though I don’t love zucchini bread. Or triple chocolate zucchini cookies. Or zucchini boats. Or…all the other delicious zucchini recipes in my back pocket. I love them, I do.

But because I’m me, I always get the itch to find new and improved ways to use up that zucchini every time summer gardening season rolls around. Which, speaking of gardening, I have to tell you that despite all my moaning and groaning over the years about gardening, I am loving my square foot garden/garden boxes.

Those cute little raised garden beds (that incidentally were a ton of work to get started) have totally revolutionized how I feel about gardening. As in, things are actually growing (and if you know my past history with gardening, you’ll know this is quite an accomplishment).

Square Foot Garden

Our zucchini plants have decided to be over achievers this year so we have a lot of zucchini, big and small, needing a purpose. Along with our aforementioned zucchini go-to’s, we have a very clear, new favorite zucchini recipe.

Whole grain chocolate chip zucchini muffins!

These muffins are divine. So simple (you don’t even need a special contraption to wring out the zucchini), so light and fluffy, and so delicious – I think they are definitely one of my favorite baked zucchini goods of all time.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

I counted, and we’ve made these muffins five times in the last two weeks (I told you we have a lot of zucchini waiting in the wings). The recipe makes an even 12 muffins, which is the perfect afternoon snack size for our family.

We even save a few for Brian when he gets home from work, although it is an exercise in serious self-control for all of us. Except for that time Brian came home to a partial muffin left on the cooling rack. It’s every man for himself around here when it comes to perfect muffins. But, as I like to say, a partial muffin is better than no muffin.

I’ve doubled the recipe, too, when we’ve had friends over to play (DIY slip-n-sliding in the backyard, which incidentally works up quite an appetite for muffins), and there may be a batch stashed in the freezer if someone hasn’t gotten to them yet.

I’ve included several notes in the recipe – not because the muffins are complicated but to help make your life easier with a few substitutions, if needed. So read, read, read before you make, make, make (I can that be my new motto in life?).

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

I hope your garden is growing, if you have one, and if not – start hitting up your friends and neighbors for a couple zucchini here and there. Chances are, they’ll be happy to have a willing taker. Then, as if it isn’t an obvious choice already, make these chocolate chip zucchini muffins!

I’ll be showing how to make these muffins (and talking about all the best tips to perfect muffins) on an upcoming Facebook Live, so stay tuned for details!

Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

Yield: Makes 12 muffins

Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

I make these muffins with whole wheat flour all the time and they work out great; keep in mind that white whole wheat flour will produce a lighter and less dense muffin than using red whole wheat flour. It's especially important if using whole wheat flour to weigh the flour or at the very least, make sure you aren't packing to much flour into the measuring cup.

If you don't keep buttermilk on hand, thin a little Greek yogurt or sour cream with a tablespoon or two of milk until it is the same consistency as buttermilk.

In the recipe directions, you are nicely instructed to give the zucchini a little squeeze over the sink. No need to roll it up in a towel or anything scientific - just gather it in your hands and give it a good squeeze. I've found that not squeezing out excess liquid makes the muffins a little gummy and dense. And I'd much rather have a light and fluffy muffin, wouldn't you?

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (7.5 ounces) whole wheat or all-purpose flour (see note above)
  • 1/2 cup (3.75 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup oil (melted coconut, avocado, canola, or vegetable)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (see note above for substitutions)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups (6 ounces) shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup (3 ounces) miniature chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Lightly grease the liners with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, soda, cinnamon and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl or in a large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the oil, applesauce, buttermilk, egg and vanilla.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and give the batter 2-3 good stirs with a spoon or rubber spatula. There should still be dry streaks remaining.
  5. Gather the zucchini into your hands and give a light squeeze over the sink to get rid of excess moisture (the zucchini should weigh about 6 ounces pre-squeeze and 5 to 5 1/4 ounces after squeezing; the muffins can be a little gummy if the zucchini is not drained a little).
  6. Add the zucchini and chocolate chips to the batter and stir until just combined; don't overmix or the muffins might be tough instead of light and tender.
  7. Fill the muffin cups evenly with batter, about 2/3 full. Bake for 17-18 minutes until the tops of the muffins spring back lightly to the touch.
  8. Remove the muffins to a cooling rack to cool completely.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/chocolate-chip-zucchini-muffins/

Recipe Source: adapted from this recipe at allrecipes

35 Responses to Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

  1. Linda says:

    Mel dearest –
    With all the lovely baking you do –
    Please try those Parchment muffin papers .
    Available any where – as we can even find them here in Nain ,Labrador.
    It leaves the muffin intact –
    Thank you for all of your most inspiring posts. Many of them have been tried and tested
    By our family – the crispy southwest chicken – probly my most used !
    With quinoa as a substitute for rice – and a dash o smoked paprika – mmm good !

    • Mel says:

      Thanks, Linda! That muffin does look a little worse for wear (the unwrapped one) but that’s mostly because I dug in while it was warm. 🙂 Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. I really love your recipe here for these muffins! Whole wheat flour is a must for me and my muffins 🙂 I find it much more filling! And I bet the buttermilk and cinnamon make such a difference in these! YUM 🙂

  3. Liss says:

    Yum! Making these today! I’m so bummed- our raised beds had a slow start this year. Powdery mildew really got my squash. Tons of tomatoes, though!

  4. Jackie says:

    Yum! The shredded zucchini in my fridge and I have been anxiously awaiting this recipe since you hinted at it a few weeks ago. Actually, that zucchini is long since used and there is new shredded zucchini waiting. Don’t worry, I don’t save food for weeks on end. Now, I need to figure out a way to take these on trek with Porter and I tomorrow without squishing them in our 5 gallon buckets!

  5. Sara says:

    Trying these this afternoon!! Any thoughts on how long to bake a mini-muffin size? Those bite size ones are better for my little kiddos! Thanks, Mel!!

  6. karen says:

    Sweet! I’ve been adapting your zucchini bread recipe into whole grain zucchini bread muffins but I don’t think my kids will complain at all about the addItin of chocolate chips. 🙂

  7. Amanda says:

    You must have read my mind this morning! I just finished shredding 14 cups of zucchini into freezer bags and was wondering what to do with it all!

  8. My garden is not so happy these days 🙁 I think it’s a soil issue. But excited to try these. I have a little muffin problem- I love them! Made your applesauce carrot ones earlier this week and added a few hemp seeds.

    The Greek yogurt buttermilk substitution is such a great idea!!! Thank you for sharing!

    And PS sometime I need some tips on how to clean, dry and store my Silpat liners. They’re useful but drive me crazy!

    Thanks for all your posts. I am a huge fan and share your recipes all the time!

    • Mel says:

      Hey Natalie – I’ve gotten lazy with my silpats and have started using mostly parchment paper but they keep pretty well if I store them flat inside a sheet pan (does that make sense?).

  9. Olive says:

    Wow! Is that your garden? So impressed!

  10. Sheree L says:

    Alas, I had to buy my zucchini :(. I used your recipe as a basis, then “healthified” them, because I’m watching fat and calories. I omitted the egg and chocolate chips, used only 1 Tbsp of oil and only 2 oz of sugar, added more applesauce (about 1/2 c) and added a mashed banana. Turned out great (though I’m sure your version would be yummier)! Nutrition facts per muffin (original recipe): 188 calories, 7.3g fat (5.6 sat). Nutrition facts per muffin (healthified recipe): 111 calories, 1.4g fat (1.1 sat). Thanks for inspiring me, Mel!

  11. Paige says:

    This is the first year we haven’t had tons and tons of zucchini in our lives! I might have to get some at the store just to make these!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  12. Mary says:

    Mel, these muffins are in the oven right now! But while they’re baking I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate the “wordy” directions that you give because they really make the recipe successful. I am a precise baker and sometimes people look at me funny when I give them detailed directions but they always love the things I bake. It makes a real difference when you are precise!
    P.S. Friends love the lemon blueberry cake and my family loves your perfected yellow cake!

  13. Nisha says:

    These were so so good. My oldest ate 7 today and my muffin hating toddler ate three! She even licked the wrapper lol! I have so much shredded zucchini I need to use up I think I’m going to make tons more of these and freeze them for school breakfasts. Thanks!!!

  14. stephanie says:

    have you tried baking these in a convection fan oven? and if so, what was the difference in time & temperature? i did a conversion (thanks google) and it said 12-13 minutes bake time at 325 F. I’m worried they’ll be done on the outside and gooey on the inside. thoughts?

    • Mel says:

      Yep, I’ve baked them on convection: 325 degrees F and I usually take just a minute off the baking time (but every oven is different).

  15. Kelsey says:

    Made a quadruple batch of these today! Delicious!!

  16. Jackie in Canada says:

    I have a zucchini sitting on my counter right now, waiting to be shredded & baked up. The only question is, muffins, chocolate zucchini cake, zucchini loaf……so many choices. I do have a question for you, if I was to sub some oat flour in would I just go by weight with it as well? I use oat flour in my yeast baking & even in pancakes, but I just don’t know how much to use in a recipe like this.
    Thanks

    • Mel says:

      That’s hard to say, Jackie – but only because I don’t cook a lot with oat flour. I’d probably go by weight, though.

      • Jackie in Canada says:

        Thanks Mel. I will try a batch with a combination of oat & AP flour and let you know.

        • Jackie in Canada says:

          Great muffin recipe, it isn’t too sweet,& is nice & moist. I used 5 oz all purpose flour & 2.5 oz oat flour (1/2 c oat flour weighs about 2 oz, so a generous 1/2 c for anyone without a scale) & they turned out great. I do make my own oat flour chopping quick oats in my blender. The end product is just about the same as purchased oat flour at a fraction of the cost. I did add 1 Tbsp of cocoa to half of the batch & the chocolate muffins were very nice too. The recipe is definitely going into my keep file.

  17. Linda-H says:

    Thank you! Mine didn’t look as great as yours, but they were delicious and my two little boys licked the paper cups clean! I made about 24 mini muffins for my son’s lunchbox, but they didn’t rise very well…more like “clusters”? :(. I even had enough left over for 6 regular muffins (but these turned out more like muffins, so yay!)! I did use coconut oil, which I melted and cooled, but when I came to mixing the wet to the dry, I think my oil was hardening again, so maybe I’ll try the vegetable oil next time? I also felt I didn’t have enough wet ingredients, so when it came to giving “the batter 2-3 good stirs” it was still pretty dry (so I MAY have overmixed?) — is this to be expected? I’m kind of a triple-checker when it comes to following recipes, so I don’t know where I went wrong exactly. I’m definitely making these again!

    • Mel says:

      Coconut oil can make the muffin batter a bit thicker so I think they probably turned out right…if you use coconut oil again you might try cutting back just a tad on dry ingredients to help the rise.

  18. Jen says:

    I make a lot of muffins and I loved this recipe…so simple and awesome. Thanks!

  19. Lindsay says:

    Hi Mel
    So I am obsessed with your blog and pretty much only cook from here or Ourbestbites these days…. I am 6.5 months pregnant with my 4th and looking for some of your families favorite freezer meals… We love just about EVERYTHING on your blog but most freezer meals I have tried nobody will touch therefore not helping me in the dinner department as I am not feeling up to cooking too often. Thanks for being awesome and having great taste in food that we LOVE!!
    PS I’m totally making these tomorrow… I have 3 monster zucchini sitting on my counter dying to be made into these and frozen for school mornings.

  20. Anne says:

    I should have doubled this recipe! I made them and then left to go pick up my son. When I returned my husband and 9 year old son had all ready eaten 3 each! When the last one was eaten, my children were asking for more. Now I just need some more zucchini. Thank you. I used all white wheat flour and followed the simple recipe. Love these!

  21. SK says:

    If you want to make a loaf of zucchini bread instead of the muffins what would you change?

  22. Sara says:

    I’ve made this recipe many times and we LOVE them! Today, when I grated my zucchini, I only had abut 4 oz. (long story), so I shredded a carrot and added that in as well. It was perfect! Made 30 mini muffins. My preschooler and I are gobbling a few before his big brother gets home. Thanks, Mel!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *