One thing I’m finding about health recipes, is that there are all sorts of sneaky ways of making things that tiniest bit healthier. One particular trend I’m investigating is putting vegetables in desserts. This one appeals to me quite a lot, because I struggle to eat certain vegetables, and because it’s a whole new trend in baking I haven’t had much to do with before. So I thought the first thing I would give a go are chocolate zucchini cupcakes.
This is a recipe I have seen all over the shop, and this flavour combination isn’t limited to cupcakes. I’ve seen chocolate zucchini bread, pancakes, and even cake. Now green vegetables are not at all my favourites, so I was curious to see whether I would be able to taste them, or feel their texture, even when baked into a delicious chocolate cupcake. I couldn’t taste it at all! I was extremely delighted at how rich and moist the added zucchini made these cupcakes, especially as I adapted them to be gluten free.
And I’m not sure whether it’s that I don’t eat a lot of sweet things, especially since I’m not doing a lot of traditional baking at the moment, or whether it’s a general change in my tastebuds. But I’m developing an “anti-sweet” tooth. I kept these cupcakes quite sweet, and people loved them. No one could tell there was a hidden vegetable in them! But if it were me I would halve the sugar, and use a much more bitter cocoa powder. So feel free to change the recipe to suit your taste buds!
Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
Makes: 12, Prep: 20-30 mins, Cook: 20-25 mins
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3 x large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups gluten-free plain flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 cups finely grated zucchini, slightly drained
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips (Optional, leave our or use dairy-free to make recipe DF)
- Preheat oven to 170C fan-forced. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with patty pans.
- Grate the zucchini and set aside to drain.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
- In another bowl, beat together the sugars, oil, eggs, and vanilla until thoroughly combined.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients into the sugar mixture and mix until just combined. Then fold in the zucchini until it is evenly distributed into the batter. Stir in the chocolate chips if you’re using them.
- Use a large cookie scoop to distribute batter amongst the prepared muffin wells, it really does help transfer the batter neatly and helps keep distribution even.
- If desired, sprinkle some chocolate chips onto the top of each muffin.
- Bake in preheated oven for up to 25 mins, or until a skewer inserted into their centres comes out clean.
- Tip out onto a wire rack to cool.
- Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days.