Right out of the oven, these dark chocolate muffins are alluring in both flavor and aroma. Using unsweetened cocoa powder (not dutch processed) adds a richer chocolate color and deeper more complex flavor. And one would never guess (I tested this on my nephews) that a vegetable was used to enhance texture, add moisture and increase shelf-life a few days extra (if the little cakes actually stick around that long).
It’s the perfect solution to produce that’s been sitting around a little too long or the garden is producing a little too much of. The answer to over-ripe bananas? Banana nut (carrot) bread. And something to inspire the creative use of summer zucchini? Seems like just about anything can be turned into a tempting dessert. Just add chocolate…
This recipe is adapted from a cake recipe but seems more fit as cupcakes and muffins. Great for breakfast, snack and dessert. (Maybe just not all in one day.) Freeze them for future use, frost them for birthdays, dust with powdered sugar for an elegant touch or leave them temptingly glossy, plain and simple.
Chocolate Zucchini Muffin Recipe:
- 2 cups raw shredded zucchini (smaller shredding creates more water, make sure to squeeze most water out if too much produced)
- 2 cups white flour
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup vegetable oil (I’ve gotten away with 3/4 cup also)
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup chopped chocolate or chocolate chips (milk or bittersweet)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil (butter) and flour muffin or individual cupcake tins. (If making one cake or bread, butter, and flour two 9×5 loaf pans)
Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl. Make sure to sift each addition to avoid lumps in your batter.
In another bowl combine the oil and sugars together, along with vanilla. Add eggs one by one, whisking each before adding the next.
Add grated zucchini to the egg/oil/sugar batter. I use a combination of shredding sizes. The smaller the shred, the more water content (squeeze 3/4 out), and the batter becomes moist. 1/2 cup larger shred (shredded cheese size) can help balance texture and water content. Note: if your kids don’t want to know they’re eating squash with their chocolate muffin, the finer shred will disguise it!
A bit at a time, stir dry ingredients into the wet batter.
Add chocolate chips.
Give the batter a few good stirs and pour evenly into muffin tins. Bake approximately 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.