Dark chocolate zucchini cupcakes are rich, delicious, and extra moist. The addition of the zucchini gives a little extra moisture and texture, and the dark chocolate is such a rich flavor. These cupcakes are the perfect weeknight dessert, snack on the weekend, or potluck addition. They’re the perfect treat to keep everyone’s belly happy and begging for more.
Cupcakes are one of my favorite treats. There’s something about these little hand-held cakes that I just can’t get enough of. That tender cake topped with a rich frosting. Mmmm. It’s so good. I can’t get enough cupcakes. Do you know what else I can’t get enough of? Baking with zucchini. I love to make zucchini bread because it produces such a moist, tender bread. One day, I was looking at some zucchini I had, and I thought, “I really don’t want to make zucchini bread for the fourth time in six weeks. What else can I do with it?”
That’s when it came to me, let’s change up my chocolate lover’s zucchini cake and make zucchini cupcakes. I broke out my baking ingredients and got to work. This chocolate cupcake recipe is so moist, so tender, and so good. And it owes much of that to the zucchini that’s baked right into it. And a big bonus is that you get some vegetables when you eat one. That automatically makes it healthy, right? Right!
Why Baking with Zucchini is so Wonderful
Of course, we all know and love zucchini bread, but for most people, the idea of baking with zucchini stops there. Little do they know that zucchini is so good for so much more than bread. Yes, zucchini makes wonderful sweet bread, but it’s also a great addition to baked goods like cakes and, of course, my dark chocolate zucchini cupcakes. Why is that you say? I’m glad you asked!
Baking with zucchini is much like baking with bananas or applesauce. It adds extra moisture to the batter, which leads to a more moist and tender cake – provided you squeeze out the excess water, of course. It also makes for a baked good with a slightly different texture. A big, big bonus of baking with zucchini is its very mild flavor. You wouldn’t put bananas in your muffins unless you wanted banana muffins, right? However, with zucchini, you can bake it into anything. It has a flavor that is so subtle, you oftentimes can’t even tell it’s in there. Zucchini is more about texture and moistness than flavor, really.
Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes
These chocolate cupcakes take everything I just told you about baking with zucchini and cranks it all up to 11. The shredded zucchini disappears into the cupcakes as they bake, but you’re left with a cake that is super tender and moist and has just a hint of a different texture. It’s more full-bodied than a regular cupcake, but it isn’t dense. It gives it what I like to call “a little something something”.
When you bit into this dark chocolate zucchini cupcake you’ll be amazed at how moist it is. In fact, it’s so moist, you might almost think it’s under baked, but it’s not. It’s supposed to be that way. It’s not raw or undercooked in the slightest, it’s really a matter of you getting used to how moist a baked good can really be, and it is absolutely amazing.
When you top those delicious, super moist cupcakes off with my rich, decadent dark chocolate frosting, what you get is a cupcake that is so good, so rich, and so absolutely overflowing with flavor, you’ll never want to stop eating it. Neither will your family or guests!
As far as from-scratch baked goods go, this recipe is very straightforward. Outside of grating up some zucchini, this recipe requires all the standard ingredients and methods you’d use to make any cupcake recipe – which isn’t very much. The batter itself is very simple, as is the frosting. That being said, there are a couple of tips that will help you make the perfect dark chocolate zucchini cupcakes, and both of them relate to the zucchini.
Grate the Zucchini Short
It’s important to grate or shred your zucchini into shorter pieces rather than longer ones. Unlike zucchini bread where the length of the shreds doesn’t matter, these zucchini cupcakes are best made with small pieces of grated zucchini. Think about zucchini bread. There’s a lot of area in that loaf pan. However, you’re working with a much smaller area inside those cupcake tins. Keeping the shreds small will help you get the right batter consistency.
I find that the easiest way to do this for beginners is to use a food processer. Simply put the zucchini in the processor and pulse it until you end up with small shredded pieces. Be careful not to overdo it or you’ll end up with more of a zucchini puree. Or if you use a grater, start at the tip of the zucchini and that will help produce shorter pieces.
Remove the Excess Water
While one of the best parts of baking with zucchini is how moist it makes your baked goods, this is not a case of more is more. Zucchini has a lot of water in it. A lot. The key to the perfect batter is to squeeze out all of the excess water before mixing the zucchini into the batter. If you don’t you’ll end up with dark chocolate soup rather than batter.
To easily remove the excess water, line a colander with a couple of paper towels and then put a small amount of zucchini on top of the paper towels. Then, place a couple of more paper towels on top of the zucchini and press firmly toward the bottom and sides of the colander. This will allow you to really get out all of the excess water without losing any of your zucchini. I recommend using small batches of zucchini at a time to ensure that you get as much excess water as possible out of the zucchini.
These dark chocolate cupcakes are absolutely divine, but if you aren’t a fan of chocolate or, more likely, you make this recipe so many times that you’re a bit OD’d on chocolate, you can also use this recipe as a starting point to make various types of cupcakes. Remove the cocoa powder, and you’ll be making a plain classic cake. In the same way, if you take the cocoa powder out of the frosting, you’ll end up with classic buttercream.
You can also add various extracts to make cupcakes with flavors like almond, lemon, and more.
Serving Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes
All you need is a plate! These cupcakes are rich. They don’t need anything else to go with them. Just serve them up with a plate, and maybe a fork for younger kids, and you’re all set. Adding sprinkles is an added touch and always makes baked goods looks more delicious.
Storing the Cupcakes
These cupcakes will keep well in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for about four days. They use buttercream frosting, so refrigerating them is a must. For longer storage, you can freeze the cupcakes for up to two months. To freeze them, simply allow them to chill in the refrigerator and then carefully wrap them in cellophane. After that, place them in an air-tight, freezer-safe container.
To eat them, simply allow them to defrost in the refrigerator. Never defrost them at room temperature, as this will cause the frosting to break and get weird.
Give These Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes a Try
These dark chocolate zucchini cupcakes are absolutely decadent. They’re so rich and moist, and everyone loves this recipe and always asks for seconds or thirds. The addition of the zucchini is what makes them shine. Give this recipe a try today. I’m sure you and your family will absolutely adore them.
Ingredients Needed To Make These Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes
- All purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Cocoa Powder
- Vegetable oil
- Vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar
How To Make Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt together.
- Using a large bowl, beat sugar, oil and vanilla together, then add eggs, one at a time, until nice a creamy
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, stir until combined.
- Slowly add milk, stir and then add grated zucchini. Stir.
- Spoon into prepared muffin tin or paper liners.
- Fill ⅔ full and bake for 20-24 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and place cupcakes on a wire rack to cool completely.
For The Dark Chocolate Frosting
- In a medium bowl, add melted butter and stir in dark cocoa powder.
- Next, add powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Mix on low speed until combined.
- Frost cupcakes once they have cooled completely.
Try These Delicious Chocolate Cupcakes Today
Here are a few more delicious cupcakes that you can find on the blog:
- Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream Frosting
- Banana Nut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
- Gingerbread Cupcakes with Molasses Frosting
- Pumpkin Pecan Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Rich, decadent, chocolate cupcakes that are moist and delicious, and made with zucchini.
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- ½ cup Hershey's Special dark chocolate cocoa, (can use regular cocoa powder)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1¾ cups sugar
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup milk
- 2¼ cups grated fresh zucchini
- ½ cup butter
- ⅔ cup Hershey's Special dark chocolate cocoa, (can use regular cocoa powder)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- ⅓ cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt together.
Using a large bowl, beat sugar, oil and vanilla together, then add eggs, one at a time, until nice a creamy
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, stir until combined.
Slowly add milk, stir and then add grated zucchini. Stir.
Spoon into prepared muffin tin or cupcake liners.
Fill ⅔ full and bake for 20-24 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and place cupcakes on a wire rack to cool completely.
In a medium bowl, add melted butter and stir in dark cocoa powder.
Next, add powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Mix on low speed until combined.
Frost cupcakes once they have cooled completely.
Here are a few pics that are the perfect size for pinning to Pinterest.
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