Matt wanted me to make zucchini bread this week with the 2 giant zucchinis we still have in the fridge from the last 2 CSA boxes. Instead I decided to make zucchini cupcakes, with dark chocolate of course.
When researching recipes for these cupcakes I worried that they were going to turn out too heavy & bread-like. While bread is good that isn't the texture I wanted in my cupcakes. Then I found this recipe. It's for a chocolate & zucchini cake instead of bread & claimed to be moist yet not heavy, I figured this was just the starting point I needed. I sized the recipe down quite a bit in order to just make 8 cupcakes. I also changed some of the proportions in hopes of making it even lighter. Buttermilk was exchanged for regular milk because I like the extra flavor it adds especially with chocolate.
Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes
(adapted from Simply Recipes)
4 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 c sugar
3/4 t vanilla
2 1/2 T Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa (if you can't get this just use your favorite unsweetened cocoa powder, though this makes for a wonderful dark chocolate)
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/4 t cinnamon
3/4 c all-purpose flour
2 1/2 T buttermilk
3/4 c grated zucchini
Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare 8 muffin tins.
Beat together the butter & sugar until light & fluffy. Beat in the egg & vanilla. Add the cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon & 1/4 c of flour. Beat to combine. Add the buttermilk & beat until combined. Add in the remaining 1/2 c flour & beat until just combined, the dough will be quite stiff but don't worry the zucchini adds a lot of moisture. Stir in the zucchini.
Fill the muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake for 22 - 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean. Allow to cool completely on a rack before frosting.
The smell of these baking was incredible, like the best chocolate cake! It was all I could do to not eat one right out of the oven. The cake is just perfect, light, moist, fluffy & chocolaty.
We made two different flavors of cream cheese frosting for these cupcakes. Half the batch was vanilla & half was orange. Both flavors complimented the cupcake perfectly. I was afraid the orange would be overpowering but it wasn't in the slightest. Neither of us could decided which flavor we liked better.
Fluffiest Cream Cheese Frosting
3 oz cream cheese, slightly softened
1/3 c sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 t vanilla or orange extract
1/2 c heavy cream
In a medium bowl beat the cream cheese, sugar, salt & vanilla until smooth & not grainy from the sugar, about 3 - 5 minutes.
In a small bowl, beat the cream until stiff peak form. Fold 1/3 of the cream into the cream cheese mixture. Once incorporated, fold the remaining cream in.
Makes enough to frost 8 - 10 cupcakes
Looking for other ways to use zucchini?
Zucchini & Turkey Lasagna
Pesto Pasta with Corn, Zucchini & Bacon
Baked Penne with Sausage & Zucchini