Thursday, September 4, 2008

Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

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.
Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes
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
1 egg
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.

Makes 8

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.
Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes
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


Anonymous said...

will have to try these I have some great zucchini that needs to be used. not a fan of dark chocolate so hopefully the cocoa powder will work for me.

Beth (jamandcream) said...

The orange frosting sounds great. Ive never made Courgette (zucchini) muffins before - will have to try these, will make me feel healthy

Deborah said...

I love the dark color, and I just want to dip my finger into that icing!

eatingclubvancouver_js said...

I haven't tried chocolate and zucchini before. These look so yummy! I'll have to get our resident baker on these cupcakes.

Jen said...

Sounds delicious... I like the addition of cinnamon in the cake. Could you actually taste it, or was it a sort of hidden flavor?

Thistlemoon said...

Worlds of yum!

Nikki @ NikSnacks said...

Hey, left your cupcake outside... :)

Yeah, they look good. I bet they were tasty. The frosting looks to be my favorite part.

grace said...

this may be the most fabulous use for a glut of zucchini that i've seen yet, mostly because chocolate and cream cheese frosting are involved. i love the idea of using the flavor of orange with these--brilliant! :)

kat said...

Jen - The cinnamon flavor was not really strong at all, you could bump it up if you want that flavor to shine through & make these a little more Mexican chocolate

Kris said...

Thanks for the recipe! I just made a batch (minis though) and even without any frosting yet (they're still cooling) they are very yummy. I only used regular cocoa powder so can imagine how decadent they would be with the special dark variety.

Kris said...

And the frosting is to die for! I made a double batch so there will be plenty for my good friend who enjoys frosting more than anyone else I know.

BOB'S COOK said...

My husband just does not understand my fascination with reading blogs to do with food & recipes (since I rarely cook anymore!) - until I made the cupcakes (doubled) and penne with zucchini and sausage on Sunday. FAB-U-LOUS. Ten cupcakes went to work with me Monday...needless to say, I came home empty handed. Hubby says "Keep 'em comin'!"

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T = Tablespoon
t = teaspoon
c = cup
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