Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

These double chocolate zucchini muffins are quick and easy to make and stay amazingly moist when baked. They are super chocolate-y and delicious!

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Chocolate Zucchini muffins on a cooling rack with a muffin pan and green towel in the background.

What are Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins?

First and foremost, Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins are a delicious snack in the mid-morning or mid-afternoon with a cup of tea or coffee or a decadent dessert after lunch. Secondly, they are muffins that incorporate chocolate in two different ways – with dark chocolate chips as well as with Dutch-processed cocoa powder. Oh… and they have zucchini in them too, but the only way you’ll notice is because they are incredibly moist – you won’t taste zucchini at all. 

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INgredients on a marble countertop - chocolate chips, sugar, eggs, zucchini, cocoa powder and other baking ingredients.

Two Chocolates

The two chocolates in these muffins are dark chocolate chips and Dutch-processed cocoa powder. Any semi-sweet chocolate will do, but I do like chips with about 70% cocoa. Dutch-processed cocoa powder is the ground powder of roasted cocoa beans that have been washed with an alkaline solution, making them neutral rather than acidic like regular natural cocoa powder. Dutch-processed cocoa powder gives baked goods a dark color and has a more mellow (less bitter) flavor than natural cocoa powder. It also dissolves in liquid more easily. Together these two forms of chocolate give this muffin a deep brown color and intensely chocolate flavor.

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A cutting board with a knife and a box grater and grated zucchini on the board.

What Zucchini Adds to Muffins

Just like adding zucchini to a quick bread (as in this Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread), zucchini is added to these muffins for a number of reasons. First, it adds a nutritional volume boost to the muffins, but it also adds texture and moisture. The flavor of zucchini is so mild that it doesn’t add a noticeable flavor to the muffins – at least none that can overpower the intense chocolate. 

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Looking down on a mixing bowl with a spatula stirring grated zucchini into chocolate batter with a hand mixer and muffin pan nearby.

How to Mix Muffin Batter

The main key to making muffins is to not over-mix the batter. We ultimately want our muffins to be tender, rather than tough or chewy. To ensure that result, we want to activate as little gluten in the flour as possible and the way to do that is to mix the batter as little as possible. Beat the oil and sugar with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy, but lower the speed once you have added the eggs. Combine the dry ingredients and then stir the wet and dry ingredients together as little as possible – just until you no longer see streaks of white flour. Fold the zucchini in at the end very gently and stop stirring.

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A hand scooping muffin batter into a muffin pan.

Tips for Muffin Making

Aside from paying attention to not over-mix the batter, here are a few more tips on making the best muffins:

  • Don’t beat the wet ingredients too much once you have added the eggs. Eggs can hold air and we don’t want any air in the muffin batter because it can cause “tunneling” in the muffin (a large hole through the muffins).
  • Use an ice cream scoop to transfer the batter to the muffin pan. That will help keep your muffins the same size.
  • Pre-heat the oven and let it reach 425˚F for 10 minutes before adding the muffins.
  • Chill your muffin batter in the refrigerator for 30 – 60 minutes before baking if you have time. This helps relax the gluten.
  • Bake at a high temperature for the first part of baking and then lower the temperature without opening the door for the second part of baking. This helps to ensure a high crown on your muffins.
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a close up look at chocolate zucchini muffins in a muffin pan.

How to Store and Freeze Muffins

Once you have your beautiful muffins and you haven’t eaten them all straight out of the oven, you’ll need to store them. Put them in an airtight container or zipper sealable plastic bag and store them at room temperature for 3 to 5 days. You can also freeze the muffins with as little air as possible in the bag for up to three months, but as with most baked goods, they are better fresh.

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An offset spatula taking muffins out of a muffin pan and placing them on a cooling rack.

 

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Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

  • Prep Time: 15 m
  • Cook Time: 23 m
  • Total Time: 38 m
  • Servings:
    18
    muffins

Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter (to grease the muffin tin)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • cups sugar
  • ½ cup milk (or almond milk, or oat milk)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups finely grated zucchini
  • cups dark chocolate chips divided

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425°F. Grease 18 cups of two muffin pans with butter or line with paper liners.
  2. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
  3. In a second bowl and using an electric mixer, beat the oil and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the milk, vanilla extract and eggs one at a time. Mix until well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir only until just combined - do not over-mix. Stir in the grated zucchini and then 1½ cups of the chocolate chips.
  4. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared muffin pans. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top of the batter in the muffin tins.
  5. Bake at 425° for 8 minutes. Then turn down the oven temperature to 350°F. Do not open the oven door. Bake for another 10 t0 15 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean from batter.
  6. Transfer the muffin pan to a cooling rack and let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Then remove the muffins from the pan and cool completely on the wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature or store muffins at room temperature for 3 to 5 days in an airtight container or zipper sealed bag. You can also freeze the muffins for up to 3 months.
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