Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

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Filled with chocolate chips and plenty of fresh zucchini, these double chocolate zucchini muffins are a scrumptious snack. Applesauce in place of oil makes them even better.

One thing I love to grow in my garden is zucchini.

I’m not always successful at it, but I enjoy seeing the plant sprawl with its huge leaves and gorgeous yellow flowers. 

The thing with zucchini is that when it does grow fruit, it grows a lot of them. There isn’t “Sneak Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day” for nothing.

Chocolate zucchini muffins stacked in a basket.

Fortunately I also love eating zucchini, from zucchini crust pizza to zucchini “hummus.” And, of course, folded into baked goods like these lovely chocolate zucchini muffins.

These muffins are great not only because they are chock full of chocolate flavor, but also because the zucchini melts into the batter. I’m not necessarily a fan of tricking kids to eat vegetables, but I’m not above sneaking them in!

Chocolate zucchini muffins come together quickly, so you’re less than an hour away from a chocolatey snack. Give them a try!

Ingredients for chocolate zucchini muffins

You’ll need:

Ingredients for chocolate zucchini muffins on a tile surface with labels.

Zucchini – This recipe calls for 2 cups of shredded zucchini. This is usually about 2 medium zucchini. 

If you are using a larger zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds in the middle before shredding.

Extra shredded zucchini can be frozen, so I often just shred all of my zucchini to keep it on hand. Use it for zucchini risotto or zucchini chocolate chip cookies.

Applesauce – Instead of using oil, I use applesauce to lighten the muffins a little. Make sure you use unsweetened.

Eggs – Use standard large eggs.

Vanilla – I always recommend pure vanilla extract. You can also use vanilla paste, with the same amount.

Granulated sugar – You will need 1 ½ cups.

Flour – This recipe uses all-purpose flour. You can swap some of the flour with whole wheat flour, but I recommend not using more than 1 cup of whole wheat flour for this recipe.

You can also make it gluten free by using your favorite all-purpose gluten-free blend, like Pamela’s.

Cocoa powder Make sure to use unsweetened cocoa powder, not the dry cocoa drink mix. Both regular and Dutch-process cocoa powders are fine.

Baking soda and baking powder – For rise.

Salt – Yes, you need salt in sweet baked goods!

Cinnamon – I like pairing cinnamon and chocolate, so this recipe uses just a little bit to heighten the flavors.

Chocolate chips – I like to use mini chocolate chips in muffins so they disperse in the batter more equally, and they work very well for adding on top of the muffins. You can use regular size chips, chocolate chunks, or chopped chocolate, as well. 

Or, swap in your favorite flavor chips, like white chocolate or milk chocolate.

Chocolate zucchini muffin on a plate with more muffins in the background.

How to make this recipe

Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a muffin tin with papers, or coat with nonstick spray. This recipe makes about 18 muffins, so you’ll need one 24-cup muffin tin or two 12-cup tins.

If your zucchini is not already grated, grate it using a box grater or the shredding blade on a food processor. Scoop into a colander set over the sink and gently press to remove excess liquid.

In a large bowl, mix together the grated zucchini, sugar, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla.

In another bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Make sure to break up any clumps of cocoa powder.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until no dry bits remain, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to incorporate everything. Do not overmix; the batter will not be smooth.

Stir in the chocolate chips, leaving some for the tops if desired.

Scoop the muffin batter into the prepared pans, filling nearly to the top of the cups.

Scatter chocolate chips on top of the batter.

Place the muffin tins in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool in the pans briefly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Basket of chocolate zucchini muffins.

Tips and tricks

Don’t forget to squeeze out the extra moisture from the zucchini. I place it in a colander and gently press with a spoon.

Want plain zucchini muffins with no chocolate? Omit the chocolate chips and replace the cocoa powder with more all-purpose flour.

If you want to avoid muffin papers from potentially sticking to the muffin, use nonstick cooking spray on the muffin pan rather than papers. 

Muffin batter should not be mixed too vigorously. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet just until there are no dry spots. Muffin batters tend to be a bit lumpy, not smooth like cake batter.

You can make this recipe in a loaf pan as well. Lower the temperature to 350°F and bake in a 9×5-inch loaf pan for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Chocolate zucchini muffin on a plate.

Storage tips

Chocolate zucchini muffins will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. For longer storage, place in the refrigerator.

You can also freeze muffins.

To freeze, let the muffins cool completely, then place on a baking sheet. Freeze until solid, about 2 hours.

Transfer the frozen muffins to freezer bags, label, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. You can also thaw from frozen by popping a muffin into the microwave for about 30 seconds.

Close up of chocolate zucchini muffin showing chocolate chips on top.

More muffin recipes

Try my other favorite muffin recipes:

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star review below!
It means so much when you enjoy my recipes, so let me know how it goes and leave a comment if you have any questions.

Chocolate zucchini muffins stacked in a basket.

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Chocolate makes these zucchini muffins even better! Chocolate chips are added inside and out for a boost of chocolatey goodness.
Author : Megan Myers
5 from 33 votes
Print Pin Recipe Review
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 18
Calories 178 kcal


  • 2 cups shredded zucchini, about 2 medium
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, plus more for the tops (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line 2 12-cup muffin pans with papers or coat with nonstick spray.
  • In a large bowl, mix together zucchini, sugar, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Add to wet ingredients and stir until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Scoop batter into muffin cups, filling most of the way. If desired, sprinkle on extra mini chocolate chips. Bake 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool briefly, then remove from pans and cool completely on a rack.


Calories: 178 kcalCarbohydrates: 37 gProtein: 4 gFat: 2 gSaturated Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 28 mgSodium: 206 mgPotassium: 118 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 22 gIron: 1 mg

Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate based on online calculators. Any nutritional information found on Stetted should be used as a general guideline only.

Tried this recipe?Leave a comment below!

About Megan

I focus on fresh ingredients and easy methods, with spins that keep meals interesting. Dinnertime shouldn’t be stressful or complicated, and I’m here to help you enjoy the time spent in the kitchen. Read more…

5 from 33 votes (33 ratings without comment)

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