These healthy Chocolate Zucchini Muffins are made with no flour or added oil, and they taste like the most amazing chocolate dessert! I love how there’s a sneaky serving of veggies in each bite.
Inspired by my Flourless Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins, this recipe is a tasty way to use up some of our summer zucchini. The chocolate hides the zucchini almost completely, so if you have picky family members, they might not even notice!
Why You’ll Love These Muffins
- They’re flourless. If you need a gluten-free recipe, or are just trying to cut back on white flour, this recipe is for you. It uses fiber-rich almond butter instead!
- They’re oil-free. No added oil is necessary for this recipe. The almond butter adds healthy fat, plus plenty of fiber at the same time.
- They’re naturally-sweetened. This recipe uses coconut sugar as a lower-glycemic alternative. I haven’t tested this recipe with maple syrup yet, but I imagine that a 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup would be plenty, if you want to experiment with that. (Liquid sweeteners are always more sweet than granulated sweeteners, FYI.)
- They’re nutritious. Zucchini is a good source of antioxidants, particularly when you leave the skin on. It also contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, including pectin, which may help to lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels.
- Higher in protein. Thanks to the eggs and almond butter in this recipe, each muffin contains 6 grams of protein, to help keep you feeling full.
- They freeze well. Because these muffins don’t get too watery, they freeze and thaw very well! They make the perfect make-ahead breakfast or snack on the go.
Looking for more zucchini recipes to try? The flavor goes completely unnoticed in recipes like in my Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake, Zucchini Oatmeal, and my favorite Zucchini Smoothie.
For a more savory spin, try oil-free Zucchini Pesto, Zucchini Hummus (which is bean-free!) or Zucchini Lasagna, for a low-carb dinner.
How to Make Them
- Squeeze the Zucchini. Zucchini contains quite a bit of liquid, which could make these muffins soggy if you don’t squeeze it out. Shred the zucchini first, measure out the full cup (tightly packed), then transfer to a thin towel or cheesecloth to squeeze out as much moisture as you can. Feel free to save the liquid to add to a smoothie or soup later.
- Mix. Add the zucchini to a large bowl, along with the rest of the muffin ingredients, and stir until very smooth. The batter will be thick and glossy.
- Bake. Spoon the batter into 12 muffin cups, and bake until the muffins puff up and look sturdy in the center, about 22 to 25 minutes. I usually go by the smell of them to know when they are done. Your kitchen will smell like brownies!
- Cool & enjoy! Let the muffins cool completely in the pan, and then they are ready to eat.
These chocolate zucchini muffins will keep well at room temperature for up to 48 hours if your kitchen is relatively cool, or you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Tips for Making Zucchini Muffins
- Squeeze out the moisture. Don’t skip this step, or your muffins will turn out much more soggy.
- Use an all-natural nut butter. I tested this recipe with a runny, drippy almond butter that has no added ingredients. You can use peanut butter instead, with slightly drier results, cashew butter, or try sunflower seed butter for a nut-free option.
- Don’t use an egg substitute. Flax eggs don’t work particularly well with flour-less baking. The results are gooey in the middle, which could still be delicious, but I want to make sure you adjust your expectations. For an egg-free recipe, check out my Gluten-free Banana Muffins or Carrot Cake Muffins as a jumping-off point.
- Definitely use muffin liners. I always like to guarantee your muffins will release easily from the pan, and grain-free baking can sometimes stick to the pan more than traditional muffins. Use paper liners or silicone muffin cups, to be sure your muffins will leave the pan in one piece.
I hope you’ll love these grain-free muffins as much as I do!
Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
- 1 cup shredded zucchini (6 ounces; 170 grams)
- 1 cup raw almond butter (270 grams)
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar (122 grams)
- 1/4 cup cacao powder (16 grams)
- 2 eggs (105 grams)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (3 grams)
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (2 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5 grams)
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (optional; 87 grams)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a standard muffin tin with 12 baking cups. Place the shredded zucchini into the center of a thin dish towel, and squeeze out as much moisture as possible.
- Transfer the squeezed zucchini into a large bowl, and add in the almond butter, coconut sugar, cacao powder, eggs, baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Stir well until the batter looks thick and glossy.
- Fold in the chocolate chips, if using, and then use a 1/4 cup to scoop the batter into the 12 baking cups. Top with a few extra chocolate chips, if desired.
- Bake at 350ºF until the muffins have risen and feel firm to a light touch in the center, about 22 to 25 minutes. (Your kitchen should smell like brownies when they are done!)
- Remove the pan from the oven and let the muffins cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. You can serve them warm or cold, but I think they have the best flavor when they are at room temperature. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
If you try these Chocolate Zucchini Muffins, please leave a comment below letting me know how you like them. And if you make any modifications, I’d love to hear about those, too!
Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite way to use zucchini?
Questions and Reviews
My favourite is just like what you do. Chocolate zucchini cakes, zucchini fritters, quiches, spaghetti sauce, Soups, they are aweSome in smoothies sonce they really are pretty tasteless. I Also like to add it to home made apple sauce. (Or butternut squash puree with lots of cinnamon) My mother taugh me to do that as a way to “stRetch” out the applesauce.
looking forward to the vegan version!
Megan, did you know trader joes has the nibs for1.99? They will order for you if they do not normally stock. Also, they hAve preshreddeD zucchini in the frezer section. Im not sure why my ipad is typing in caps noW… im not yelling… these muffins look great! Just want you to save time and money 😊
Wow, thanks for letting me know! I’ll have to check that out next time I’m at Trader Joe’s!!
a note on the nibs at Trader Joe’s – they are ‘roasted’ and I have found them to be much more bitter because of this! I prefer the raw ones even though they are more expensive.
Thank you for this recipe! This might just be the ticket to getting out the door on time during the first week of school next week! 🙂
I can hardly wait for the eggless version! ! ! ! ! They look Delicious.
Though zucchini is plentiful, we have more yellow squash than what we know what to do with. Megan do you think the two are interchangeable in this recipe?
Made these last night with cashew butter (since that’s what I had). these are amazing.
Are you using unsalted almond butter?
These muffins look so delicious and beautiful. When I first glanced at the recipe, I was super excited because I didn’t see the eggs listed. We try to eat a mostly plant-based diet, but I do buy eggs laid by humanely raised, pastured chickens…as these eggs are nearly $7 a dozen, I am loathe to use them in my baking adventures. However, these muffins are just too tempting. I am planning a blog post about back-to-school life and have been searching for recipes that can serve as nutritious breakfast, snack or lunch box items, and these muffins would fit all three categories. I will sacrifice our precious eggs for this recipe. Provided i do them justice, would you mind if I take a photo of them and include them in my post with a shout out to you and a link to this recipe? I think they’d make a great addition to the recipes I’ve already got lined up!
Yes, you can always share a link back to my recipes! I appreciate you thinking to include them.
I’m making these right now. One batch with sun butter and a second batch with cashew butter. I only used a half cup of sugar. This recipe is so easy. Thank you for posting it. Just wondering if a serving size would be one muffin if eating for a snack. Thanks.
Just made these using local honey and peanut butter in place of coconut sugar and almond butter and they turned out amazing! Even the kids loved them! Definitely our new goto for all of our garden zucchini…Thanks!
Hey Amanda, did you replace the 3/4C coconut sugar with the same amount of honey? I love this idea as I don’t typically have coconut sugar.
When I make them, I use 3/4 cup honey instead of the coconut sugar. They’re a tiny bit sticky in the end, but super good.
Will be making these muffins tomorrow with honey. Will let you know how it goes
Excellent recipe! I replaced the 3/4 c sugar with 1/2 c maple syrup, and I used peanut butter. Everyone loved them, including the kids. Thanks for the recipe!
Thanks for sharing! Glad everyone enjoyed them!!
I don’t even know where to start with these, but I’ll try… First off, I love having yet another use for the gobs of zucchini we’ve been getting from our garden (yahoo). Second, they’re chocolate, so immediate yum factor. Third, the almond butter gives them a quasi-gooey texture, which is pure awesome. We’ve been enjoying them as a breakfast muffin, as well as a dessert. It really doesn’t get much better than that. Thanks once again, Megan!
I love this recipe, they are absolutely delish, even my husband agree! Actually I like all of your Recipies I have made!
I want to share that when I was making these I was trying to multitask…it didn’t go well. After I placed them into the oven I saw the 2 eggs sitting on the counter that was meant to go into the muffins🙄They still came out delish, more fudgey which my husband and I both like. So I learned a lesson and also was so happy I didn’t ruin my muffins! Lol
Ha, that’s good to know that they weren’t ruined without the eggs! Perfect for any vegan friends. 🙂
I cut back to 1/8 c. coco sugar (+ chopped dark chocolate), and they were still fabulous.
Can these be made ahead of time and frozen?
I’ve made this recipe today and I simply lovehese muffins!!!.
I’ve used peanut butter instead of almond butter and half raw sugar, half raw honey as sweetener because coconut sugar is a bit hard to find here; the result? They’re soft and taste delicious, that’s why my family loves them.
I just wanna thank you for sharing such an amazing recipe!
I think I’m going to make almond flour banana bread tomorrow.
made these exactly as written (except maybe left off a scant amt of the coconut sugar)–AMAZING!
How did you figure the calories? I came to about 165 vs 2q8. I am comparing recipes to find best lower cal. So these seem closer in calories to a regularuffin with flour. One of the negatives I keep hearing about almond flour is that you end up with more calories as well as more than a healthy serving. But that doesn’t look like the case here. I used the calories from the almonds as I blended myself. The oils are already in them. So I was wondering if maybe the calories in yours might be less or if there is something seeing to suggest issues with calculations I see in other recipes.
Hello from Belgium! Thank you for the recipe, absolutely great idea to take zucchini as a base! I’ve experimented with an egg-free and cacao-free version (unfortunately can’t eat it either), and replaced almond butter with almond meal (that’s what I had at hand). It worked out perfectly well! So here is what I’ve done: 2 cups shredded zucchini, 1 and 1/3rd cup almond meal, 2/3rd cup buckwheat flour (ground in the coffee grinder), 1/3rd cup carob powder,1/2 cup coconut sugar (carob is sweet by nature, so you need a bit less sweetening), 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon fine salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar. The trick here is that if you try to mix it by hand, it will be lumpy, so I put it into a food processor and let it run for a minute or so. My son of 8 just called it perfect.
Absolutely delicious and so easy!! Im not an experienced baker and these came out perfectly. Moist, light and so nutritious. Chocolate heaven. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.
These came out great! Thanks for the recipe! I used only 1/2 cup coconut sugar and the muffins had a nice cakey texture, so I might lower the coconut sugar and add some applesauce next time. My 17 year old brother loved them and had no idea they had zucchini, so that’s a success! 🙂
Seriously so good. No-one would even guess there was zucchini in it. I hate zucchini but tore these up haha yum.
Made these yesterday and OMG soooo good!! We’re new to healthier eating so I was skeptical about how they were going to taste but they were AMAZING!!! I couldn’t even tell they didn’t have flour! Will be trying more awesome recipes off of your site soon!
Recently found out my daughter is allergic to eggs. Any luck with an egg-free Verizon of this recipe? We love this so much, and have been bummed not being able to bake it.
Never Mind! I figured it out. Used 2 flax eggs and added 1/4c.flaxseed meal. Held together beautifully. Oh and 2 droppersful stevia extract instead of coconut sugar and increased vanilla to 2tsps.
Thanks for sharing! I haven’t gotten around to testing an egg-free version yet, so I appreciate your comment!
Looks absolutely gorgeous! Has anyone tried to make a cake with this recipe instead of muffins? Should I adjust just the baking time or is there anything else that needs to be modified?
Really good. I made mini muffins and cooked them for 11 minutes. I made them for my daughter’s breakfast before school. Yea there’s chocolate and some sugar but it’s better than the frozen waffles she was eating lol
These are a huge family favourite. The kids want me to plant zucchini this year, just so we can shred it, freeze it, and have it ready to make these alllllll winter long. They are obsessed. As are me and my husband. These puppies never last a whole day, so I recommend making a couple batches to reduce squabbling over the last one. 🙂
I’m so glad your family loves them!
AMAZING! They didn’t turn out like they did in the picture, but were more fudgey, which was still absolutely delicious. Couldn’t even taste the zucchini!
I used 2 chia eggs + 2 Tbsp of chia and added 1/4 C of honey. I baked them for 25 minutes. These turned out soft on the tops and gooey in the middle. Such an easy and yummy recipe, even my picky toddler asked for seconds! Thanks Megan!
Hi Megan I clicked on this recipe because of interest in high protein. I don’t see it mentioned could you let me know and also the carbohydrate grams. Thank you I would like to try this recipe.
Just added it! Trying to add the nutrition info to all of my recipes, but there are 900+ to get through, so I’ll get there eventually. 🙂
OMG!!!!!!! Delicious!! I used monk fruit sugar and white chocolate chips and even my husband and daughter loved them!!! This will be a weekly recepie in my house!!! Thank you!!! Oh! I’m sharing this recepie translated in Spanish!! Of course with your page included.
I made these tonight and they are awesome! I used peanut butter because that is what I had on hand. My 16 year old son ate 2 in a row and loved them!! Thanks for a great recipe. 😊
Wow these really are the best chocolate muffins ever!
Makes a good treat for my picky 2 year old. Little does he know there’s a veggie hiding in there.
Can I swap the cacao for cocoa? I don’t have any on hand
Sorry to be a pest ……………. but I can’t help it – they look so delicious – have you had a chance to try any ideas for a vegan version. 🙂
These muffins are AMAZING! my kids ask for them A LOT! I use a 1/2 cup coconut sugar instead of 3/4 cups, with no other changes, and we think they’re perfect, just the right amount of sweetness.
These are fantastic.. even my picky child loves them.
Thank you for this lovely recipe.
These are fantastic! I was out of coconut sugar, so I used 1/3 cup honey instead and thought they were perfect (I did include the chocolate chips). I could eat these every day for the rest of my life!
These are fantastic!! I was out of coconut sugar, so I used 1/3 cup honey instead of the 3/4 cup coconut sugar, and I thought they were perfect (I did include the chocolate chips). I could eat these every day for the rest of my life!
My daughter just told me that my freshly baked muffins looked like pot holes. They were yummy, but deflated.why do you think mine do that?
These are awesome. I was surprised how they rose and held without any flour. Very easy to make with great flavor and texture. Definitely in the rotation. I did add a handful of chopped pecans. Way to go.
I made these muffins today and they are delicious! I did substitute brown sugar for the coconut sugar because I didn’t have the coconut sugar. I used natural peanut butter instead of almond butter. And then used regular cocoa powder. Absolutely yummy!
Superb. I used Coconut Butter instead of Almond butter, and everyone was raving about them.
I used coconut butter instead of almond butter, and these were the best muffins ever.
I only have unsweetened cocoa powder, will that work or does it have to be sweetened? Thank you
Unsweetened is perfect.
we are 11 and 12 years old and we absolutely love these muffins!!!! YUM!
Just made these, they are beautiful, fussy kids and fussy hubby loved them too!