Go Back
Chocolate zucchini cupcake with chocolate frosting

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

These chocolate zucchini cupcakes are the most moist and fudgy cupcakes you'll ever try thanks to grated zucchini in the batter. They have a chocolate flavor that's not too rich and chocolate frosting on top makes these perfect with a glass of milk. No one will ever guess that there's zucchini in these cupcakes!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Cooling 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes
Calories 426kcal


  • 12-cavity muffin pan


Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

  • ¾ cup finely grated zucchini
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (125 grams)
  • ½ cup cocoa powder (40 grams)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • cup vegetable oil (80 ml) or canola oil
  • ½ cup brown sugar (100 grams) light or dark
  • ½ cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cup milk (80 ml) I recommend 2%

Chocolate Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (226 grams) softened
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar (220-330 grams)
  • ½ cup cocoa powder (40 grams) sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4-6 tablespoons whipping cream (60-90 ml) or milk


Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350F (180C or 170C fan forced). Line a 12-cavity muffin pan with muffins papers.
  • Blot the grated zucchini with paper towel to remove any excess liquid. It shouldn't be bone dry, but you don't want pools of water at the bottom of your measuring cup.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. If the cocoa appears lumpy, sift it first.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and milk. When finished you should no longer have lumps of brown sugar or pieces of egg.
  • Carefully whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until smooth.
  • Stir in the grated zucchini.
  • Spoon the batter evenly between the 12 lined cupcake papers. Each should be about ⅔ to ¾ full. You may need to make up to 14 cups.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until the tops look set and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool the cupcakes in the pan for at least 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling

Chocolate Frosting

  • In a large bowl beat the butter until smooth.
  • Add in 1 cups powdered sugar, salt and vanilla. Beat into the butter starting with the mixer on a low speed.
  • Turn off the mixer and add in the cocoa powder. Beat in, again starting with the mixer on a low speed.
  • Beat in the rest of the powdered sugar about ½ cup at a time, alternating with 1 tablespoon of milk or cream until the desired consistency and sweetness is reached.
  • Ensure the cupcakes are completely cooled before frosting. Either frost with a knife or transfer the frosting to a piping bag and pipe on the frosting (I used a piping bag and 1M tip).


  1. Zucchini: You'll likely need 1 small to medium sized zucchini. You do not need to peel the zucchini first. Simply cut off the ends and grate using a fine grater. Hold the zucchini perpendicular to the grated so you get short pieces instead of long strands.
  2. Cocoa: If the cocoa powder is lumpy, be sure to sift it first. 
  3. Frosting: The amounts provided will make enough frosting to pipe each cupcake with a large amount. If you plan to frost your cupcakes with a knife or simply don't want quite as much, divide the recipe in half. You'll need:
    • 1/1 cup unsalted butter
    • 1-1 ½ cups powdered sugar
    • ¼ cup cocoa powder
    • ½ teaspoon vanilla
    • pinch of salt
  4. Storage: Cupcakes are always best fresh. Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up 2-3 days, or in the fridge for 3-4 days. Cupcakes are best at room temperature. Take them out of the fridge about 30 minutes before enjoying. 
  5. Nutrition: Details provided are an estimate only and based on 1 cupcake with frosting, assuming that all frosting is used and that the recipe yields 12 equal-sized cupcakes. 


Calories: 426kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 166mg | Potassium: 220mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 632IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2mg