Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Zucchini Spice Cupcakes

Again inspired by the Food Librarian's post, I was excited to make these cupcakes this weekend. Paula and I had fresh zucchini from the Eugene Saturday Market and we made an entire batch - yes, 24 cupcakes. She was hosting a book club on Sunday night so her friends got to enjoy our efforts but I'm embarrassed to tell you how many we ate between the time we made them and that book club meeting.

The original recipe is from Martha Stewart's cupcake book but we left out the walnuts, substituted lemon zest for orange zest, used olive oil instead of canola, and freshly ground our own cloves. The texture was great and if you don't like zucchini bread, you'll probably still love this. The zucchini makes them really moist and Paula was making cream cheese frosting before her book club - everything is good with cream cheese frosting on top!

When I asked Paula how the cupcakes were, told me that they were talking about death and the holocaust when the cupcakes were being eaten and one girl said she wanted to yell out "these are amazing" but didnt think it would be appropriate.

I don't have anything very new or interesting to say in the debate about the differences between cupcakes and muffins, but I agree that qualifies for cupcake status. One thing we tried that I had never done before was use the foil muffin liners on a baking sheet (instead of in a muffin tin). I've seen on the container that you can do that but have always been a little chicken. The result was that those cupcakes weren't perfectly round but it worked great!

Zucchini Spice Cupcakes (2 dozen)

3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup olive oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 cups packed light brown sugar
3 cups packed grated zucchini

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. In another bowl, whisk together oil, eggs, vanilla, and zest until well blended; whisk in brown sugar until smooth. Stir in zucchini, then add flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three quarters full. Bake until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.

Frosting options: You can make a cream cheese frosting or a powdered sugar icing for the top to make them like real cupcakes but I enjoyed them plain!


  1. Sounds, and hopefully tastes, great!

  2. i have to say, having tasted both versions, the cream cheese frosting is quite a nice addition.

  3. With cream cheese frosting, yes please!

  4. I bet you could use whole wheat flour. I do for my zucchini bread and it comes out great.

  5. Plain or with cream cheese frosting, these zucchini cupcakes are good.

  6. Note to self: Used 1 c. whole wheat flour, lemon zest instead of orange, white flour instead of brown sugar, and added 3 T of molasses.