Easy & Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

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These Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Muffins are made with wholesome ingredients and sweetened with only applesauce and honey. Ready in less than 20 minutes, these tender and moist muffins are the perfect chocolatey grab and go snack with 4 grams of protein.
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One chocolate zucchini muffin in a muffin wrapper on a cooling rack with three muffins arranged behind it.

These chocolate zucchini muffins taste like chocolate cupcakes in muffin form. They’re chocolatey, fluffy and sweetened with only with applesauce and honey, making them healthy and delicious. With less than 200 calories per muffin, these are the best way to curb a morning chocolate craving.

The secret ingredient to making tender and moist muffins? The zucchini. When you’re in the thick of zucchini season, these are the perfect way to use up all those extra zucchini you have overgrown in the garden. Zucchini adds a boost of nutrition and because you can’t see or taste it, they’re kid-approved.

Muffins, like these and Healthy Blueberry Lemon Muffins and Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins are one of my favorite things to make for an easy breakfast or quick snack throughout the day. They also pack great in school lunches. 

If you want to step out of the muffin box with other easy breakfasts, Breakfast Burrito Bowls and egg white bites with turkey sausage are two of my favorites.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • No refined sugars.
  • Less than 200 calories per muffin.
  • Perfect grab and go snack for busy mornings.

Can you taste the zucchini in these muffins?

Barely. Truly, barely. While these are a healthy alternative to a typical chocolate muffin and loaded with 1 1/2 cups of shredded zucchini, have no fear, because these healthy and veggie-loaded muffins do not taste healthy.

They’re perfectly rounded with sweetness and chocolatey goodness but without all the added sugars. My kids, nor my friend’s kids can detect a single piece of zucchini, so I call that a win.

Ingredients and Substitutes:

These are the main ingredients and substitutions for these healthy chocolate zucchini muffins. See the recipe card below for the full ingredient list and instructions. 

All-purpose flour, baking soda, baking power, cocoa powder, salt, applesauce, honey, olive oil, egg, vanilla extract and shredded zucchini for the muffins.
  • Zucchini: the secret ingredient to a moist and delicious muffin.
  • All-Purpose Flour: use gluten-free flour 1:1 for gluten free. Whole wheat or almond flour will change the taste and texture completely.
  • Cocoa Powder: If you notice your cocoa powder is especially lumpy, you can sift it before adding it to the dry ingredients.
  • Unsweetened Applesauce and Honey: adds the right amount of sweetness.
  • Eggs: replacing eggs can be tricky because eggs both bind and provide lift.
  • Olive Oil: any type of oil, including coconut oil or melted butter.

Variations

  • Add chocolate chips to make double chocolate zucchini muffins.
  • Make a protein version with Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins.
  • Add other chips like peanut butter or butterscotch for a delicious flavor twist.

Dietary Modifications

  • For gluten-free use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Flour.
  • These are dairy-free, as is.

How to make these zucchini chocolate muffins (a step-by-step visual guide):

Step 1: preheat and prep

 Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin tin with a 12-muffin capacity with paper muffin liners. 

Step 2: prep zucchini


Trim the end off of the zucchini, then grate it. You can do this with the larger holes on a box grater or in a food processor with the grating disc. Once you’ve grated the zucchini, place it in a clean kitchen towel or use a paper towel to gently squeeze out the extra moisture (image 1). Set the zucchini aside for now.

Shredded zucchini on a paper towel to drain some of the moisture out.

Step 3: mix dry ingredients

Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl. Whisk to combine, making sure to break up any clumps of cocoa powder (image 2)

Flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a mixing bowl with a whisk.

Step 4: mix wet ingredients

Honey, applesauce, olive oil, vanilla extract and eggs mixing in a bowl with a whisk.

In a separate larger bowl, whisk together the applesauce, eggs, honey, vanilla extract, and olive oil until smooth (image 3).

Shredded zucchini whisked into the wet ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Whisk in the shredded zucchini (image 4).

Step 5: mix wet and dry ingredients

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined (image 5). You want to make sure there are no pockets of flour remaining in the batter. 

Wet and dry muffin ingredients mixed together with a whisk in a large mixing bowl and muffin liners in a muffin pan.

Step 6: add to muffin tin and bake. 

Spoon batter between the 12 lined muffin pan. You can do this with a large ice cream scoop or with a ⅓ cup measure. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to help settle the batter, then place the pan in the preheated oven. Bake the muffins for 15-20 minutes or until the tops have risen and a toothpick or tester inserted into the center comes out clean. 

Chocolate muffin batter in muffin cups in a muffin pan ready to bake.

Spoon batter between the 12 lined muffin pan. You can do this with a large ice cream scoop or with a ⅓ cup measure (image 6). Tap the pan on the counter a few times to help settle the batter, then place the pan in the preheated oven.

Fully baked muffins in a muffin pan with a towel and full zucchini next to it.

Bake the muffins for 15-20 minutes or until the tops have risen and a toothpick or tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the muffins in the pan for 5 minutes before moving them to a wire rack (image 7).

Expert Tip!

The more you mix, the tougher the muffin. Mix until just combined!

Three stacked zucchini chocolate muffins with 1 with a bite out of it and other muffins arranged behind it.

Recipe FAQs

How do I store leftover muffins?

Store your homemade muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4-5 days.

Can I omit eggs in muffins?

For each egg in the recipe, substitute 1/4 cup of mashed banana or 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce. You’ll need to add an additional 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder to compensate.

Do I have to use muffin liners?

No! Just be sure you spray your muffin pan really well with nonstick spray or olive oil spray and let the muffins cool before trying to remove from the pan.

Can I add protein powder to these muffins?

You could but it’ll change the taste and texture of the muffins. Muffins with protein powder tend to be very dry so be careful. Try my Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins for a high protein muffin with protein powder. If adding protein powder I’d suggest omitting some of the flour in it’s place.

One chocolate zucchini muffin in a muffin wrapper on a cooling rack with three muffins arranged behind it.

Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Danielle Lima
These Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Muffins are made with wholesome ingredients and sweetened with only applesauce and honey. Ready in less than 20 minutes, these tender and moist muffins are the perfect chocolatey grab and go snack with 4 grams of protein.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 12 muffins
Calories 193 kcal

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Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini (1 medium zucchini) 200g
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 180g
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 48g
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup honey 240g
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 40g
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips OPTIONAL

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin tin with a 12-muffin capacity with paper liners. 
  • Trim the end off of the zucchini, then grate it. You can do this with the larger holes on a box grater or in a food processor with the grating disc. Once you’ve grated the zucchini, place it in a clean kitchen towel or a couple of layers of paper towels. Gently squeeze out the excess moisture. Set the zucchini aside for now.
  • Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a mixing bowl. Whisk to combine, making sure to break up any clumps of cocoa powder. 
  • In a separate larger bowl, whisk together the applesauce, eggs, honey, vanilla extract, and olive oil until smooth. Whisk in the grated zucchini.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing until just combined. You want to make sure there are no pockets of flour remaining in the batter. 
  • Divide the muffin batter between the 12 lined muffin cups. You can do this with a large scoop or with a ⅓ cup measure. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to help settle the batter, then place the pan in the preheated 375-degree oven. Bake the muffins for 15-20 minutes or until the tops have risen and a toothpick or tester inserted into the center comes out clean. 
  • Cool the muffins in the pan for 5 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. 

Notes

  • Store leftover muffins in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge. Make sure to enjoy them within 4-5 days. 
  • If you notice your cocoa powder is especially lumpy, you can sift it before adding it to the dry ingredients.
  • Adding chocolate chips is a delicious must if you have room for the added calories. The chocolate chips are not included in the nutrition facts. 
  • Nutritional information is an estimate and will vary with substitutions. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1muffinCalories: 193kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 4gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 194mgPotassium: 316mgFiber: 2gSugar: 18g
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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    So good. My family loves these. I had to cook them longer due to my silicone pan, but they were still super moist.

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