Zucchini is perfect for adding to baked goods because the delicate flavor allows it to blend in perfectly with sweet cake or bread batters. It also keeps baked goods moist without having to add a lot of extra oil or fat to the recipe. Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes are rich, delicious and loaded with flavor. Have ’em for breakfast all week long. Every morning is better with chocolate!
The chocolate buttercream frosting is lovely, too. Six ounces of melted dark chocolate is added to cocoa buttercream, which makes the end result rich, but also light; a chocolate truffle-buttercream hybrid of the best sort.
I used a citrus zester to make zucchini peel toppers for the cupcakes. They don’t contribute much flavor to the cupcake, especially when standing toe-to-toe with dark chocolate buttercream – but they look cute! Just wind a few of the strands around your index finger and slide them off, then place on top of the cupcakes. If you choose to make them, add them just before you serve the cupcakes. The strands will dry out over time. They look and taste best fresh.
For The Cupcakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 cups shredded zucchini
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Dark chocolate buttercream
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
6 ounces dark chocolate melted
Heavy cream as needed
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line two cupcake tins with paper liners. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine the zucchini, eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla. Stir until well combined. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and baking powders. Fold gently until all the dry ingredients are moistened and the mixture is evenly combined.
Spoon the batter into the cupcake papers 3/4 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick tester comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
Cool completely cupcakes on a wire rack before frosting.
Make the frosting:
In the bowl of an electric mixer with the whip attachment, beat together the butter and salt. Add the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder. Mix on low speed until just combined.
Add the dark chocolate to the frosting and whip on high speed. Add heavy cream a little at a time until the mixture is piping consistency. You may need 1/4 cup or more depending on the cornstarch content of your confectioners’ sugar. Scrape down the bowl and whip again until light and fluffy.
Frost cooled cupcakes and top with any decorations if desired.
Cupcakes stay fresh, stored in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to 4 days. I suggest bringing them to room temperature before serving.