Zucchini Cupcakes

Before we let you in on the secret how to make these insanely delicious zucchini spelt cupcakes, I believe I have to thank someone.

My birthday was just a few days ago. I turned 30. Most people would take this as an opportunity to arrange a kick ass party. For a long time I thought I would too. But after attending some of my friends impressive 30-year old parties that went on for days, I suddenly choked. So I decided only to celebrate it with my family. Or at least that was what I thought. Luise (who was tired of me acting like a grumpy old man) had secretely called in all my friends and relatives from Sweden, London and Denmark, and last Saturday they all surprised me with a big party. Not only did all these people show up, but each and everyone had also brought a dish that they had made from Green Kitchen Stories. Can you believe it! We had never seen so many of our recipes cooked at the same time. It was awesome.

Thank you all of you who came and made it a great day. And thank you Luise for arranging an amazing party. Jag älskar dig.

Now let’s move on to these cupcakes. They started out with a simple craving for carrot cake. We love carrot cakes. I think I have baked them since I was seven or eight years old. But every now and then it’s good to move on, try new things, grow up! So when we craved carrot cake this time Luise reached for a zucchini instead. She baked them on spelt flour, only sweetened them with a banana and some maple syrup and then added many different spices. The zucchini made them juicy, the nuts gave them crunch and the spices gave them flavor. But hey hey hey, let us not forget the frosting … the frosting made them simply irresistable (I write while I take a bite on my fifth cupcake today).

*Recipe updated*

Zucchini Cupcakes
Makes around 12 muffins

1 ripe banana
3 organic eggs
5 tbsp maple syrup or other sweetener of choice
1 1/2 cup (375 ml) spelt flour
1 vanilla bean, scraped or 1 tsp ground vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground cloves
0,5 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup (375 ml) zucchini, shredded
75 g (5 tbsp) organic butter
1/2 cup (125 ml) raw walnuts nuts, coarsely chopped

Zucchini & Lime Frosting
200 g plain cream cheese (choose an unsalted or lightly salted cream cheese)
3 tbsp maple syrup or liquid honey
1/2 organic lime, juice and zest
1/3 cup  (80 ml) zucchini, shredded

Making the muffins: Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Mash the banana in a bowl, add eggs and maple syrup and beat it together, using an electric mixer. Melt the butter and add it to the egg mixture. Sift all dry ingredients together add to the wet mixture, while stirring. Then add shredded zucchini (gently shake off any excess moisture)  and nuts and mix well. Spoon batter into muffin cups or a cupcake pan and bake for around 20 minutes or until golden brown and firm.

Making the Frosting: Add all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Place in the fridge while baking the muffins.

Serving: When the muffins have cooled, serve them with two spoonfuls of frosting topped with a pinch of freshly shredded zucchini. Enjoy!


  • Liesa
    This recipe looks good, but I hate bananas! Can something else replace the banana in these muffins? Thanks.
  • Joan Baker Gardner
    Just made these luscious zucchini cupcakes with my 2 1/2 year old granddaughter. Besides being fun to make AND to frost, when my sister and two close girlfriends arrived to celebrate my 65th birthday we were all impressed! The cupcakes were beautiful and delicious! My husband resisted having a second one, but now we've got dessert tonight! Thanks so very much for creating such wonderful delights! p.s. What is your best "milk" or substitute for milk for toddlers?
  • Anne
    I just made these cupcakes and am wondering if the measurements were correct as they don't look like yours... Whilst they look ok, they are huge..... I reread the measurements and the courgette measurements were in mls not gramms? I weighed the flour, walnuts and cougettes in gramms is this correct??
  • grace
    Hello! Could I substitute the spelt for rye flour instead? Or will that that be strange!?
  • Jenafer
    Stumbled across this recipe when thinking of making zucchini cupcakes (with zucchini straight from my garden) for my son's first birthday in early summer. I love the presentation. Were these cooked in the parchment paper or wrapped after baking?
  • Brittney
    Ooo, I just made these for my family & they absolutely loved them (*and they are NOT healthy eaters*) Thank you for the blog:D
  • Nikki
    Made these this morning and they are delicious!! I used Ghee instead of the butter :-)
  • Btenda
    can i substitute the spelt with wholemeal flouur. please advise
  • Cathrine
    Is it possible to make this as a cake, instead of muffins? :)
  • Sylvie
    Well, as for me I baked them a few hours ago and they are delicious! They didn't turned out greasy and I followed the recipe step by step. But the flavor of cardamom is really strong - reminds me of your sunflower and cardamom muffins... Anyway I love cardamom. :) They taste great, especially with this amazing frosting! Love the combination with lime.
  • Bella
    Hi, I am currently falling deeply in love with this blog! I love love everything you do and the recipes are incredibly inspiring! Just wondering, for this particular recipe if I switched the spelt flour for a mix of quinoa and coconut to make it GF would the end result be similar slash edible? thanks, and I look forward to your next post! Bella
  • Em Bee
    This look amazing, and I am dying to try them... However I cannot have gluten, do you have any gluten free suggestions for the spelt flour? Many Thanks!
    • Hi Em Bee, Gluten free baking can be tricky so instead of suggestion something that might not work here, you should try this amazing and gluten free recipe instead: https://gkitchenstories.com/warm-pumpkin-coconut-muffins/ Happy baking Luise
  • Jen
    Is there any way to make a creamy icing without dairy? I've tried a few recipes and they are always either way too sweet or the texture is off putting. Thanks for the help.
  • Shannon M
    I made these today and they were absolutely delicious! Even my two year old loved them. I left out the walnuts as I knew the toddler wouldn't like them, and I used lemon juice instead of lime juice in the icing. I also only had about 1 cup of zucchini so I just added a little extra banana. They were light, moist and the spices and vanilla gave a lovely flavour. Thanks for a great recipe - will definitely be makin these again.
  • Bean
    Hi there, The muffins look so good in your post but sadly, when I made them this afternoon, mine didn't look nearly as good. I'm an accomplished cook so I don't think the problem was following the recipe - or the recipe itself since other people have had great success so perhaps it was the ingredients. My muffins are dry and bitter which is really disappointing, and they don't look nearly as dark and smooth as yours. I will try again though, perhaps using more banana and maple syrup, also a little grated apple. I am disappointed but not put off. I made your chocolate 'mousse' this morning and they were delicious!
  • Hannah
    I read somewhere that you could substitute apple sauce for oil and was wondering that would work here?
    • Hi Hannah, sorry about the recipe failure. We have made it several times, and it has always turned out well for us. But since you are not the only one who have had problems with it, we made some slight changes to it today that will make it more 'easy likable'. Do try the lemon bars, I can guarantee that they won't disappoint. Regarding your question about the oil. We have already replaced the oil with in this recipe. But generally, you can substitute eggs for apple sauce and some of the oil, check out this recipe for more inspiration: https://gkitchenstories.com/vegan-chocolate-blackberry-cake/ All the best Luise
  • Hannah
    I received one of those annoying emails from Apple suggesting apps the other day, and on a whim, for the first time, I actually opened it. I recently decided I want to eat healthy, so I figured, why not? Maybe they'll be some good apps. That was where I found your green kitchen app. I have been a vegetarian since 3rd or 4th grade, and I was looking to eat healthy, so your app was pretty much a dream come true. After leaving my phone and home one day, I decided I wanted to show some of my friends the recipes, so I googled it with their phones. That was how I found this blog. I don't know if I'm just a bad cook or what, but your recipes look amazing, the ingredients sound amazing, but when I made these, they were horrible. The muffins were not at all sweet, and tasted like bread, which I can deal with. I still enjoy them. The icing, however, was horrible. My entire family (mom, dad, sister) tried it and hated it. I used exactly the amounts that the recipe called for, and others seem to enjoy the recipe, so I have no idea what I did wrong. I tried the carrot cake on this blog and received similar results. I'm not giving up on this blog yet, though! I will be trying the vegetable lasagna, vegetarian pizza, portobello and peach burgers, lemon and coconut bars, and peanut butter cookies. All sound and look amazing and am hoping for better results. If you could give me any tips, or give me an idea of what I did wrong? My mom tried this recipe as well and yielded similar results (bread like muffin and horrible icing).
  • KathC
    I just made this for my 5 year old daughter. She loves it very much and had 2 of them right from the oven. Usually she doesn't like zucchini but she ate these without complaints.
  • payal
    Hi David I love zuchinis in all forms and especially cupcakes are my favourite. But unfortunately I don't eat eggs. can these be made without eggs. kindly please advise
  • Hello lovely people, my daughter Mika (21 months) and I made these cupcakes this morning and they turned out rather magnificent! As with many recipes I get inspired by, I swapped a few ingredients to make do with what I had at home. I used wholemeal spelt, honey, ginger instead of all spice and added a carrot to my grated zucchini mixture as I only had one. Left out the vanilla all together because I simply forgot! And still, the cupcakes turned out AMAZING.My daughter devoured it and I am sure my little 3 month old boy will reap the benefits from his breast milk :) This is such a great proof of a great recipe...a great recipe stands the test of manipulation well. Thank you so much for your inspirational website and I really do hope that I am able to purchase your cookbook from Australia when it is published.
  • Pamela
    I would love love love to make these, but me and my brother are both severely allergic to bananas (so sad, I know!) Is there any other fruit or veggie you can recommend to sweeten the cupcakes instead? Thanks so much! I love your recipes!
  • lisah
    I was eyeing up this recipe, wanting to use the last of a massive zucchini, but I didn't have all the required ingredients. I decided to improvise. I didn't have cardamom, all-spice or cloves so I skipped those, adding a bit of nutmeg instead. I also used one whole mashed avocado instead of coconut oil, and orange instead of lime for the icing. It was delicious! I'm still interested in trying the original recipe but am also very happy with what I came up with.
  • Jane McLeod
    Hello from Canada :) Thank you for a wonderful looking recipe; I'm very much looking forwards to trying them this weekend. I just had a question about preparing these in advance: I'm thinking of bringing these to a party later this week, and wondering if you think they would do well if made a couple days in advance? Would you recommend freezing/refrigerating them? Thank you so much for your help
  • Charlotte
    thanks a bunch for this recipe, they turned out so GOOD! I didn't have any limes though so i used lemon zest & juice instead >>> hands down the best frosting ever!
  • Dagmar
    Do you have an app for e.g an ipod? Because I would really love to buy/get it for my ipod! Look wonderful by the way! :-D
  • Amy
    These look so yummy! Does anyone have any thoughts on substituting agave nectar for the honey in the frosting? Maybe a little less than 3 tablespoons though?
    • Hi Amy, You could easily replace honey for Agave nectar. Start with two tbsp, taste it and see if you need one more. Good luck! /David
  • These look fabulous!! Zucchini Cupcakes are the one Starbucks beverage I look forward to every year… And then you put them in cupcake form? Wow! Awesome.
  • Luise - great job :) David - Grattis i efterskott! Love carrot cake so I have to try this!
  • These muffins represents all I love in a sweet recipe: they are rustic, wholesome and flavorful. I will make them over and over again! Thanks for sharing!!
  • Oh, seems like a lovely recipe! What a nice idea combining including zucchini. Great photos! And happy birthday...

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