With a moist crumb and a crunchy sugar topping, these zucchini muffins make for a delicious breakfast or afternoon snack. Even zucchini haters will love these muffins!
I know that fall is just around the corner, but with this week’s heat wave, I just can’t think about pumpkin just yet.
Besides, I’m still trying to use up the zucchini in my refrigerator.
So today we’re making some perfect zucchini muffins. They are moist and flavorful, with a crunchy sugar top that I can’t get enough of. My neighbors totally felt the same way when I shared some of these babies with them!
MY FAVORITE CLASSIC ZUCCHINI MUFFINS
Over the years I’ve shared many muffin recipes with you, including everything from apple cinnamon muffins to lemon poppy seed muffins. And I’ve shared a bunch of zucchini bread recipes with you, from classic zucchini bread to zucchini banana bread.
But I realized a few weeks ago that I’ve never shared a classic zucchini muffin recipe with you! Obviously I had to fix that ASAP.
I don’t know about you, but I get really excited when my muffins have a perfect dome on top.
I did some research before working on this zucchini muffin recipe and found a post from The Kittchen that suggested to start the muffins at a higher oven temperature (425°F), then lower the temperature to 350°F for the rest of the time to get a great dome.
I wasn’t sure if it would work, but I gave it a try and it totally did! I’ve tried this trick on a couple of other recipes since and it has worked every time, so it may just become my new muffin-baking hack.
I kept the muffins themselves pretty simple, opting for the classic pairing of cinnamon and vanilla with the mild zucchini.
The muffins stay moist thanks to the finely grated zucchini and vegetable oil in the batter, and the tops are crunchy thanks to a sprinkling of coarse sugar just before baking. It’s the kind of pairing that is impossible to resist.
In fact, my right-hand woman, Stephie, made these zucchini muffins with her 3-year-old daughter who declared them to be “soooo good” and couldn’t stop eating them. That’s a pretty great review, if I do say so myself!
HOW TO MAKE ZUCCHINI MUFFINS
Muffins and other quick bread recipes are great for beginner bakers because they are quick and easy to throw together, especially when they use vegetable oil instead of butter.
Even as a long-time baker, they’re still one of my favorite things to make because they are so fast to make and the whole family loves snacking on them.
Prepping the zucchini
Zucchini muffins and other baked goods are the perfect opportunity to use those giant zucchini from the garden.
You know what I’m talking about. The zucchini that get lost under all of the leaves and end up being as long as your arm.
The texture on those bigger zucchini isn’t great for things like air fryer zucchini chips, but it’s perfect for muffins and breads!
You will want to finely grate your zucchini for these muffins. I use the smallest shredding side of my box grater for this.
Don’t worry about wringing out the zucchini – we want the added moisture in this case.
- Make sure you know how to measure flour correctly before you get started. That will put you one step closer to perfect zucchini muffins every time.
- Out of brown sugar? No problem. Whip up a quick and easy brown sugar substitute.
- Did your brown sugar harden in the pantry? Check out my tips for how to soften brown sugar and save yourself a trip to the grocery store.
Making these zucchini muffins
This recipe makes 24 muffins, so line 24 standard-size muffin cups with paper liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, oil, sugars, and vanilla. Pour this into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Fold in the finely grated zucchini until evenly distributed into the batter. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups, then sprinkle the tops with some coarse sugar.
Bake the zucchini muffins at 425°F for 10 minutes. Without opening the oven door/removing the muffins, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and continue baking for another 6-7 minutes.
The muffins are done when golden brown and a tester inserted into the centers comes out clean.
Let the zucchini muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.
STORAGE AND FREEZING
Store your zucchini muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
You can also freeze them for quick snacks and breakfasts later on. Store them in a zip-top freezer bag in the freezer for up to 2 months.
When you’re ready to enjoy one, you can let it thaw at room temperature – it shouldn’t take more than an hour – or microwave it for 30-60 seconds to both thaw and reheat it.
Can I use frozen zucchini instead of fresh?
If you have grated frozen zucchini on hand, feel free to use it in these zucchini muffins.
When using frozen zucchini, let it thaw completely, then place it in a colander to drain off any pooling liquid. Don’t wring it or press the rest of the moisture out of the zucchini though. We just don’t want the zucchini to be excessively wet.
Can I make mini muffins or jumbo muffins with this recipe?
Yes, you could definitely use this batter to make mini or jumbo zucchini muffins. If making jumbo muffins, you should get about 12. If making mini muffins, you should get at least 48.
Note that your baking time will differ if you change the size of the muffins.
Start them at 425°F – turn on the oven light, and watch for when the tops of the muffins have risen. At that point, turn the temperature down to 350°F (don’t open the oven door) and continue baking until the zucchini muffins are golden and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup light brown sugar lightly packed
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups finely grated zucchini no need to wring out
- coarse sugar optional, for topping
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners, or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, sugars and vanilla. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the zucchini until evenly incorporated.
- Place muffins in preheated oven and bake at 425°F for 10 minutes. Leave the muffins in the oven and the oven door closed and reduce the heat to 350°F and continue baking for an additional 6-7 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown and cooked through. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 5 minutes then place the muffins on a wire rack to cool completely.