Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

I posted this recipe in anticipation of zucchini season. Otherwise known as, "what on earth am I going to do with all this zucchini season?", this recipe is a great way to enjoy a bountiful zucchini harvest. The coconut oil adds additional richness to the cupcakes, but if you aren't a huge coconut fan I suggest you use only vegetable oil instead.

I found this recipe on one of my favorite food blogs, 101 Cookbooks. I haven't changed the recipe much, but do be careful about cupcake baking time. The zucchini makes these cupcakes moist and fluffy, but over baking leads to a drier result. I found that I could make 24 cupcakes from one batch (instead of 20 listed in the recipe) but that also meant that I pulled cupcakes much sooner than listed (20 minutes instead of 35). Keep in mind that you should try to slightly under bake these cupcakes as they will continue to cook when you pull them from the oven.

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes
Makes about 24 cupcakes

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
3/4 cup vegetable oil (I used 1/4 cup vegetable oil and 1/2 cup coconut oil)
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups grated zucchini (after grating I squeeze some of the excess moisture out of the zucchini with my hands)
1 cup chocolate chips
2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup cocoa, sifted
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

-Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Lightly grease large muffin pans and line with muffin cups. (I've also baked these without muffin cups).

-Mix sugar, butter, and oil in a medium bowl. Beat in eggs, one at a time until well incorporated. Stir in vanilla, buttermilk, zucchini, and chocolate chips.

-In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Spoon batter into muffin pans. Bake about 18-25 minutes (depending on cupcake size). Check cupcakes with a toothpick and pull them from the oven just before they're finished so they don't over bake.

-Can be served with or without frosting. I used Mocha Cream Cheese Frosting.

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