Chocolate Zucchini Muffin Tops

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 19 votes

These vegan chocolate zucchini muffin tops are tender, moist, naturally sweetened with maple syrup, and grain-free! Made with 10 ingredients, including almond flour, cocoa powder, almond butter, and shredded zucchini. You might be surprised at how decadent these are.

A 3/4 angle shot of chocolate zucchini muffin tops on a white parchment background.
A 3/4 angle shot of dark brown cookie-like muffin tops on a white speckled plate. A small glass of cashew milk is seen to the side.
An overhead shot of ingredients for a vegan zucchini recipe.
Two images show a bag of chocolate chips emptying onto the table and some shredded zucchini wrapped up in a blue napkin.

Swimming in zucchini and wondering how you can enjoy that bounty with chocolate? I got you. These double chocolate zucchini muffin tops are a dream. So chocolatey, amazingly grain-free, and obviously vegan! The base is almond flour, almond butter and maple syrup, but I offer some nut-free substitution suggestions in the recipe notes for you too.

I love that these are like a soft little muffin top. They look like a cookie, but have that muffin-like tenderness that just feels nice and comforting. The richness of these borders on brownie levels of enjoyment with the added bonus of vegetables! These have all the goodness of healthy zucchini muffins, but it’s just the perfectly textured top and we also double up on the chocolate. Such a win! It’s a nice little treat with a hot coffee.

If you’re looking for a more traditional zucchini treat, my Spelt Zucchini Bread with Warm Spices & Chocolate should do the trick. And if you’re like 50% of the people that I follow on social media, you might be ready for Vegan Spelt Pumpkin Bread at this point. Personally, I’m not there yet! I’ve been testing some apple, pumpkin, and squash treats though ;)

Leftovers of these should keep for about 3 days, but it’s important to not wrap these too tightly. They’re a little too soft ‘n’ tender for that. Wrap them up, give them a tiny bit of air flow, and all will be good. I used the new Evolved vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips for these and can confirm that they are delicious! Almost a fudgy texture.

An overhead, up close shot of a chocolate zucchini muffin top batter coming together in a white bowl.
An overhead shot of chocolate zucchini muffin tops on a white parchment background.
Overhead image shows a pair of hands breaking open a dark chocolate cookie-like treat.
A 3/4 angle shot of dark brown cookie-like muffin tops on a white speckled plate. One of them is split open, revealing a fudgy interior texture.

Chocolate Zucchini Muffin Tops

These vegan chocolate zucchini muffin tops are tender, moist, naturally sweetened with maple syrup, and grain-free! Made with 10 ingredients, including almond flour, cocoa powder, almond butter, and shredded zucchini, you might be surprised at how decadent these are.
5 from 19 votes
A 3/4 angle shot of chocolate zucchini muffin tops on a white parchment background.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 24 minutes
Total Time: 39 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 ¼ cups almond flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon teaspoon baking soda
  • cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons smooth almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini, thoroughly squeezed in a kitchen towel to get the excess moisture out
  • ½ cup dairy-free chocolate chips

Notes

  • You could use any well-stirred nut/seed butter in place of the almond.
  • Similar to above, if you can’t tolerate almonds, you can swap in finely ground sunflower seed meal for the almond flour. Any nut or seed-based flour will work here.
  • Really, really squeeze the moisture out of that zucchini :)
  • I know what some of you are wondering: do I really need the 1 tablespoon of oil? Well, I tested versions with and without, and personally preferred the texture of the exterior with the oil in place.

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine the ground flax and water. Give it a little stir and then set aside for 5 minutes to gel.
  • In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, cocoa powder, sea salt, and baking soda. Whisk together until evenly mixed.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the maple syrup, almond butter, coconut oil, vanilla, and the flax gel mixture. Whisk this mixture together until evenly combined.
  • Add the maple syrup mixture to the almond flour mixture. Add the shredded + wrung out zucchini and chocolate chips to the bowl as well. Using a spatula, Fold everything together until evenly combined. The batter will be very thick!
  • Using a ¼ cup measure, scoop out even portions of the batter and transfer to the prepared baking sheet with a spatula, a spoon, or your finger. Give each pile of batter about 2 inches of space.
  • Once you’ve portioned out all of the batter, moisten your finger with some water and smooth each portion out so that you have some nice, even mounds.
  • Bake the double chocolate zucchini muffin tops for 24 minutes, rotating the baking sheet at the halfway point. The finished muffin tops will be dry to the touch on top.
  • Let the muffin tops cool completely before enjoying. Leftover muffin tops store well in a tin or other container that isn’t 100% airtight. Loosely wrapping in Beeswrap or tin foil is also great. These babies are soft!
Image shows a hand holding a chocolate zucchini muffin top against a grey background.
25/08/2021 (Last Updated 02/03/2024)
Posted in: autumn, breakfast, dessert, gluten free, grain-free, snack, spring, summer, sweet, vegan, winter

25 comments

Recipe Rating




  • andrea kinsey

    These were a hit! grated the zucchini very tiny so my 2 fussy veggie avoiders would not notice.  did not tell them. they want them again! even my fussy college kid wants a batch for her freezer. warmed them once with a scoop of vanilla icecream.  amazing!  made exactly as written.  thank you for this!

  • Stephanie M.

    5 stars
    Made these this morning for breakfast and they were a huge hit! They are definitely getting added into regular rotation. 

  • Danielle

    Love how you call these muffin tops and not cookies lol, better description of size and texture :)

  • Sue

    5 stars
    Family loved these! Thanks 

  • Anna

    5 stars
    I made 2/3 of the recipe as muffins and 1/3 as cookies and my family of 5 actually all preferred the muffins, although the muffin tops were good too. Thanks for a great gf muffin/cookie option!!

  • Katrina

    5 stars
    Can’t wait to try these! I know they are going to be amazing, like everything you make! 
    Do you suggest the regular grate size or do you think I could pull off the smaller grate size for the zucchini to make them virtually disappear for tiny people on the hunt for green veggies in everything. 

    • Laura

      Hi Katrina!
      I think you would get the same results if you grated the zucchini finer.
      -L

  • Nancy Ball

    5 stars
    These are delicious! So fudgy and moist.

  • Brenna

    5 stars
    Holy. Shit. Used Diaspora’s Cacao and these are pure magic

  • B

    5 stars
    Made these with one important change.  I never like wringing out zucchini, both because it’s a bit of messy trouble and I don’t like losing the nutrients in the liquid.  So I omitted the water in the recipe and stirred the flax (I used ground chia seeds instead) directly into the maple syrup instead. After you lightly stir the zucchini shreds into the batter, let it sit a few minutes, then mix them in to the batter with the chocolate chips. The wait helps distribute the liquid through the batter more evenly.  I’ve made these twice with this change, and they were delicious both times. Not too wet or too dry; I urge you to try it this way.  We prefer them in actual muffin shape instead of ‘muffin top’, which looked more like cookies than muffin top; I’ve also used instant pot silicone egg bites mold (makes 7 adorable little half moon size) baked in oven.  Wasn’t sure I had enough almond flour, so I used 1/2 cup of pecan meal and 3/4 cup almond flour in mine. These are some of the best muffins I’ve ever made.  Rich chocolate yumminess. Tastes more like cake than muffin.  And for those who don’t like to know something green is in their baked good, we can’t tell there’s any zucchini in this. Thanks for the idea, Laura.

  • Jennifer

    5 stars
    I’ve already made several loaves of zucchini bread this summer, so these muffin tops are a great change! They are delicious–rich, but not too heavy. Will be making again!

  • Camille Guertin

    5 stars
    These are the best!!!!! :) my husband and I ate a whole batch in a day (oops)! And I made them again 3 days later hahaha
    Used tahini instead of the almond butter and they were delicious! 

  • Laura

    5 stars
    Made these yesterday and they are phenomenal! Like a fudgy brownie. Love them right out of the freezer too! 

  • Anna

    5 stars
    Loved! H8 to be ~that person~ to mod your carefully tested recipe but I used tahini instead of almond butter and did 1/2 choco chips 1/2 walnuts and they still turned out delish!

  • Samantha

    5 stars
    Wowie!! These decadent morsels will not last long in our house. My chocolate obsessed fiancé practically fainted when I pulled them out of the oven. Yay for using garden produce to create something wholesome and yummy!

  • Sarah

    5 stars
    I made these today and doubled the recipe for my sons play date and they were a huge hit with the kids and the moms! So fudgey and delicious! I read a comment saying that the zucchini should be measured before squeezing… I measured after so there was a lot of zucchini, but STILL DELICIOUS! 

  • Sarah

    5 stars
    I’ve been struggling to manage the deluge of garden zucchinis I have at the moment, and the arrival of this cookie recipe felt like divine intervention. Equal parts sweet pillows of fudgy chocolatey cake and delicately crisp cookie, this recipe satisfies on a fundamental level. I took a minor liberty and tossed a bit of Maldon sea salt flake on top before baking. Outstanding!  

  • Linda Morris

    Do I measure the zucchini before, or after, I squeeze the liquid out out?

    • Laura

      Hi Linda, measure it before squeezing!-L

  • Liz

    Also meant to add that I cut baking time down to 15 min :)

  • Liz

    5 stars
    These were terrific! I didn’t have almond flour, so subbed with half the amount of APF. My 6-yr-old said “Mom, you did a really good job on these” :) Will absolutely make again, and look forward to trying the true recipe. Thanks, Laura!

  • M

    May we please have the nutrition profile on these?

  • Angie

    5 stars
    Wow these look amazing! Cant wait to try them out :)

  • Mary Anne

    This recipe looks wonderful, except the oil. Coconut oil is on the ‘no’ list for me. Could you suggest a different oil?

    • Laura

      Hi Mary Anne,
      You could use any oil that you like really. Olive (if you don’t mind the taste), sunflower, avocado or grape seed would all work.
      -L