You know what I love more than anything? Those chocolate muffins from Costco that are the size of your head.
You know what don’t love more than anything? The fact that said muffins have about a bazillion calories in the muffin top alone (and really, who puts that much effort into eating the stump?) Seriously though, I did a little digging and those babies clock in at nearly 700 calories a piece. That’s madness!
In search of a sweet treat the other day, Lincoln and I headed over to my parents house (parents always have something good to nibble on, no?) where I found some freshly baked Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread sitting on the counter. SCORE. The bread was dense, it was moist, and most importantly, it was packed with two types of chocolate.
I demanded the recipe from my Mom then tweaked a few ingredients to cut out some fat and sugar, and then baked ’em up hot and fresh as Healthier Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins. You guys, these muffins are insane. Pretty much cupcake level, but there’s absolutely no need for icing here!
You would never guess these double chocolate zucchini muffins are made healthier than store-bought by swapping out extra oil for unsweetened applesauce, reducing the amount of sugar from the original recipe, and sneaking in fresh-grated zucchini which keep the muffins ultra-moist and squishy – and adds a boost of veggie goodness.
The recipe comes at a perfect time, too, because if you’re anything like me and my Mom, your kitchen counter is littered with zucchini plucked from your own garden, your neighbor’s garden, your friend’s cousin’s grandma’s garden. Everyone’s trying to unload. It’s definitely zucchini season!
Studded with sweet chocolate chips, these Healthier Double Chocolate Muffins taste just as decadent as muffins made with more fat and sugar. Enjoy warm out of the oven while the chocolate chips are still melty for a seriously Heavenly experience.
Start the Healthier Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins by mixing together 1/2 cup softened butter, 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce, and 1 cup sugar in a large bowl. I rarely bake these days without swapping vegetable oil, which the original recipe called for, for unsweetened applesauce. You cannot tell the difference and think of all the calories you save.
Next mix in 2 eggs, 1/2 cup buttermilk (which also contributes to the lusciousness of these muffins) and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix together 2-1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend or all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon each baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in 3 batches.
Finally add in 2 cups shredded zucchini, and 1 cup chocolate chips. Double chocolate, FTW!
Scoop the batter into nonstick sprayed muffin liners until they’re 3/4 of the way full. I use an ice cream scoop to make sure they’re all filled to the exact same level.
Bake for 15-17 minutes at 325 then devour these delicious (healthier) double chocolate zucchini muffins!
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Healthier Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
Healthier Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins taste just as decadent as sugary, full-fat muffins!
- 1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2-1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend OR all-purpose flour (muffins will not be GF if using AP flour)
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups shredded zucchini
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a muffin tin with liners then lightly spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Beat butter, unsweetened applesauce, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Mixture will look curdled. Add eggs then mix to combine. Add vanilla and buttermilk then mix to combine.
- In a separate bowl stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in 3 batches, mixing until just combined before adding the next batch. Add zucchini and chocolate chips then mix until just combined.
- Scoop batter into liners filling 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in muffin tin for 3 minutes then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
These are the type of muffins that are so luscious that they’re almost sticky on top, you know what I mean? So incredible. Hope you enjoy!
They turned out absolutely fabulous! I could not have found a better recipe to substitute stevia in. The flavour is very well balanced, and the moisture and texture are perfect. I tried and failed at another recipe recently and wasn’t sure I wanted to make another go of it, but I’m so glad I did! Note: I used a larger muffin pan, so it made 12 muffins, which needed to bake for 30-33 minutes instead of the 15-17. I calculated that there are 285 Calories per (large) Muffin, 33 Grams of Carbohydrate, 16 Grams of Fat and 5 Grams of Protein and 4 grams of Sugar.
I just made these, substituting 1 tsp Stevia for the 1 Cup Sugar, and 2 1/2 cups of a flour mix (3 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour, 1 Cup Brown Rice Flour and 1 Cup Quick Cooking Oats). I used semi-sweet mini chocolate chips. They are in the oven now. I’m holding my breathe!
Just got around to making these on Sunday and SO DELISH! Great with or without the chocolate chips too – forgot to add to batter so put some on top. Yum. = )
I made a batch of these and everyone went completely bananas over them. My vegan friend and my anti-vegetable boyfriend both housed two each in a sitting. I’m sharing far and wide – thanks!
Kate K. 09.20.2013
Oooooh!!! I made these earlier this week and they turned out amazing! Thanks for the recipe – my husband and I have been chomping on them all week. We also found that they freeze really well; since it’s just the two of us, I froze half of them and we’ve already defrosted quite a few! Also, I figured out the calorie content – I estimate that they are about 230 calories a piece (although I made 18 muffins, not 21). Thanks again!!!!
These are so good! I just made them this morning and have devoured one. Thanks for the recipe! They are so light and fluffy and not at all “door stoppers” (as my dad likes to call hardened or too heavy baked goods).
Anne [A Squared] 09.17.2013
Zucchini is such a great sneaky healthy ingredient. Can’t wait to make these!
I noticed in your pictures that you used both foil and paper muffin liners. Is that personal preference or a baking rule everybody know except me? BTW you have the most beautiful baby boy! Love seeing the pics.
Iowa Girl Eats 09.14.2013
The liners actually came like that!
Averie @ Averie Cooks 09.13.2013
Your muffins look wonderful! I love baking with zucchini b/c it adds so much moisture and keeps everything so nice and soft! And with the chocolate, mmm, so good! Never would guess they’re on the healthier side. Pinned!
Amy H. 09.12.2013
Is that imitation vanilla? Say it isn’t so!
Celeste O 09.12.2013
I have to run to the store and buy some zucchini. :) These look delicious!
I just baked these last night and they turned out sooo delicious! I actually only used 1 of the little snack cups of natural applesauce but my zucchini was pretty watery. That explained why the batter was so thick! But they still turned out great! I’ll have to substitute applesauce for oil more often.
Jan @ Sprouts n Squats 09.12.2013
Yum these look so damn good!! :)
Greg Hankins 09.11.2013
We have a similar recipe for a double chocolate sheet cake. We switch out the eggs with 4 tsp flax seed and 2 TBS water, and use sour milk because we rarely have buttermilk on hand. Save some of the chocolate chips from the batter (we use semisweet) to sprinkle on the top of the muffin, along with a bit of turbinado sugar.
Greg Hankins 09.12.2013
I forgot – we also add 1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon, cloves and ginger to the batter. It gives it that extra special taste.
Julie H. 09.11.2013
I made these today after I read the post this morning….. YUM!!! So delicious :) and I love the applesauce substitution. I will be doing that a lot more often for all sorts of treats. Love your blog and all your delicious recipes :) THanks!
Heather McClees 09.11.2013
Well don’t these just look yummy!?:) Oh and you look fabulous by the way!:) That sweet little one of yours gets his looks honest!:) I’ve truly enjoyed watching your exciting new journey!:) Hope you are well and love these muffins!!
As an FYI, you cannot sub whole wheat flour for white flour in baked goods. It will make the muffins dense and give off a bitter taste.
I seriously was just googling “healthy zuchini recipes” and nothing looked great – but then I saw your site and recipe – we have a very large zuke to use tonight!
Not sure if they still have it on the menu, but the DM Art Center’s lunch cafe had a TO DIE for chocolate zucchini cake available by the slice for dessert. I’m sure it’s not a healthier version, but it’s totally worth it!
This recipe was very timely…I had just taken out a package of shredded zucchini to make your other zucchini muffin recipe today. The chocolate zucchini muffins are wonderful ! My kids love to snack on any kind of muffin so I try to make them healthy and tasty. I subbed plain greek yogurt for the buttermilk and coconut palm sugar for white sugar. This recipe is a keeper and kid tested and approved !