Vegan Zucchini Muffins

By Jessica Hylton -

Vegan Zucchini Muffins are equal parts tender, fluffy, and moist. These easy make ahead muffins are a quick yet delicious breakfast that you’ll want to treat yourself to over and over again!

Zucchini muffin with a bite taken out of it.

I don’t know about you, but I am a big believer in the power of a good breakfast. Starting off the day with a filling meal gives you the necessary energy to tackle the packed schedule ahead of you!

There are so many great options to fall back on: pancakes, waffles, a bowl of oatmeal, tofu scramble, quinoa bars, etc. My go-to breakfast option, though, is usually muffins. Specifically, these Vegan Zucchini Muffins. They’re really easy to make, they’re the perfect amount of moist and the perfect crumb texture, and so fluffy!

Zucchini muffins in a muffin pan.

These Are the Best Vegan Zucchini Muffins: Why You’ll Love Them

  • They’re Made with Lots of Veggies: These muffins are made with ingredients such as freshly grated zucchini (that you can pick right out of your garden if you’re growing it!) and applesauce. Making zucchini muffins will give you a sweet start to the day that will feel indulgent, but really isn’t!
  • They’re Make-Ahead: I know I already touched on this, but it’s a really great quality! This recipe makes 10 muffins, so I like to prepare them on Sunday afternoon or evening. Once they’ve cooled, we have the question of ‘what’s for breakfast?’ solved for the rest of the week.
  • They’re Quick: You can make these muffins on relatively short notice. All you have to do is round up the ingredients, mix the batter together, bake for 8 minutes, let the muffins cool, and then you can call it a day!
  • You Can Customize Them! Don’t feel like you have to stick 100% to the original recipe. While I do recommend keeping the current measurements the same, throwing in some vegan chocolate chunks or chopped pecans isn’t a bad idea. You might even say it’s encouraged!
Ingredients for healthy vegan zucchini muffins.

Notes on Ingredients

  • Sugar: I used organic cane sugar for this recipe. If you don’t have any, granulated sugar is fine as a substitute.
  • Oil: If you’re using coconut oil, make sure that you melt it before starting.
  • Vanilla Extract: For extra sweet flavor. Vanilla bean paste also works well.
  • Flour: I used all-purpose flour, sifted. Weighing out your flour is the most accurate way to measure it, but if you don’t have a scale, spoon it into your measuring cup so that you don’t pack in too much.
  • Baking Powder: To ensure that your muffins rise up nice and tall.
  • Salt: I like to put sea salt in this recipe.
  • Spices: Today we’ll use a mixture of cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and ground allspice.
  • Applesauce: This is a replacement for the eggs that most muffin recipes contain. Walnuts: These are optional, but if you include them, make sure they are chopped and toasted.
  • Grated Zucchini: Do not press or drain your fresh zucchini.

How to Make Vegan Zucchini Muffins

Like I mentioned above, making zucchini muffins is super easy – anyone can do it! First you’ll toast the walnuts, then you’ll mix the batter together, bake, and lastly you’ll let these beautiful muffins cool. It’s really that simple!

Preheat the Oven to 425°F/220°C: Spray a muffin pan with non-stick flour spray or rub with vegan butter, or line with muffin/cupcake liners.

Combine the Sugar, Oil & Vanilla: In a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, add the sugar, oil and vanilla extract. Mix together with a whisk for about 2-3 minutes on low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides as needed.

Sugar, oil, and vanilla extract in a bowl.

Combine Dry Ingredients: In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, sea salt, cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and ground allspice. Add into the wet ingredients for a minute on medium speed until just incorporated, typically less than a minute. The batter will be thick and dry (this is normal at this stage). Scrape down the sides again.

Mix in the Zucchini: Add in the applesauce, grated zucchini and the walnuts until incorporated. Let the batter rest for about 10 minutes until the zucchini releases some more liquid, then stir again. The batter will still be thick, but a lot more smooth now and more liquidy.

Prepare the Muffin Pan: Scoop the muffin batter (I use a cookie scoop) equally into 10 muffin cups/holes. Fill the other two empty holes with a tablespoon or two of water each.

Zucchini muffin batter in a muffin pan.

Bake the Muffins: Bake for 8 minutes at 425°F/220°C, then reduce the temperature to 375°F/190°C degrees (don’t open the oven!) and bake for another 13 minutes until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let it cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Remove (I just use the same toothpick or a knife) and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Tips for Success

That’s just about it! Before you head on over to the kitchen, though, I’ve got some last minute tips that will ensure you get the best results with your vegan zucchini muffins:

  • Toasting the Walnuts: If you’re toasting the walnuts, do this part first. Toast the nuts in a lightly oiled pan over medium high heat for about 2-4 minutes until fragrant. Spread them onto a baking sheet or cutting board to cool. You can chop them before toasting, or after toasting.
  • Should I Peel the Zucchini? You can if you want to, but it’s definitely not necessary. I usually just rinse the zucchinis and then get to grating.
  • Use Fresh Baking Powder: Make sure your baking powder is not expired before you start – there’s no disappointment like baking a batch of muffins, only to find that they are sunken and dense once out of the oven!
  • The Best Way to Let Your Muffins Cool: Turn the muffins on their sides while cooling to help prevent the domes from collapsing.
  • A Fun Way to Serve These Muffins: You can enjoy these muffins as they are, or cut them in half height-wise, smother with vegan cream cheese frosting in the center, then eat them like a muffin sandwich!
Zucchini muffin in a peeled muffin wrapper.

How to Store Homemade Muffins

I like to store these homemade zucchini muffins in an airtight container, and keep them on the counter for 3-4 days, or in the fridge for 6-7 days.

Can I Freeze These?

Sure can! If you don’t want to store your muffins in the fridge or on the counter, save them in the freezer for 2-3 months. I generally use an airtight container or a tightly-sealed Ziploc bag. Make sure you thaw them in the fridge overnight before eating again.

Enjoy friends! If you make these Vegan Zucchini Muffins, please snap a photo and tag #jessicainthekitchen on Instagram! We’d also love it if you would leave a comment below, and give the recipe a rating! Thanks so much!

Zucchini muffins on a cooling rack.

Vegan Zucchini Muffins

Vegan Zucchini Muffins are equal parts tender, fluffy, and moist. These easy make ahead muffins are a quick yet delicious breakfast that you'll want to treat yourself to over and over again!
by: Jessica in the Kitchen
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 21 minutes
Total Time 46 minutes
Servings 10
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cane sugar (200g)
  • ½ cup oil (100g), if using coconut oil, ensure it’s melted but any oil works
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or paste
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (280g), sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 1 cup walnuts chopped and toasted (optional)
  • 1 cup grated zucchini (about 152g), do not press or drain
Instructions

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C. Spray a muffin pan with non-stick flour spray or rub with vegan butter, or line with muffin/cupcake liners.
  • In a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, add the sugar, oil and vanilla extract. Mix together with a whisk for about 2-3 minutes on low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides as needed.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, sea salt, cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and ground allspice. Add into the wet ingredients for a minute on medium speed until just incorporated, typically less than a minute. The batter will be thick and dry (this is normal at this stage). Scrape down the sides again.
  • Add in the applesauce, grated zucchini and the walnuts until incorporated. Let the batter rest for about 10 minutes until the zucchini releases some more liquid, then stir again. The batter will still be thick, but a lot more smooth now and more liquidy.
  • Scoop the muffin batter (I use a cookie scoop) equally into 10 muffin cups/holes. Fill the other two empty holes with a tablespoon or two of water each.
  • Bake for 8 minutes at 425°F/220°C, then reduce the temperature to 375°F/190°C degrees (don’t open the oven!) and bake for another 13 minutes until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and let it cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Remove (I just use the same toothpick or a knife) and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Turn the muffins on their sides while cooling to help prevent the domes from collapsing.
NOTES
*Makes 10 tall muffins
*Enjoy these muffins alone, or cut them in half height-wise, smother with vegan cream cheese frosting in the center, and eat them like a muffin sandwich!
 
  • Toasting the Walnuts: If you’re toasting the walnuts, do this part first. Toast the nuts in a lightly oiled pan over medium high heat for about 2-4 minutes until fragrant. Spread them onto a baking sheet or cutting board to cool. You can chop them before toasting, or after toasting.
  • Should I Peel the Zucchini? You can if you want to, but it’s definitely not necessary. I usually just rinse the zucchinis and then get to grating.
  • Use Fresh Baking Powder: Make sure your baking powder is not expired before you start – there’s no disappointment like baking a batch of muffins, only to find that they are sunken and dense once out of the oven!
  • The Best Way to Let Your Muffins Cool: Turn the muffins on their sides while cooling to help prevent the domes from collapsing.
  • A Fun Way to Serve These Muffins: You can enjoy these muffins as they are, or cut them in half height-wise, smother with vegan cream cheese frosting in the center, then eat them like a muffin sandwich!

Nutrition

Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 262mg | Potassium: 126mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 32IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 2mg
by Jessica

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Recipe Rating




12 comments

  1. 5 stars
    I add chopped pecans. Yes it’s not a bad idea.

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Haha we love adding chopped pecans too. Thank you for reading the post!

  2. Simone says:

    If I were to blend the zucchini instead of grating it, do you think that would make the batter too watery? If that’s the case, what should I cut back on? Its not that I’m trying to hide the zucchini as much as I’m not trying to let my 3 and 5 year old kids see the giant green flecks lol. They love all muffins as long as the veggies aren’t staring back at them.

    Thank you! I’m really excited to make this!

    • Hi Simone,

      Hmm I probably wouldn’t blend these – it would also change the overall colour of the muffins to more green/muddy colour which I’m not sure would appeal to your toddlers either. Maybe grate them, then cut them smaller?

  3. Deborah Wilso says:

    5 stars
    I tried Jessica’s recipe and I was delighted with the outcome of my baked muffins. My muffins were moist and very tasty. I yielded 10 muffins and store 5 in the freezer. The recipe was very easy. Thank you Jessica.

  4. Christine Gloeckner says:

    These look delicious! I would love to try adding cocoa powder to make these chocolate muffins. How much would you suggest adding?

    • Hi Christine,

      Thank you! Hmm, I haven’t tried it but you can probably sub 20g of flour for 20 grams of cocoa powder! That’s about ¼ cup of cocoa powder, and that way it doesn’t dry out! I hope that helps!

  5. Monika says:

    5 stars
    So good!!! I added 1/8 tsp. of cardamom with the spices and it added such a nice flavor. I liked that this was a no-nonsense recipe. It will be added to the rotation.

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Awesome thanks so much Monika! We’re so happy that you enjoyed it

  6. Courtney says:

    5 stars
    I have never cooked muffins like this before with starting with a higher temp and I LOVED it SO MUCH! they were delightfully Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside when I ate them fresh from the oven. and the flavor was on point. my whole family devoured these and we will absolutely be making them regularly because they were gone way too fast.

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Awesome Courtney! We’re so happy that you and your family liked it. Thank you so much for the review.

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