Friday, July 10, 2009

Zucchini Spice Cupcakes

After our giveaway, I was intrigued about Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes book. Since I rarely buy things for myself, I didn’t think twice about picking up a copy when I saw a great deal on them at Sam’s Club.

I pretty much made myself carsick the whole way home reading over all the recipes, flavor combos, and decorating ideas. (Thank you Boo for driving!) It wasn’t long before I knew which recipe I would try first. My friend Beth, gave me a BIG FAT zucchini. (Seriously, it was bigger than my forearm.) This recipe seemed like perfect excuse to bake a great way to use this healthy summer vegetable.

I love that these cupcakes are different from your average zucchini bread or muffins. They are most definitely cupcakes. Light, moist, fluffy, and frosted! And, did I mention, delicious? Because they are. So if you’re seeking an alternative for zucchini in baked goods, try these cupcakes!


Zucchini Spice Cupcakes

from Martha Stewart Cupcakes
Yields: 24 cupcakes (I got 18 regular cupcakes and 24 mini cupcakes, with some batter left over)


3 cups all purpose flour (I subbed 3/4 of this with whole wheat pastry flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 cups packed light brown suga
3 cups packed grated zucchini
1 cup walnuts (about 3 ounces), toasted and coarsely chopped

(note: this yielded MUCH more frosting than I needed for the cupcakes. You could reduce it by 1/2 if you're a conservative froster, or by 1/3 if you're a generous froster and want some leftover)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) confectioner's sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. In another bowl, whisk together oil, eggs, vanilla, and zest until well blended; whisk in brown sugar until smooth. Stir in zucchini, then add flour mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in walnuts.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

To finish, use an offset spatula to spread cupcakes with frosting. Refrigerate up to 3 days in airtight containers; bring to room temperature before serving.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, and then vanilla, and mix until smooth and combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 3 days in an airtight container; before using bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again.

PS. Check out my friend Beth’s blog to see what she did with some of the zucchini she didn’t give me!

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