It’s summer squash season, and the piles of fresh zucchini are starting to lose their novelty. So when I’m staring at a fridge full of squash or a zucchini the size of my leg, I usually resort to shredding and hiding them in baked goods. Or at the very least, shredding and hiding them in the freezer for a snowy day.
I used black cocoa powder, which is basically Dutch-processed cocoa taken a step further so that it’s even darker and less bitter. It’s great to have on hand if you want baked goods with a mellow chocolate flavor and super dark color, i.e. Oreo-type cookies or ice cream sandwiches.
A note on cocoa powder: You can usually use natural cocoa powder in place of Dutch (NOT vice versa, at least for cakes and cookies). But be warned that the natural acidity will react with the baking soda in this recipe and your muffins will have a reddish tint, like Devil’s Food cake. And I can’t promise they won’t be a little taller or flatter than they should be, since I haven’t made that substitution in this particular recipe.
Finally, I find that coconut oil makes these extra delicious and “healthier,” giving us all the more reason to eat cake for breakfast. You’re welcome.
A delicious, kid-friendly way to use up extra zucchini.
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup white flour
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder ("black" cocoa powder if you have it)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin coconut oil (I like Nutiva)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 pound zucchini (1 cup grated)
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- Electric mixer
- 12-cup muffin tin
- Cupcake liners
- Preheat oven to 350F and coarsely grate zucchini. If you're using a big monster zucchini, scrape out the seeds first.
- Whisk together flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Beat together sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla using an electric mixer until creamy, about 3 minutes.
- At low speed, mix in flour mixture until just incorporated. Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips.
- Divide among 12 lined muffin cups and bake until tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 30 minutes.
- Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove from pan to cool completely.