Zucchini Cupcakes

by Sarah on July 26, 2011

I made these cupcakes because I screwed up some other cupcakes I was making. Seriously. I was at a loss. Guido reminded me that I had a big bowl of grated zucchini in the fridge so I checked the interwebs and got to work.

The recipe I used for the cake was by a friend, Garrett over at Vanilla Garlic.  He’s got a way with baked goods.

They were AMAZING.  I really liked that Garrett used turbinado, or raw, sugar in place of white sugar.  I ended up using half turbinado, half brown sugar because that was all I had in the house.  But the occasional crunch of a kernel of sugar was unexpected and kind of great.

To put things over the top, I injected them with some of my homemade Asian pear-ginger butter that I made last summer.

I use this cream cheese frosting recipe for everything.  I’ve been known to happily eat all the leftovers with a spoon.  And then feel really guilty about eating it all.

Seriously, these were so good, I contemplated making another batch of them the next day.  I didn’t, because it was likely that I wouldn’t fit into my jeans, but there’s still time.  And zucchini.

Now, I can’t really give you the recipe for the Asian pear butter, because it was an experiment.  You can just omit that step or use purchased apple or pear butter.  Sorry.  When my Asian pears are ripe, I plan on attempting a re-creation.  I’ll write down the recipe this time, I promise.

You should try these cupcakes, whether or not you have an abundance of zucchini.  Even if you have to go buy some at the store or farmer’s market.  Get them, make these.  You will rejoice and have a smile on your face for the remainder of the day.

Vanilla Garlic's Zucchini Cupcakes


  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups of turbinado sugar (I used half turbinado, half brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 3 cups of grated zucchini
  • 3/4 cup of raisins, currants or sultans (I didn't use these)


  • 1) Preheat oven to 350*. Combine in a large bowl the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Make a well in the center.
  • 2) Whisk together the oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Pour into the dry ingredients and combine together. Batter will be very thick.
  • 3) Add the zucchini and raisins, currants or what have you. The batter will gain more moisture and will become more workable. Scoop into cupcake papers a little over 1/2 full.
  • 4) Bake for 18-24 minutes, being sure to rotate the pan after the first 15 minutes of baking. If a toothpick comes out clean when testing the cupcakes, they're done. Place on a wire rack to cool. (I baked using the convection setting, 18 minutes was perfect)
  • If using the apple or pear butter, pour it into a squeeze bottle. Using the tip of the squeeze bottle, poke the tip through the top of the cupcake and squeeze about 1 Tbsp or so of apple or pear butter into the cupcake.


Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla


  • In a mixer, thoroughly mix the butter and cream cheese. Add sugar, lemon juice and vanilla. Mix again.
  • (This recipe makes a LOT of frosting. You might want to halve it for the zucchini cupcakes recipe)

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