Perfectly spiced Vegan Zucchini Muffins with your choice of nuts and raisins or chocolate chips. They are fluffy, moist and hearty with perfectly domed muffin tops!
Adapted from my very popular vegan zucchini bread recipe, these Vegan Zucchini Muffins are moist, perfectly spiced, fluffy and super delicious.
Add your choice of either nuts and raisins or chocolate chips to the batter and use my no-fail technique for perfectly domed muffin tops. Remember the one I used in my vegan strawberry muffins and vegan lemon muffins?
You'll be enjoying delicious muffins in no time at all. I highly recommend splitting and spreading them with a generous schmear of vegan butter!
Zucchini adds lots of moisture to the batter and ensures the muffins stay soft and moist for days. The flavour works so well with sugar and spices, not to mention that it's a great way to use your surplus summer zucchini.
Here is what you will be needing to make perfect vegan zucchini muffins and why:
- Zucchini (courgette)- Unlike most zucchini muffin recipes you do not need to squeeze out the liquid. We make up for it by reducing other added liquids instead which makes it so much quicker and easier. Tip – Use the grater attachment on your food processor to make grating zucchini a breeze.
- Flour – You can use all-purpose flour, spelt flour or wholewheat flour in this recipe.
- Baking powder – To make the muffins nice and fluffy.
- Baking soda and apple cider vinegar – To create a chemical reaction between the alkaline baking soda and the acid vinegar. This is important in an eggless muffin recipe because it creates lots of bubbles and lift and replaces the leavening you would get from eggs in a non-vegan recipe.
- Sugar – Adds structure and sweetness. White sugar, cane sugar, turbinado sugar, coconut sugar and brown sugar are all fine. Just use whatever you have in the pantry. Don’t replace the sugar with a liquid sweetener as that will make the liquid to dry ratio off and create soggy muffins.
- Ground flax – Binds and also soaks up some of the zucchini moisture.
- Cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, vanilla – Flavour, flavour, flavour!
- Oil – Oil is a fat and is what produces a soft, cake-y crumb. It also acts as a preservative. Any oil you like is fine to use. Light olive oil, avocado oil, liquid coconut oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, vegetable oil etc. Don’t replace it with vegan butter in this recipe. Vegan butter is not 100% fat and you would need to use more to get a similar result. I haven’t tested to see how much more so I don’t advise winging it. An oil-free option is also included.
- Plant milk – To bring everything together. Any is fine although I recommend an unsweetened one to avoid making the bread too sweet. Don’t be tempted to use water instead of milk. The muffins will end up flat and heavy without it.
- Golden raisins and walnuts, or chocolate chips– Your choice! I always go for the nut and raisin option. These add-ins add texture, flavour and interest and work so well with the zucchini. Pecans make a great alternative to walnuts.
There is also the option to add vegan streusel to the tops of the muffins if you like your baked goods EXTRA and it works so well with this recipe. Highly recommend!
How to make vegan zucchini muffins
Vegan Zucchini Muffins are really easy to make. Here's how:
- Grate the zucchini and mix it with the other wet ingredients.
- Whisk the dry ingredients together.
- Add the wet to the dry.
- Fold together then add the nuts and raisins.
5. Spoon into a muffin pan, top with a sprinkle of sugar for a crusty sugary top, then bake.
Take note of these tips for perfect vegan zucchini muffins every time:
- Weigh the ingredients with a digital scale for the very best results. Cups are not accurate enough for good and consistent results.
- My tips for perfectly domed muffin tops? The batter needs to be thick. The thicker it is, the taller and puffier the muffin will be, so don't add any extra liquid! Combine the thick batter with my high-temperature trick and you are virtually guaranteed nice muffin tops.
- Muffins need an initial, very hot blast in the oven. This creates steam that will raise those muffin tops right up from the inside out. Then you need to turn them down after 5 minutes so that the insides cook through more gently. That’s my temperature trick and it really works so don’t skip it!
- Do you know how most recipes and “muffin experts,” say to only fill the wells two-thirds or three-quarters full? Well, we are breaking all the rules and are going to fill them all the way to the top. Ain’t no-one got time for tiny muffins. If you’re going to muffin you need to go big or go home. Plus it helps with the aforementioned muffin tops. And they won't overflow because of the initial high temperature.
- Do not over-mix the batter. Just mix until you can’t see any dry flour. Resist the urge to stir or beat the batter until it is smooth and lump-free. Some small lumps are fine.
- Mixing the wet and dry ingredients separately as instructed, before adding them all together helps avoid accidentally over-mixing.
- How can you tell when muffins are cooked properly? You can use the toothpick test. Stick it in the centre of a muffin and if it comes out clean then they are done.
To make oil-free
To make these vegan zucchini muffins oil-free, replace the oil with the same amount of drippy nut butter. Cashew butter is my choice in cakes as it is mild and buttery in flavour. I find the easiest way to incorporate the nut butter is to blend it with the milk before I start. Add an extra 2 tablespoons of plant milk as nut butter is much thicker and less liquidy than oil. The batter is supposed to be very, very, thick and will loosen as the zucchini lets out its moisture so don’t add any more milk than that.
How to store muffins
You went to the trouble of baking your own muffins, and if you have leftovers it’s important you know how to store them for optimum freshness.
The most important thing is to let them cool completely on a wire rack before storing them. If there is any warmth in them at all, as soon as they go into a sealed container condensation will happen, and that means damp muffins.
Once they are completely cool, you will need an airtight container and some paper towels. As muffins age, the moisture inside them rises to the surface and can make them wet. By packing them up with some paper towels laid out underneath and another layer on top, you can avoid this. Just keep an eye on them and if the paper towels get a little moist, replace them with fresh.
How to refresh muffins
Refresh older muffins to fresh from the oven status. Simply place on a baking tray in the oven at 350°F (175 °C) for about 7 minutes. They will come out good as new!
How to freeze muffins
Need to store leftover vegan zucchini muffins for more than a couple of days? Then the freezer is your best option. Muffins freeze extremely well for up to 3 months. Pop them into a freezer bag or a freezer-safe container and place carefully in the freezer. When you want them, remove from the freezer and let them defrost for a couple of hours at room temperature. You can make them taste oven-fresh again by warming them gently in the oven at 350°F (175 °C) for about 7 minutes.
The easiest way to grate zucchini is to use the grating attachment that comes with a food processor. It makes short work of it and is done in seconds. If you don’t have a food processor simply use a cheese grater instead. I recommend using the side with the large shredding holes.
There is no need to peel the zucchini. The skin is soft and softens, even more, when baking. It’s also full of nutrition and adds pretty little green flecks in your finished muffins.
Vegan Zucchini MuffinsAuthor:
- 1½ packed cups (310 grams) grated zucchini / courgette
- ½ cup and 2 tablespoons (150 mls) plant milk , unsweetened
- ½ cup (120 mls) liquid oil such as light olive oil, avocado oil, melted coconut oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, vegetable oil. (see recipe notes for oil-free option).
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2½ cups (312 grams) all purpose flour (plain flour in UK) , or spelt or wholewheat flour
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- slightly heaping ¼ teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda in the UK)
- 1 cup (200 grams) sugar , white, cane, brown or coconut (plus more for sprinkling)
- 2½ tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¾ teaspoon fine salt
- heaping ½ cup (100 grams) golden raisins or sultanas
- heaping ½ cup (82 grams) walnuts or pecans
- OR 1 heaping cup (180 grams) dairy-free chocolate chips , instead of the nuts & raisins
- 1 batch vegan streusel , for topping the muffins
- Preheat oven to 425 °F (220 °C) and grease or line a 12 well muffin pan.
- Grate the zucchini and put it in a medium bowl. I use the grating attachment on my food processor to make it super quick and easy.
- To the grated zucchini add the plant milk, oil, apple cider vinegar and vanilla extract and stir them together well.
- To another large bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, ground flax, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Whisk to combine.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir together with a spatula until just combined. It's a stiff batter but will loosen up as you stir and the zucchini releases its moisture. Don't be tempted to add more liquid.
- Add the nuts and raisins (or chocolate chips) to the batter and fold them through.
- Spoon into the prepared muffin pan. I use an ice cream scoop so I end up with the same amount in each well. Fill right to the top then sprinkle a generous amount of sugar onto the top of each one. This gives them a delicious, crunchy sugary top. Or skip the sugar and add some optional streusel topping.
- Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F (218°C) then, keeping the muffins in the oven (DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR), reduce heat to 350°F (177°C) and continue baking for another 17 minutes or until a toothpick or skewer inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. (If using the optiona streusel add on an extra minute). Starting at a higher temperature then lowering it is key to good muffins so don't cook them any other way.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan before removing and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.
Storage Let muffins cool completely on a wire rack before storing them. Once completely cool, you will need an airtight container and some paper towels. As muffins age, the moisture inside them rises to the surface and can make them wet. By packing them up with some paper towels laid out underneath and another layer on top, you can avoid this. Just keep an eye on them and if the paper towels get a little moist, replace with fresh.
Freezing Muffins freeze extremely well for up to 3 months. Pop them into a freezer bag or a freezer-safe container and place them carefully in the freezer. When you want them, remove them from the freezer and let them defrost for a couple of hours at room temperature.
How to refresh muffins Refresh older muffins to fresh from the oven status! Place on a baking tray in the oven on 350°F (175 °C) for about 7 minutes. They will come out good as new!
Nutritional information is provided for convenience. The data is a computer generated estimate and should be used as a guide only.