Chocolate Zucchini Banana Muffins

I like to show up late for parties, much to my husband’s eternal frustration.  Partly I like to show up late because that eternal frustration can be a source of some amusement.  When you’re a full foot shorter and 100 lbs lighter than your significant other you can’t really strike up a fair tickle fight, instigate a game of tag, or suggest an arm wrestle.  You have to find other ways to amuse yourself at their expense.

Running late, tossing the last few drops of water in my cup across the couch onto any visible bare skin, failing to run the garburator after filling the sink with peelings, waking him up to kill small bugs in the middle of the night…the list goes on. There is no excuse for giving up on amusement; I’ve learned that one can always find a safe, effective way to make oneself smile :)

Suggestions, obviously, are always welcome too – how do you get a friendly rise out of those closest to you?

One party I was late for this week that Carl really couldn’t care less about is National Zucchini Day.  Did you know such a thing exists? Only in America :) Seeing as I’m not IN America, I feel pretty ok about being a couple days late to this “time honoured” event.

But I love zucchini in so many forms that I couldn’t let this day of celebration pass me by without any fanfare.  So it was time to add a new zucchini recipe to the burgeoning repertoire!

Chocolate Zucchini Banana Muffins

These muffins were a huge hit.  Gemma thinks she is getting chocolate cupcakes for breakfast, and, after noticing some “green stuff” and getting the facts, she declared that zucchini is delicious.  I feel like I am getting chocolate cupcakes for an evening snack, but really, I am getting a moist, chocolatey muffin that also happens to be one of the healthiest muffins I’ve ever made.  They are officially called “Chocolate Cupcake Muffins” around here now.

Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Banana Muffins

These muffins have fruit, they have veggies, and they have no butter, very little sugar aside from the chocolate chips, and absolutely no lack of flavour thanks to the sweetness from the honey and banana.  These will definitely be a regular in our muffin rotation, and give me yet another reason to love zucchini!

It’s not too late to join the celebrations – what’s your favourite way to use zucchini?  Break out the best squash you can find and throw yourself a belated zucchini party :)

4.4 from 5 reviews
Total time
Moist, dense, healthy, and remarkably cupcake-like!
Recipe type: Muffin
Serves: 10
  • 1¼ cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup buttermilk or soured milk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 cup grated zucchini, unpeeled
  • ⅓ cup semisweet chocolate chips, plus about 50 to sprinkle on top (I like miniature ones best in muffins)
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and line a 12-cup muffin pan with baking cups; lightly coat baking cups with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture.
  3. Combine buttermilk, egg, honey, oil, vanilla, banana, and zucchini in a medium bowl; add to flour mixture and stir just until combined. Stir in ⅓ cup chocolate chips. Don't overmix, but do ensure there are no dry flour bits left.
  4. Divide batter over 10 muffins cups (make sure you coated them with cooking spray or these muffins will be sticky!), then sprinkle a few individual chocolate chips over muffins for effect :)
  5. Bake for 14-16 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let muffins cool in pan for 2 minutes before removing.
  6. Serve warm or store at room temperature for 2-3 days. I prefer to store them in an airtight container and freeze, reheating in the microwave for 25-30 seconds as needed.
This recipe doubles well and freezes well. I have also made these substituting a "chia egg" for the egg - 1 Tbsp chia seeds + 3 Tbsp water, let sit for 3 minutes to gel and use as you would use an egg.

*Recipe adapted from Tutti Dolci – check out Laura’s beautiful blog and the fabulously low calorie count on these muffins!


    • says

      I haven’t – the Garden Vegetable Muffins is a great one for using sweet potatoes, or you can sub sweet potato for the carrot in my Carrot Gingerbread muffins :)

  1. Sara says

    My husband and two teenage boys LOVED these! They took about 23 minutes to cook though. I wanted to test them in the freezer, so I put one in and nuked it this morning…still awesome!

  2. Sara says

    My husband and two teenage boys LOVED these muffins! They did take about 23 minutes to cook though. Wanted to test them in the freezer, so I put one in and nuked it this morning, still awesome!

  3. Alicia Louwerse says

    Worked perfectly and are completely delicious! Subbed maple syrup for the honey, since I was completely out. Yum!

  4. Ashley says

    I’ve made these twice already. And while they are super yummy right out of the oven I find they dry out really fast! Even when warmed up in the microwave later on they are pretty dry. What can I do to make them more moist? My kids love them!

    • says

      Hi Ashley! I always freeze any extra muffins in an airtight container the same day I make them and reheat them from frozen as needed. It takes only 30 seconds in the microwave and that way they don’t lose any of their freshness. Since these not have any of the usual “fats”, they will dry out a bit more quickly than regular muffins. Hope that helps – glad you like them!

  5. Sharina says

    Did not work- was gooey inside. Did not use frozen products and followed the recipe exactly. Maybe you should measure the amount of banana- repost recipe.

    • says

      I`m sorry to hear that! I`ve made these numerous times…most likely you just needed to cook them longer, as each oven varies a bit in temperature. Testing with a toothpick to make sure they`re not gooey is the safest bet.

      • Sharina says

        I baked it for 15min longer. I will try one more time. Just so you know, the recipe ingredients say 1 tablespoon of sugar but it is not in the directions when to add sugar. Please let me know how many cups of mashed bananas to add as well.

        • says

          Sorry about that – the sugar gets added with the cocoa/flour, I’ve updated the recipe. 1 banana is equivalent to about 1/3 cup mashed banana. Hope that helps!

  6. Jennifer says

    Thanks so much for this recipe. My 2 year old son has decided he doesn’t want to eat any fruits or veggies so I am coming up with creative ways of getting him to eat them. These muffins are delicious and he eats them right up! I love that they are so tasty with no sugar.

  7. Meredith says

    A good “sick day” recipe to bake with my 2.5 year old daughter when we’re stuck inside. We used white whole wheat flour as that’s what was on-hand, so ours probably came out a bit heartier / less “pastry-like” in flavor. Not overly sweet, but the cocoa powder gives them that extra something. The little one at e 2 big muffins at one sitting!

    • says

      Sounds like they were undercooked – or did you use frozen zucchini? The zucchini can be used thawed from frozen, but it needs to be measured when fresh since it compacts and releases a lot of water when frozen and thawed. If freezing grated zucchini for future use, measure it and label your containers with the quantity since it will measure very differently when thawed. Hope that helps, sorry they didn’t work out for you!

  8. says

    It’s breakfast time around here. Pass one over. I especially like your healthy bent on this one. (You are 100 pounds lighter than your husband? Wow. I’m about 35 pounds, but if we were in our idea weight range, I would be 20 pounds lighter.

  9. Kim says

    Come on Anna…fess up…you are at least 15″ shorter than your hubby! Me, I am only 14″ shorter than mine :) Haven’t you ever heard that you are only supposed to pick on someone your own size…if you can find anyone else that small? ;)


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