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Sweet Zucchini Cupcakes

Grate some zucchini for surprising, cute cupcakes. This recipe was submitted by reader Ian Young of Oakland, California.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 12
Sweet Zucchini Cupcakes

Source: Everyday Food, May 2007


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 zucchini (10 ounces), coarsely grated (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Cream Cheese Frosting


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cups of a standard (12-cup) muffin tin with paper or foil liners. Set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Mix in nuts.

  3. In another bowl, combine zucchini, oil, eggs, and vanilla; add to flour mixture, and mix just until combined (do not overmix).

  4. Divide batter evenly among cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.

  5. Cool in tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes; turn cupcakes out, right side up, and cool completely. Meanwhile, make frosting. Using an offset spatula or butter knife, spread frosting on cupcakes. The frosted cupcakes are best eaten within 1 day.

Reviews (27)

  • Eggkid1st 4 Oct, 2014

    This was a little tasteless for us and similar to carrot cake. I didn't ice them.

  • timfiskis 29 Jul, 2014

    And for anyone looking for nutritional information for any recipe - there are dozens of websites that will do this for you, which is even better because you can modify ingredients and see how it affects the overall nutritional profile. Just google "recipe nutrition calculator" and you're on your way!

  • timfiskis 28 Jul, 2014

    Great recipe! But I too only baked them at 350 for about 25 minutes. Just watch the time and you won't be disappointed.

  • shayla926 26 Jul, 2014

    I am so glad I was paying attention while these were in the oven! They were done at 25 minutes, not the 40-45 as stated in the recipe!!

  • ShalutaH 18 Jul, 2014

    I followed this recipe exactly and they turned out fabulous! Everyone loved them! I will definitely make these again.

  • 1kk 2 Aug, 2013

    Made recipe almost as described for the first trial. My mother loved these. I was surprised at how little the cupcakes raised in the liners, but had a light fluffy texture. I decreased the sugar by 25%, because we like less sweet, and added raisins instead of nuts due to allergies. Did not get to ice them, family found them too fast. These are definitely "a do-over" as my family says. In fact, my mother stole my printed recipe, and I had to come back to get it again. Hope you enjoy them.

  • Spitzer5 2 Sep, 2012

    Great recipe with some changes reduced the amount of brown sugar and used raw cane sugar. I also used Gluten Free flour and grape seed oil and they were light and fluffy and the entire clan at my house LOVED them and so did my little sister and mom

  • Pam Evans 27 Jul, 2012

    being a diabetic as i am sure there are many many more out there i choose not to make recipes that do not have a nutritional content listed. is there a reason you do not list the nutritional content on your recipies. also that is one of the reasons that i canceled my subscription to martha stewarts living magazine, i am too tempted by the recipies but cannot make any of them.

  • Judilyn1 22 Jul, 2012

    I would just love to try your recipes, but there is never any nutritional information. Is there any reason this can't be done?

  • EllenPorter 12 Nov, 2011

    These are good cupcakes. I used a buttercream frosting because that's my favorite. Next time I will add more liquid of some sort and/or reduce the cooking to 30 minutes because moister cupcakes would have made them great cupcakes..

  • Chitv 6 Sep, 2011

    I am so happy I tried this recipe.I already have a good one but I love this better. I kwashiorkor surprised. So easy and simple but so good.

    thank you for sharing.

  • rkmystic 23 Aug, 2010

    I followed the recipe as directed and was not impressed. Too sweet and the cupcakes did not rise well. I would say these are more of a muffin and not a cupcake.

  • yamini 11 Aug, 2010

    these turned out good for me. it could use a little bit more sweetness but i guess if u add the frosting it would be just fine. i added almonds instead of walnuts as thats what i had. and i think i added more of the zucchini as i had a monster one that i just wanted to finish and it might have helped to keep it moist.

  • SandyBarney 9 Aug, 2010

    Do NOT drain the zucchini as previously suggested......I did and the cupcakes came out very dry.

  • Pukashellgirl 3 Aug, 2010

    I've made these and alot of others like this. Does anyone ever make something exactly as the receipe calls for before changing it? And when cooking with zucchini, once shredded (I always use the box cutter) you need to wrap the zucchini in paper towels for a short time to absorb the excess moisture zucchini has. Times for baking will always vary depending on your oven and its temperature!

  • Countrygirl247 2 Aug, 2010

    Where is the nutritional facts? I need to figure out the points with Weight Watchers.

  • DebraLynn 2 Aug, 2010

    Any recipe can be entered in the Recipe Builder. It will figure out the points for you.

  • RyouriBaka 19 Jul, 2010

    I used more cinammon, less oil and summer squash instead of zucchini for this recipe. They baked pretty well in my toaster oven, and in 30 min, they were done! (I also used less sugar to make the cupcakes more fluffy)

  • ChesMarie 15 Jul, 2010

    Where can we find nutritional info for all this yumminess... on WW and need to see how many points it is!

  • pink4240 26 Apr, 2010

    I added a banana and they were done about 35 minutes.

  • acosler 18 Jan, 2010

    These are good cupcakes but mine were done after 30 minutes, not 40-45 as the recipe states. Just FYI if you plan on making them.

  • geekygrandma 28 Aug, 2009

    I'm lucky in that I have a Salad Shooter to grate veggies such as zukes to make zucchini fritters, zucchini bread, etc. No mess at all, but I grow lots of zukes every year in our garden so that appliance makes sense for us to have. If you can think of another use for it, look into purchasing a Salad Shooter as it will work better than a food processor for grating/shredding. No mess at all!

    Yes, these will freeze well - frosted or unfrosted, if they last that long.

  • JoanRiverdale 21 Jun, 2009

    It looks like 12 -- the recipe calls for lining one 12-cup muffin tin.

  • creatE1 21 Jun, 2009

    Does anyone know how many this makes?

  • HannaBanana4511 11 Jun, 2009

    I have not tried this recipe, but a chocolate zucchini cake and i had the same mess when i attempted to grate the zucchini.... nevertheless, the cake tasted great!

  • evelynkay 9 Jun, 2009

    These are wonderful! In fact, you could easily skip out on the fat and calories of the frosting if you wanted to eat them just as muffins...still moist and flavorful! The frosting is fantastic though :) I made two batches. For one, I used a box grater for the zucchini which resulted in a watery mess (finished product still turned out well) and the second one, I used the food processor which produced a different texture. Has anyone else has this happen when grating by hand?

  • dizy5150 8 Jun, 2009

    I made these and the recipe was perfect. They are not too sweet and the cream cheese frosting compliments the recipe. I even placed 4 cupcakes in the freezer and defrosted them a couple of days later and they were still fantastic. The cooked perfectly after 40 minutes.

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