Zucchini Cupcakes Recipe
Zucchini Cupcakes Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Zucchini Cupcakes Recipe

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I asked my grandmother for this recipe after trying these irresistible spice cupcakes at her home. I love their creamy caramel frosting. They're such a scrumptious dessert you actually forget you're eating your vegetables, too! —Virginia Lapierre, Greensboro Bend, Vermont
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES:18 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES: 18 servings


  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-1/3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups confectioners' sugar

Nutritional Facts

327 calories: 1 cupcake, 12g fat (4g saturated fat), 45mg cholesterol, 305mg sodium, 52g carbohydrate (38g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein .


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Beat first five ingredients. Combine dry ingredients; gradually add to egg mixture and blend well. Stir in zucchini.
  2. Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.
  3. For frosting, combine brown sugar, butter and milk in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Cool to lukewarm.
  4. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until frosting reaches spreading consistency. Frost cupcakes. Yield: about 1-1/2 dozen.
Originally published as Zucchini Cupcakes in Taste of Home August/September 1997, p25

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Reviewed Aug. 26, 2016

"Love, love, love the frosting. I wouldn't necessarily consider this a cupcake, more like a quick bread; however, it is tasty. I love the orange juice in the batter."

Reviewed Aug. 24, 2016

"just made these tonight and was very impressed. I didnt double the icing recipe but did increase it a bit.. It made enough to ice 1 1/2 dozen cupcakes and then some! Yes, the icing was to die for. I increased the shredded zucchini alittle cause I wanted more vegies in them. I will definitely be making these again!"

Reviewed Aug. 20, 2016

"My neighbor across the street (Carolee) and I both just happened to make these cupcakes! Carolee followed the recipe exactly except she used yellow squash (instead of zucchini) and used 1 3/4 cups grated (instead of 1 1/2 cups) ... she also put toasted walnuts on top of some.

I made them a bit differently. I used vegetable oil (instead of canola), I used 2 cups of grated zucchini (instead of 1 1/2 cups) and I put the batter in a greased and floured 9X13 cake pan..... baked at 350 degrees F. for 25-30 minutes. I also added 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to the icing and, after icing the cake, topped it with 2/3 cup chopped and toasted walnuts.
Both versions were extremely tasty!! The cake is moist and not too sweet, like some zucchini cakes ...... the icing tops off the cake perfectly. My cake tasted almost like carrot cake .... probably from the extra cinnamon in the icing.
We will both be making this cake again!!! Five star rating for sure!"

Reviewed Aug. 18, 2016

"These were fabulous. Loved the frosting, but cupcakes are fine without it too. Didn't have any almond extract so finely chopped about a 1/4 cup of almonds in it. Maybe that's why mine were great without the frosting too, almonds added a touch more flavor and a bit of crunch."

Reviewed Aug. 14, 2016

"Very nice recipe . I like that the consistency is cake like rather than like many other recipes which are heavier and taste more like a muffin. The icing tops this off beautifully and takes it up a notch for sure. I peel my zucchini as is our preference. People that dislike zucchini would not even know zucchini is in this when peel is not present as it just imparts a moisture to the cupcake .

Raisins or pecans would be a great addition to the batter."

Reviewed Aug. 13, 2016

"I'm always looking for every possible way to use extra zucchini in the summer time! This recipe was a wonderful sweet treat! We really enjoy these!"

Reviewed Jul. 25, 2016

"Loved these cupcakes! Not overly sweet or heavy. Most of the sweetness comes from the frosting, and the cupcakes wouldn't be near as good without it."

Reviewed Jul. 22, 2016

"Just made these following the recipe exactly. Very good! It is also a very good, not-too-sweet "muffin" without the frosting. Adding raisins would be an option. A "keeper" recipe!"

Reviewed Jul. 16, 2016

"Took these to our Bunco game night. They were a hit. I didn't have any orange juice or almond extract, so I used lemon juice and lemon extract and they were very good. Moist and flavorful. The frosting was just the needed touch of sweetness to the cupcake. Will definitely be making again"

Reviewed Jul. 14, 2016

"I made these yesterday and they were fantastic! The frosting was amazing and really took it over the top."

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