Zucchini Carrot Muffins Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 15 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling

Updated: May 23, 2024

These zucchini carrot muffins are healthier than anyone who tastes them will believe. They make a quick yet filling breakfast, after-school snack, or guilt-free treat before bed.

It’s not surprising to find carrots and zucchini together in a recipe, but adding apples, coconuts, orange zest, and cinnamon to the same recipe might strike you as a bit odd. But once you take a bite of these muffins, you’ll start nodding your head in appreciation. The thing you’ll appreciate almost as much as the taste is these zucchini carrot muffins only take 15 minutes to prep and less than 25 minutes to bake. After you make a batch of these tasty, nutritious muffins, you’ll be making them consistently.

Zucchini Carrot Muffin Ingredients

  • Flour: Good old all-purpose flour is a major player in this recipe.
  • Eggs: The eggs help to bind the other ingredients together while adding moistness to the muffins, and also add protein.
  • Sugar: You might want to cut down on how much sugar is in this recipe, finding the muffins plenty sweet with 3/4 cup or 1/2 cup.
  • Baking soda: It helps your muffins rise into the fluffy, airy texture and shape you love.
  • Ground cinnamon: Cinnamon adds warmth and spice to these muffins that help balance the sweetness.
  • Vanilla extract: Vanilla is a much richer and more complex flavor than people give it credit for—a teaspoon of vanilla extract works wonders in these muffins.
  • Shredded zucchini: Don’t bother skinning the zucchini (but do wash it) and don’t press it once it’s shredded, as the zucchini’s juice adds wonderful moisture to the muffins. If the zucchini is very wet, lightly pat the shreds with a paper towel.
  • Shredded carrot: Peel and shred the carrots and don’t press or pat them dry; their moisture is needed in this recipe.
  • Chopped apple: Choose any variety of apples you prefer. Core it and peel it, and note that a food processor will make prepping your apple much quicker.
  • Shredded coconut: Go for a sweetened shredded coconut if you can. The flavor will take the muffins up a notch.
  • Orange zest: Just a little orange zest goes a long way, and it brings out the spice of the cinnamon.
  • Chopped almonds: Try to make sure the almonds are chopped (or crushed) to a relatively small and uniform size, so the flavor and consistency of the muffins are even.


Step 1: Preheat and combine the dry ingredients

Preheat your oven to 375ºF, and grab a large mixing bowl. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda and stir them to combine.

Step 2: Combine the veggies, fruits, and nuts

In a medium-sized bowl, toss in the shredded carrots, zucchini, chopped apple, orange zest, chopped nuts, and shredded coconut, mixing them all.

Step 3: Combine the wet and dry ingredients

In a small bowl, combine the eggs, oil, and vanilla extract, then stir these into the dry ingredients in the larger bowl. Mix everything just until it combines into a thick batter.

Step 4: Fold in the veggie and fruit mix

Add the shredded veggies, chopped fruits, and nuts into the batter and fold everything in evenly. Do not overmix!

Step 5: Bake the muffins

Scoop even amounts of batter into well-greased or lined muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Pop the muffin pan into that heated oven and let the muffins bake for 20 minutes, then check them with a toothpick. If it comes out cleanly, they’re done. If not, keep baking and checking a different muffin every two minutes.

Step 6: Cool and enjoy

Let the zucchini carrot muffins cool in their muffin cups for 10 minutes, then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Zucchini Carrot Muffin Variations

  • Skip the zest: The orange zest adds a tangy flavor to the muffins. If you want more of a “standard” muffin, consider skipping the zest.
  • Cut down on the sugar: Consider adding less sugar for a healthier treat. These muffins will still taste great. You can also use brown sugar or raw sugar for a more robust and healthier variation.
  • Make it a bread: This same recipe can be used to make bread! Just bake it in a couple of four-by-eight-inch pans, and add a lot more baking time. Check on the bread every 30 and 35 minutes. Depending on your oven, it may take up to 45 to 50 minutes for the bread to bake fully.

How to Store Zucchini Carrot Muffins

Store these muffins in a sealed container lined with paper towels or a clean cloth and they will last well for three or four days at room temperature. Refrigeration will preserve them for two or three days more but will make the muffins much denser.

Can you freeze zucchini carrot muffins?

Freezing these muffins will save them for up to six months, but similarly to refrigerating them, it will make them much more dense. It’s best practice to individually wrap each muffin in plastic, but they can be tossed in a freezer-safe bag, too. The best way to thaw them is to leave them sitting out at room temperature for about two hours.

Zucchini Carrot Muffin Tips

Should I squeeze the moisture out of the zucchini and carrots?

No, you should leave the natural juices in the veggies unless they are exceptionally moist. Squeezing out the liquid will lead to dry muffins. Pat excessive liquid out of the zucchini and carrots instead of squeezing.

Are zucchini carrot muffins healthy?

Yes! Especially if you cut down on the sugar. Each of these muffins has about 250 calories, four grams of protein, and two grams of fiber. You can use a healthier oil to reduce the fats and leave out the salt if you’re watching your sodium intake.

What pairs well with zucchini carrot muffins?

Zucchini carrot muffins make a great afternoon snack, especially when paired with fruit. They also serve as a delicious side with traditional breakfast foods. For a quick and light breakfast, try them with yogurt. As a dessert, these muffins shine when served à la mode. To enhance their flavor, drizzle honey on top and dust them with powdered sugar.

Zucchini Carrot Muffins

Prep Time 15 min
Cook Time 20 min
Yield 18 standard size muffins.


  • 2 cups shredded carrot
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped peeled apple
  • 3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Gently toss together carrot, zucchini, apple, coconut, almonds and orange zest; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Combine eggs, oil and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened (batter will be thick).
  3. Fold in carrot mixture. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.
  4. Bake at 375° for 20-22 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Nutrition Facts

1 each: 249 calories, 13g fat (3g saturated fat), 35mg cholesterol, 231mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (17g sugars, 2g fiber), 4g protein.

Meet the Cook: No matter when I make these muffins - for breakfast, or for lunch to serve with a bowl of soup or salad - my husband devours them! He's retired from the Air Force, and we have four grown children. Gardening's my top hobby. -Loretta Baline, South Burlington, Vermont