Light and fluffy vegan zucchini muffins are easy to whip up! Topped with a fabulous brown sugar pecan streusel, these rich vegan chocolate muffins are packed with zucchini with no need to squeeze out the zucchini juices! This recipe is vegetarian and vegan.
This recipe was first published Sept. 2014. It has been updated to make 12 muffins instead of the original 11 with the addition of a different flour option Sept. 2021.
Late summer just wouldn’t be the same without some without chocolate zucchini muffins! After all, most of the zucchini recipes on the blog are savory like these roasted corn and zucchini fritters with chipotle lime cream and this completely delicious zucchini and caramelized onion galette recipe. It’s time for something sweet!
For a little chocolatey treat made with everyone’s favorite iconic summer veggie, the humble zucchini, these vegan chocolate zucchini muffins are easy to whip up. After all, it’s zucchini season and the garden and farmers markets continue to provide an abundance. More zucchini please!
Pro Tip: Knowing the temperature of your oven is key for best baking outcome. Use an external oven thermometer (dial or digital) to know its true temperature and adjust as needed.
Quick Guide: How to Make Chocolate Vegan Zucchini Muffins
After shredding the zucchini, this recipe comes together with ease. You’ll need about one medium zucchini. Grate the zucchini using the fine shredder attachment of the food processor, or use your box grater. Here’s how to make this vegan chocolate muffin recipe (see recipe card for details):
- First, preheat the oven and toast the pecans (for the streusel).
- Second, mix the all purpose flour, cocoa powder and other dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Third, whisk the apple sauce, coconut oil and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl.
- Fourth, add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix.
- Next, fold in the zucchini and dairy free chocolate chips (or vegan chocolate chips).
- Last, whip up the streusel, scoop the batter into the muffin cups, top with streusel then bake!
This batter is thick, so just when you think the ingredients aren’t going to come together, keep folding, gently. The zucchini contributes a lot of hydration in this recipe, so once it’s introduced into the batter, you’ll notice the batter soften and moisten.
It’s All About that Streusel!
The chocolate streusel is fabulous and offers a bit of crunchy texture to top these rich treats! It’s made with the same ingredients plus pecans or walnuts, in part, that you’ll use for the vegan zucchini muffin batter.
Simply toast the pecans (optional) while the oven is preheating, chop then mix the pecans with the dry ingredients, then drizzle in the coconut oil. Once the mixture is crumbly, you’ll sprinkle it over the muffins just before sliding the pan into the oven.
When the streusel is spooned over the top of the batter, some of it falls on the sides and in between areas of the muffin. After the muffins bake, you’ll find hidden bits of streusel on the sides and even inside parts of the muffin!
How to Store and Rewarm Your Vegan Zucchini Muffins
- Store at room temperature, covered for up to four days.
- Freeze individual muffins on a sheet pan then, once frozen, store in a covered container for up to two weeks. Thaw at room temperature.
- Warm muffins in a 350F oven for about 10 minutes.
A Few Recipe Notes
- Muffin Liners: Use tulip muffins liners to support these fluffy double chocolate muffins. They can be purchased (look for 2″ x 2 3/4″) or The Kitchn has a tutorial on how to DIY them (it’s super easy).
- Oil Choice: I use coconut oil in this recipe, however, canola oil will also work.
- Flour Substitution? This recipe works with all purpose flour or for a healthy vegan muffin, choose all purpose or whole wheat white flour. Both make delicious muffins!
- Nut Options: Enjoy the streusel with walnuts or pecans. For nut free muffins, they can be easily left out.
- Portioning: Use an overfilled large cookie scoop (#20) to make portioning a snap!
More Vegan Muffin Recipes to Love
- Vegan Banana Nut Muffins – GF
- Vegan Blueberry Oat Flax Muffins – GF
- Vegan Apple Gingerbread-Oat Walnut Muffins
Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
For the Muffins:
- 1 1/4 Cups (175 grams) Unbleached All Purpose Flour or Whole Wheat White Flour
- 1/2 Cup (50 grams) Dark Unsweetened Cocoa
- 1/2 Cup + 1 Tablespoon (115 grams) Light Brown Sugar packed
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon fine Sea Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 3/4 Cup (140 grams) Mini Vegan Chocolate Chips I like enjoy life
- 1 1/2 Cups (265 grams) Shredded Zucchini packed, about 1 medium
- 1/3 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil melted and warm to the touch
- 1/2 Cup (115 grams) Unsweetened Apple Sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
For the Streusel:
- 1/4 Cup (35 grams) finely chopped Pecans
- 1/3 Cup (50 grams) Unbleached All Purpose Flour or Whole Wheat White Flour
- 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 3 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Dark Unsweetened Cocoa
- 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil melted and warm to the touch
- 1/4 Cups (45 grams) Mini Vegan Chocolate Chips optional for sprinkling on top
For the Muffins:
- Preheat the oven to 375 Fahrenheit (205 Celsius) and set oven rack in the center. Place the pecans (see streusel) on and small pan and into the oven while it preheats for about 15-18 minutes, or until they're fragrant and toasted. Set aside to cool then rough chop. Set aside. Line a standard muffin pan with 12 tulip style muffin cups or DIY your own.
- Shred the zucchini using a box grater, coarse microplane or the fine shredding blade on a food processor. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl whisk the flour, dark cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the oil, applesauce and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the dry ingredients all at once and stir, just until the ingredients are incorporated. The batter will be very thick and it will seem dry. Press on! Fold in the zucchini and chocolate chips until the mixture is moist and has evenly distributed ingredients.
- Using a large cookie scoop (#20), scoop overfilled scoops (or about 4 1/2 tablespoons) of batter into each muffin cup. Set aside.
For the Streusel:
- In a small bowl add the chopped pecans, flour, cinnamon, brown sugar, salt and cocoa into a bowl. Add the coconut oil, stirring to incorporate. The mixture will be crumbly.
- Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons of streusel over each muffin. You'll have a little left over, so divide it up among the muffins. Sprinkle the optional mini chocolate chips over the tops of the muffins.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 375F for about 33-38 minutes. Use a toothpick to check for doneness, poking around several times to avoid melty chocolate. The toothpick should come out mostly clean of crumbs. Remove from pan and place on a cooling rack. Cool at least 20 minutes before enjoying.
- Store in a covered container at room temperature for up to three days or freeze for up to two weeks. Thaw at room temperature. Rewarm in a 350 Fahrenheit oven for about 10 minutes.