Apple Zucchini Muffins

These cinnamon-scented apple zucchini muffins are cozy and satisfying, made simply with oats, shredded zucchini and apple chunks.

Apple zucchini muffins

Ever had the problem of too much zucchini? Because Alex and I have had years of overabundant garden zucchini, we’ve created a few great zucchini recipes to use it up! And at the top of the list is our apple zucchini muffins. They’re cozy and satisfying, cinnamon scented and made with oats: no flour at all! This makes them taste hearty and wholesome — and they’re naturally gluten free, too. They’re also just sweet enough: not a cupcake like many muffin recipes!

Alex and I just served these apple zucchini muffins to our family who were in town staying with us, and they were a huge hit! Our toddler Larson loves them for breakfast or snack slathered with peanut butter. We use the banana ones in his school lunches, so these will get a lot of play-time once back to school hits too! They freeze well, so we make a few batches and throw them in the freezer. Ready to get started?

Apple zucchini muffins

What’s great about these apple zucchini muffins?

This apple zucchini muffins recipe is modeled after our fan favorite Healthy Banana Bread Muffins! Why are they so popular? Here are a few features of this muffin concept that readers love:

  • They’re made just with rolled oats: no flour at all! This makes them hearty and wholesome: it’s basically like eating a bowl of oatmeal! We love serving these because it’s less like a “treat” and more like a hearty snack or breakfast.
  • They’re blender muffins! This means the dough is entirely mixed in a blender. For some reason this makes them feel easier than a standard muffin: maybe because the mess is contained? Whatever the case, they’re simple to whip up.

Want to make a more traditional muffin? Go to our Best Zucchini Muffins instead. They’re made with flour, Greek yogurt, and turbinado sugar.

How to make apple zucchini muffins

Here’s the basic concept of how to make apple zucchini muffins:

  • In a blender, place the eggs, rolled oats, neutral oil, sugar, vanilla extract, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and shredded zucchini. Blend until a dough forms.
  • Add additional shredded zucchini and diced apple; pulse gentle
  • Pour the batter into muffin cups and top with additional rolled oats.
  • Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow to cool and enjoy! Store refrigerated for 1 week or frozen for several months.

Love oatmeal muffins? Try our Apple Oatmeal Muffins and Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Baked goods with apple

Why is zucchini used in baking?

Shredded zucchini is used in baking because it brings moisture in to baked goods. Most of zucchini is water, so it disappears right into cakes, muffins and breads, leaving the baked good perfectly hydrated. One of our favorite recipes for using shredded zucchini is in this Favorite Gluten Free Chocolate Cake.

Zucchini is often used as a replacement for oil in baked goods, since it’s much lower calorie than oil and brings in moisture! For that reason, these apple zucchini muffins have a fairly low oil content: only 1/4 cup for 10 muffins. This equates to a little over 1 teaspoon of oil per muffin. Thanks, zucchini!

Apple zucchini muffins

A note on sweetener

This apple zucchini muffin recipe has a bit more sugar than our banana muffins recipe because, guess what? Zucchini has no added sugar, and banana adds quite a bit of natural sugar. Our banana muffins recipe had maple syrup, as a natural sweetener. But for this muffin recipe we went with straight up sugar because the texture of zucchini got a little gummy with just maple syrup.

As you may know if you bake a lot, sugar has unique properties that are helpful structurally when baking. For these zucchini muffins you can use any type of sugar you like, including turbinado sugar or coconut sugar. We’ve tried to sweeten it just enough that your brain says zucchini muffin, but not so much that it tastes like a cupcake.

Want another apple muffin? Our apple muffins with streusel have a crunchy streusel topping that’s to die for.

Apple zucchini muffins

More with zucchini

If you have too much zucchini on your hands, here are some zucchini recipes for ways to use it up:

This apple zucchini muffins recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free.

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Healthy zucchini muffins

Apple Zucchini Muffins


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (18 votes, average: 4.39 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x

Description

These cinnamon-scented apple zucchini muffins are cozy and satisfying, made simply with oats, shredded zucchini and apple chunks.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups rolled oats, plus more for topping
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil (sunflower, vegetable or grapeseed)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini, loosely packed, divided (1 large zucchini)
  • 1 cup diced apple (1/2 large or 1 medium apple)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
  2. In the bowl of a blender, place the eggs, rolled oats, neutral oil, sugar, vanilla extract, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and 1 cup of the shredded zucchini. Blend everything on high for a minute or two until a smooth batter forms.
  3. Add the reserved 1/2 cup shredded zucchini and the diced apple (with the peel on). Gently pulse 2 to 3 times until mixed in but not chopped.
  4. Place 10 muffin cups into a muffin tin and pour the batter divided evenly between the cups. Sprinkle the tops with extra oats and gently press them down.
  5. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean (ours took 34 minutes). Remove from the muffin tin and allow them to cool before serving. Store refrigerated for about 1 week or frozen for several months.

  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian

Keywords: Apple zucchini muffins, Zucchini muffins, Zucchini muffins recipe

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

5 Comments

  • Reply
    Debbie LeVay
    August 3, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    Hi Sonja and Alex,
    I made these muffins vegan and GF and they ccame out delicious. Next time I would add more cinnamon and ginger just because I love a lot of spice.

    Thank you for your fantastic variety of recipes!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      August 5, 2019 at 10:32 am

      Awesome! Glad you enjoyed.

  • Reply
    Kirsten
    July 17, 2020 at 7:33 pm

    Amazing! So simple and not too sweet. If you are making them for kids and they don’t like the green stuff, just peel the zucchini first.

  • Reply
    Jessica Ruscello
    August 27, 2020 at 8:01 pm

    What would you do if you were going to make this a bread loaf? I’m at my boyfriend’s house and he has every ingredient but a muffin pan…

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      August 27, 2020 at 8:37 pm

      You can certainly try it! We haven’t tried it with this recipe. We did do an adaptation of this muffin base to make a healthy banana bread — https://www.acouplecooks.com/healthy-banana-bread/ — but we upped the quantities a bit to make it big enough for a loaf pan. You could certainly try it and bake a little less time (the larger quantity recipe uses 45 minutes, so you could try a bit less than that). Good luck!

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