Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes | Dairy Farmers of Manitoba

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes with Buttercream


30 min.


25 min.

Serving Size

24 cupcakes

Great Tastes of Manitoba – Saturday, Dec. 5 on CTV



  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups (425 mL) sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups (500 mL) shredded/minced zucchini (~1-1.5 small-medium zucchini)
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) flour
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
  • ½ – ¾ cup (125-175 mL)* buttermilk



  • 1 ¼ cups (310 mL) sugar
  • 1 ¼ cup (310 mL) milk
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) flour
  • 1 ¼ cups (310 mL) butter, room temperature


Cupcake Batter:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Prepare 2 muffin tins with liners.
2. In large mixing bowl cream together butter and sugar, until smooth. Beat in eggs. Add zucchini and vanilla. Mix to combine.
3. In separate bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, baking soda.
4. To the zucchini mixture, alternate adding the dry mixture and the milk in three stages. (*use ½ cup milk if using previously frozen, thawed zucchini, ¾ cup if using fresh zucchini)
5. Divide batter into cupcake tins. Bake cupcakes approximately 20-25 minutes or until an inserted tooth pick comes out clean.


Ermine Buttercream:

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, flour and milk. Cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has become thick, like glue. Cool to room temperature and the mixture will become paste like.
2. Note: it is VERY important that both the paste and the butter are at room temperature. Suggest leaving both to come to room temperature overnight (when cool, cover the paste).
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter. Scrape butter from the sides of the bowl. In small amounts at a time, pour the paste into the bowl with the butter and mix on low speed until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy – about 5-8 minutes.
4. Ice the cupcakes as desired. (Note – for high top iced cupcakes, suggest doubling icing recipe). Iced cupcakes do not need to be refrigerated and will last ~4 days un-refrigerated, longer if refrigerated.



To peel or not to peel?

  • If using a small-medium zucchini use unpeeled and only deseed if the seeds are large.
  • If using a large garden zucchini, peel and deseed before shredding.

Got lots of Zucchini?

  • Shredded zucchini can easily be frozen in 2 cup portions.
  • Thaw and use the shredded zucchini and accompanying liquid in the recipe.
  • If using previously frozen zucchini in this recipe, add only ½ cup of buttermilk.

To make buttermilk…

  • combine ½ cup milk + ½ tbsp. lemon juice/vinegar (or ¾ cup milk + ¾ cup lemon juice/vinegar)

To make a cake….

  • Pour batter into a 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350°F (177°C) approximately 50 minutes or until an inserted tooth pick comes out clean.
  • It is important that all ingredients be at room temperature to prevent a grainy looking icing caused by the separation of the butter from the paste.
  • If the icing is chilled, bring it to room temperature then re-beat before using.