Don’t lose it – use it! Zucchini muffins to the rescue.

zuc·chi·ni [zoo-kee-nee]  –noun, plural -ni, -nis.
1. a variety of summer squash that is shaped like a cucumber and that has a smooth, dark-green skin.
2. the plant bearing this fruit.
Also called, especially British, courgette.

Zucchini. Courgette. What fancy names for this least fancy member of your backyard garden!

Zucchini is easy to grow. And even easier to grow REALLY BIG.

How many times have you wandered through the garden, on a beautiful dewy summer morning, and practically tripped over a giant baseball bat of a zucchini? I mean, how DO they grow so big, so fast?

Certainly not loving care; they seem to grow easily, anywhere, for anyone.

And it’s not Miracle-Gro. In fact, I’m betting a lot of gardeners wish they could purchase Miracle-ANTI-Gro, to keep those zucchini from becoming The Squash That Ate Manhattan.

If you pick them when they’re young – say, 8” or so – they’re very nice sliced, sautéed, and finished with a splash of soy sauce and a pinch of ginger.

A bit bigger, you can chunk them up and turn them into zucchini caponata.

Bigger still… well, now you start getting into grating and chopping territory.

As in a recipe that calls for “2 cups grated or finely chopped zucchini.”

As in this recipe: The Shipyard Galley’s Zucchini Muffins.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line muffin tin(s) with papers, or grease each cup. Since this recipe makes 18 muffins, you’ll use two tins; or simply bake as many as you want, and refrigerate the remaining batter, to use up to 4 days later.

Place the following in a bowl:

2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat until smooth.

Add the following:

1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Beat until smooth again.

Add 3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, beating gently until thoroughly combined.

Add 2 cups (about 12 ounces) grated zucchini, 1 cup chopped walnuts, and 1/2 to 1 cup raisins or currants.

Beat gently, just to combine.

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups; a muffin scoop does a good job here.

Fill the muffin cups about 3/4 full.

Next, I sprinkled half the muffins with coarse white sparkling sugar, a step I take with just about every muffin or scone I bake. The sugar adds nice crunch and a pretty, sparkly appearance.

However, in this case – bad move! You’ll see why later.

Bake the muffins for 25 minutes.

A cake tester inserted into one of the center muffins should come out clean.

Yeah, look at those muffins on the right, the ones I sprinkled with sugar. Cool – they’re rising GREAT!

So pretty – sparkling sugar triumphs again!

Or not. As soon as I took the sugared muffins out of the pan, their tops just completely collapsed.

Somehow, the sugar had melted, then flaked off when I moved them, revealing “bald” muffin tops underneath. Not a pretty sight. Really, what’s up with that?

I don’t know, but in this case, skip the sugar topping – basic is beautiful!

Read, bake, and review (please) our recipe for The Shipyard Galley’s Zucchini Muffins.

Print just the recipe.

PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!


  1. mmcgrow

    Even with daily garden checks, there’s always a couple that grow to gargantuan proportions (I swear they see me coming and hide! ;-D). Since the truly large ones are too woody to eat as is, we freeze them to make zucchini bread as Christmas and holiday gifts. Peel some of the skin off if it’s too thick (can’t be pierced with a fingernail), split, scoop out and discard the seeds, then coarsely shred in a food processor. Put handfuls in a clean kitchen towel, squeeze out as much excess liquid as possible, then pack into ziplock bags and freeze flat. Just thaw and use! Margy

    Margy, thanks so much for the great hints about using those truly BIG zucchini… Zucchini-chocolate chip bread in February will probably be a very welcome addition to the winter table! PJH

  2. Wei-Wei

    I seem to have missed the season for growing zucchini. I heard they were really easy to grow, so I tried growing sponge gourd… I failed. It died. 🙁 I’ll keep it in mind for next summer though 😉

    There’s always next summer, Wei-Wei – and in the meantime, other tasty muffin recipes! 🙂 PJH

  3. lishy

    I was planning on making zucchini muffins this week, so perfect timing. I am actually using squash from other people’s gardens since the squash bugs got to ours. Still trying to save the winter squash plants. I think I will maybe add some grated carrot to this as well, as I love zucchini and carrot together. And will be skipping the sugar coat, how strange those came out. Is it because of the extra moisture from the squash?

    Lishy, I have NO IDEA what made the sugar do that – I’ve never seen it happen before. The batter wasn’t particularly wet; I wouldn’t think it would be any different than banana or applesauce muffins, both of which I’ve topped with sugar without an issue. Ah, sweet mysteries of baking… PJH

  4. jsp

    Wish I had this last week when a girl from work gave me a 6lb 6oz giant zucchini! (Yep, I had to weigh that monster.) As it turned out I made two batches of the chocolate zucchini cake, and that seemed to go over quite well. 🙂

    Definitely a tasty thing to do with zucchini – amazing how you’d never know there was zucchini in that cake, huh? 🙂 PJH

  5. Nina

    Just a little trivia note: “zucchinis” might be the plural in English but in Italian, “zucchini” is already the plural, from the singular “zucchino”. Also used in Italy, the singular “zucchina” with plural “zucchine”.

  6. februarysong96

    Wow! These muffins look really good. All of you zucchini growers are soooooo lucky to have such a surplus. We planted six zucchini plants this year and didn’t get a single zucchini. The squash borers got ’em. Sigh. 🙁 Though if the plants survive next summer, I’ll have no problem getting rid of the produce. Thanks for this recipe, maybe I’ll buy zucchini to try it out! 😀

  7. milkwithknives

    Oh, yay! I didn’t plant a zucchini this year, but now I’m wishing I had. It’s wonderful in any kind of soup, but especially squash curry soup where you use the stick blender to puree the whole thing smooth. It’s thick enough to be almost like a cream soup, but without all the calories and bad fat. I will now add these muffins to the zucchini user upper recipes for next year, and thanks for the tip about the coarse sugar on top.

    Also, please tell me you ate the crunchy sugar hats when they fell off! (grin)

    I like that – sugar hats! I am going to remember that one. Thank you for sharing. Elisabeth @ KAF

  8. indigojodie

    Just made these muffins tonite – overfilled the cups a little and the tops mutated and baked together. Very tasty, not sure if they will make it to the office tomorrow or if my husband will eat them all after I go to bed! Thanks for the great recipe!

  9. pachecopatty

    Zucchini muffins look so good, I wish I could reach in and grab one for breakfast, I can almost smell them fresh out of the oven.
    Beautiful step by step instructions and photos, really inspirational, makes me want to get out the ingredients and turn on my oven, I know I have zucchini lurking in the produce bin of my fridge!

  10. Sue

    I made these this morning and I love the taste of them. I thought for sure I would want to add some lemon zest, or lemon glaze, but they’re just right the way they are. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
    I can’t explain why, but ended up with more batter than would fit in 18 muffins wells. I overfilled the wells, and tossed out about a muffin’s worth of batter. Because I overfilled them they baked together. Next time I’ll make them into 24 muffins. I weigh my ingredients so I don’t think I messed up the recipe.
    Any idea how much volume a muffin well should hold? Mine are old and maybe they’re small?

    Sorry to hear that you ended up with a giant “muffin top”. Hard to believe that after all of these years, there is no industry standard for the dimensions of a “standard” muffin tins. We use a muffin scoop in the test kitchen. That’s about 1/4 cup of batter. Frank @ KAF.

    Hi – The pan I used has cups 2 3/4″ wide x 1 1/4″ deep – maybe you could compare to yours? Or maybe I miscounted! 🙂 PJH

  11. Carla

    We had excellent zucchinis this year. We may have found a secret to success. We planted exceptionally early for our area. We had blossoms set by early June and they were gorgeous and abundant. I was not quite prepared for them that early as we had usually held off until mid May to plant. These plants were finished setting buds by end July. I’m told that by planting early, the stems developed strength and sturdiness which kept the bugs from being able to attack the plant. Whew – not something we knew! I’ve got lots of zucchini frozen now for those delicious breads.

  12. calico

    PJ, what timing! Just the other day my new muffin pan arrived from Vermont. I can’t think of a better way to break it in than with this recipe. These are my favorite zucchini muffins. I can always count on this recipe – it never fails. Usually, I make the muffins with golden raisins, but this time I think I’m going to try some dark chocolate chips. Although I have made this recipe many times, I am embarrassed to admit that I have never noticed the directions stating that the batter can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. I always baked the whole batch at one time. Now I can bake as many muffins as I want without having to freeze so many. Thank you for the inspiration and for all your hard work. I love the step-by-step photos. It is so helpful to have visual directions to go along with a recipe. I also enjoy your fun commentary. Please, keep up the great work! Lois

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience and your kind words, Lois – PJH

  13. Joanne

    I just made these and they smell heavenly as they bake, but I got way more than 18 muffins too. I actually ended up with 30. Which isn’t a bad thing! My muffin tins are the regulation 2 1/5 inch ones, and I used regular paper muffin cups in them. Is this recipe accurate though? 2 c. of sugar to only 3 c. of flour is more like a cupcake than a muffin. I have another zucchini muffin recipe that only calls for 1/2 c. sugar to 2 c. of flour. The batter was pretty sweet too, more like cake batter than muffin batter.

    Can this be baked as a bread, do you think, or would it need more flour?

    Joanne, I’ll try these again for an accurate count. I was making combinations of mini muffins and standards, so could have done the math wrong. As for the sugar, it seemed to make a VERY tasty muffin using that amount. I, too, thought they’d be way sweet – but after tasting, I thought they were just right. Certainly cut back on the sugar if you like a more “austere” muffin – PJH

  14. irwinad

    These look absolutely delicious! I live in Germany {my amazing soldier husband was Posted here — lucky us!}, so my little government leased backyard isn’t big enough for a garden. I am tempted to go buy some zucchini, though, so that I can make these muffins!

    My husband is currently deployed, so I haven’t been baking much. Don’t want to have to eat everything myself! But with tempting recipes such as these, I think I’ll have to start taking treats to all my neighbors 🙂

    { }

    Thanks for sharing your blog link here – enjoy your time there! And safe travels to Don… PJH

  15. Joanne

    Well, after tasting the muffins this morning, I agree whole heartedly, the muffins were perfect, not too sweet at all. They are just scrumptious! They didn’t need any butter, either. Makes me glad I have a ton of zucchini to deal with! I used a cup of white whole wheat flour in the recipe, so I between the veggies and the whole wheat, I was feeling very virtuous as I scarfed them up! YUM!!!!

    Glad you ended up liking the, Joanne – thanks for getting back here with your results! PJH

  16. daphnewoman

    You really don’t need to even have a garden to have zucchini! All you need is one friend or relative who planted one! I just made these absolutely fabulous muffins. Using the silicone muffin cups I got 23 nice big delicious ones. Thanks again, PJ!

    You’re very welcome, Penny – glad you enjoyed them. PJH

  17. Gayle

    I noticed in the printed recipe that the introduction (and the yield info) says it makes about 27 muffins, but in step 1 of the directions, it says it makes 18. I got 20 muffins filled 3/4 full. Just curious about the discrepancy…

    They certainly are delicious and moist, and a welcome way to use up an overgrown zucchini!

    I’ll fix that, Gayle – thanks. I actually did make 27 muffins… PJH

  18. biobaker

    I was so excited to see a new zucchini muffin recipe…until I read the recipe. In my household we call anything with this much sugar and oil a cupcake, not a muffin. I know that these very sweet and fluffy “muffins” are very popular with a lot of folks, but I’d love to see a zucchini muffin with less sugar and oil. I do have a great “Morning Glory” muffin that can accept grated zucchini, but some variety would be nice. Does anyone have any suggestions?
    Feel free to reduce your oil to 3/4 cup and the sugar by 1/2 cup at a time. If you go as far as 3/4-1 cup reduction of sugar, you will notice a textural difference in the results. ~Amy

  19. mumpy

    and if someone – who shall remain grandson – ate all your raisins, an equal amount of dried apple dices tastes delicious too!
    Love it! Thanks for the variation. ~Jessica

  20. riverpinballwizard

    I think I’ve about given up on recipes from KAF. Nice products but talk about unhealthy recipes. Sugar…..sugar….and more sugar.
    I am sorry that you are finding the recipes to be too high in sugar. Please feel free to reduce the sugar in the recipe by 1/2 cup at a time, or replace some of it with honey or maple syrup. ~Amy

  21. chitv


    Thank you for this recipe. I love healthy yummy muffins. I however did not like my choice of adding dried cranberries…which was then the only choice available in my cupboard. Otherwise they had the perfect taste, especially since I reduced the sugar. Thank you again for all your dedication and generous hearts.

    Chit from the Philippines

  22. nhartford

    This recipe is similar to my zucchini bread recipe. I vary it by using half applesauce and half oil… it seems to work very well.
    I haven’t had good luck freezing zucchini, but I will try your method of squeezing some of the liquid out before I freeze it -maybe that will help.

  23. Adele

    This may be a silly question, but here goes: I see recipes (like this one for zucchini muffins) which state to grate so many cups of an ingredient. I have one of those old box graters (about 30 years old) with a different size hole on each side. How do you know which side to use? Will it effect the end result if you use the wrong grating side? This has actually stopped me from making some things, since I don’t know how large or small the grated item needed to be or if it really makes a difference.

    Thanks for your help on this!
    The four sided graters tend to have ultra-coarse, coarse, and fine graters, plus a slicer for sides. On the wide sides of your grater, you will have small holes, and then those larger holes. You are going to want to use those larger holes for this recipe, to grate. It makes a difference in the resulting consistency. Hope that helps! ~Jessica@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Yes, it might be a meal for some so maybe stop after just one (if that’s possible?). Elisabeth@KAF

  24. Debralea

    Why is there no milk in most zucchini muffin recipes, but most of my muffin recipes DO include milk? I had to go back and read the recipe a few times to make sure I was doing it right. They turned out delicious, but I was confused.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I don’t think there is a law against using milk in zucchini baked goods, and some zucchini muffin recipes do call for milk. It may have to do with all the moisture zucchinis bring to baked goods. Barb@KAF

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