Perfect Zucchini Muffins

zucchini muffin with butter knife

Zucchini muffins are a season spanning treat that combines summer zucchini with toasted walnuts and a hint of cinnamon ~ they’re soft, moist, and yummy.

perfect zucchini walnut muffins, stacked

zucchini muffins with toasted walnuts

These easy one bowl muffins share DNA with rich, moist zucchini bread, so you know they’re going to be good. They’re packed with zucchini, which gives them a distinct personality that’s hard to define, because, as we all know, zucchini doesn’t have much ‘flavor’ per se. But whatever that mysterious something is that zucchini adds to these muffins, I love it. I think the toasted walnuts add tons of extra character, too, so don’t leave them out.

a zucchini walnut muffin with muffin paper and butter knife

what you’ll need for perfect zucchini muffins

  • zucchini
    • I choose small zucchini because they have the best flavor, better texture, and fewer seeds than large specimens. I grate them with the shredding disc in my food processor because it creates sturdy shreds that aren’t at all wet.
  • walnuts
    • I toast them in a 350F oven for 10 minutes before chopping. The flavor payoff is huge, plus they’re crunchier! Pecans work, too.
  • sugar
    • use all granulated sugar, or half brown sugar.
  • all purpose flour
    • experiment with substituting half whole wheat or oat flour for extra nutrition.
  • baking powder, baking soda, and salt
  • vanilla extract
    • an extra teaspoon of extract brings the vanilla from the background to the foreground in these zucchini muffins and gives the impression of extra sweetness without extra sugar.
  • vegetable oil
    • you can also use melted butter but I find oil keeps the muffins moister longer.
  • eggs
  • buttermilk
zucchini muffin batter in a bowl

can you make these zucchini muffins ahead?

You can make the batter and store in the refrigerator for up to a day ahead. Then bake as needed.

the secret to a better muffin…

I like to fill my muffin cups and then let them sit for about 30 minutes at room temperature to take the chill off the batter. Muffin batter actually benefits from resting, so even when I’m not making it ahead I like to let it sit on the counter for an hour before baking, if I’ve got the time. They definitely rise better that way.

zucchini walnut muffin batter in muffin pan

Serve zucchini muffins with butter or cream cheese, and if they’re not warm, zap them for 15 seconds in the microwave. This is hands down my favorite way to wake up.

more muffins!

a zucchini walnut muffin split open with butter
zucchini muffin with butter knife
Print
5 from 7 votes

Zucchini Muffins with Toasted Walnuts

Zucchini muffins combine summer zucchini with toasted walnuts and a hint of cinnamon ~ they're soft, moist, and yummy.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Yield 12 servings
Calories 269kcal
Author Sue Moran

Equipment

  • muffin pan with paper muffin liners

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted first

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
  • Whisk the oil, eggs, buttermilk, sugars and extract together until well combined.
  • Whisk in the cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Fold in the flour, and after a few folds, add the zucchini and walnuts. Continue folding until everything is well incorporated, but don't over mix the batter at this point.
  • Fill muffin cups to the top (you will get 10-12 muffins depending on your pan and how full you fill your cups) and bake for about 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out without wet batter on it (moist crumbs are fine.)
  • Remove the zucchini muffins from the pan to cool on a rack, but they are really good warm from the oven!

Cook’s notes

For highest rise, let the muffin batter sit in the muffin tin for an hour on the counter before baking!
*This recipe was originally published in 2012 and has been updated in 2022. Here is the old recipe for those of you who loved it
Zucchini Walnut Bran Muffins
  • 1/2 cup unprocessed wheat bran
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 extra-large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Mix the bran with the buttermilk and set aside.
  3. Whisk the dry ingredients in a small bowl to combine and set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar till fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and add the vanilla. Pour in the bran/buttermilk mixture and combine well.
  5. Add the zucchini and nuts to the wet mixture and stir.
  6. Mix the dry into the wet until just incorporated, don’t over mix.
  7. Fill 10 muffin cups and bake for about 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Cool on a rack
 

Nutrition

Calories: 269kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 166mg | Potassium: 167mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 99IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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25 Comments

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  • Reply
    Sue/the view from great island
    March 30, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    Tabitha—I thought of your bran muffin post as I wrote today. I promise this one is a lot less calories.

  • Reply
    Sue/the view from great island
    March 30, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Dani—I was thinking the same thing, only for me at age 7 it was waving goodbye to my parents as I was being wheeled down a hospital hallway on the way to get my tonsils out! You’re right, that feeling never goes away.

  • Reply
    Sue/the view from great island
    March 30, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Tricia—your butter post was so great. I can’t wait to make another batch, and maybe flavor it this time.

  • Reply
    Sue/the view from great island
    March 30, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Ocean Breezes—I tried so hard to cook for my dad and his wife, but she insisted on doing it all, and they are in their 80s! She let me make one salad, that was it! We ate out most of the time, though. What luxury!

  • Reply
    Alyce
    March 30, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    My folks are both gone, too, but I clearly remember those goodbyes. So happy you enjoyed the visit. Our kiddoes, too, go “home” to other places and we come home to our golden retrievers… Thank GOD for our dogs!! Gorgeous muffins; thanks!

  • Reply
    Barbara
    March 30, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    I used to watch the kids take off…of course that’s impossible now what with all the new security AND my kids are older…it was always frightening to see that plane in the air and know someone you loved was on it. Perhaps it’s better this way; I drive away after dropping them off and then wait for a text saying they’ve arrived.
    My parents lived nearby, so there weren’t any sad goodbyes, except the final ones. They are both gone now, for 12 years, and I still think about them daily.

  • Reply
    Tabitha
    March 30, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Oh hello bran muffin, I buy one every morning, I don’t know why I’ve never tried to make them, thanks Sue!

  • Reply
    DaniBP
    March 30, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    When I say goodbye to my Dad, who lives in Alpharetta Georgia, I get what I call the “Camp Feeling”. It’s the exact feeling I had at age 7 when I went to camp the first time, as the bus pulled out of the parking lot and I waved goodbye.
    It’s never gone away and I am 41. So I get you.
    But double whammy with your girls taking off too!
    They sound like strong smart girls.
    Thanks for this recipe and welcome back!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ saving room for dessert
    March 30, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    The muffins look great. Goodbyes are hard, and it sounds like you’ve had your fill. Welcome back – we missed you!

  • Reply
    Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes
    March 30, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Parents are a wonderful gift, especially as we age. I’m happy to hear you enjoyed your visit in FL.

    Hard to believe the ocean you see from your home and the one in FL (along the east coast) are the same ocean – isn’t it!

    The zucchini muffins look delicious! Did you do any cooking for your dad while you were on vacation? I’ll bet you did!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Mary

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