There is nothing I enjoy more than creating decadent desserts in a much healthier, wholesome way. Creating baked goods that taste just as amazing as the oil and butter filled ones is something that I enjoy immensely. These Vegan Gluten-free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins are a prime example. These babies taste like pure decadence and are so moist, you'd swear they are full of oil. But, nope! No oil, no nuts and no coconut!
HOW TO SUBSTITUTE OIL IN BAKING
I'm an oil-free baker. On my blog I focus on oil-free recipes and it's one thing that readers rely on when they visit here. Oil-free options! But, fear not, as the reviews say, they taste every bit as decadent as the oil-laden recipes, I assure you. I don't like mediocre diet-tasting desserts. I replace oil with other moisture ingredients like nuts, applesauce, pumpkin and nut butters. For these muffins, I used zucchini. For more oil-free tips, check out How to Cook and Bake Without Oil.
When a recipe calls for zucchini, it is often listed as shredded/grated by cup amounts. The issue with that can be adding too much or not enough or not wringing out the moisture and the results can be all over the place.
So, I came up with the easiest idea ever so that you get exactly the right amount of zucchini you need for perfect results in these muffins, and the zucchini is not only invisible to the eye, you cannot taste it whatsoever. Nobody will ever know!
My trick? Zucchini pureed with the water. No shreds or bits of zucchini in sight. This way the water and zucchini blended together become a super creamy, smooth puree that gives all the moisture and texture to the muffins.
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI MUFFINS
All you need is 1 bowl and 8 ingredients (+salt & water):
superfine oat flour
unsweetened cocoa powder
First, peel and slice the zucchini and then weigh 150 grams.
It's important to weigh the zucchini AFTER you've peeled and sliced it, so you get exactly the right amount of moisture.
Add the zucchini and the water to a food processor or blender and blend until completely smooth.
Add the zucchini puree, maple syrup, vanilla extract and chocolate chips to the bowl of dry ingredients and stir until smooth.
The batter is insanely delicious, so try not to eat too much of it.
Divide the batter into 11 muffin liners. Using an ice cream scoop helps to make the perfect size and beautiful rounded dome tops while baking. Place a few extra chocolate chips on top, if desired.
Bake at 350°F for about 18 minutes until fluffy and a toothpick is basically clean.
I mean, that inside shot...fluffy, moist, chocolate perfection. Cool 15 minutes to allow them to finish cooking or they'll be gummy. Devour!
2 tablespoons (20g) potato starch (this starch helps to make them tender/fluffy)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (36g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (150g) of zucchini puree (PLEASE READ steps below on how to measure)
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (150g) water
1/2 cup (160g) pure maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons (8g) vanilla extract
3/4 cup (180g) dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips (I did a combo of dark and semi-sweet)
Note: I use this scale for all my baking now and love it! Never even use cups anymore. SO easy. For this recipe and all of my recipes where I use a food processor, I use this Cuisinart . I get asked weekly which one I use and I've had this one for years and love it! It's very powerful and makes homemade nut butters and purees a breeze.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and line a muffin pan with 11 liners. I use parchment paper liners or the Reynolds Staybrite and they never stick.
To a large bowl, add the oat flour, potato starch, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and whisk very well. I then sifted everything over a mesh strainer to ensure everything was smooth, as my cocoa powder was very lumpy. If yours is, I highly recommend the same so you turn out smooth muffins. Set aside.
Peel and slice the zucchini and THEN weigh 150 grams. I used about 1 1/2 small zucchini. It's important to weigh the zucchini AFTER you've peeled and sliced it, so you get the exact right amount of moisture.
Add the sliced zucchini and the 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (150g) water to a food processor or blender and blend until completely smooth. See photo for reference.
Add the zucchini puree, syrup, vanilla and chocolate chips to the bowl of dry ingredients.
Stir gently around the bowl and the bottom until smooth and mixed, being careful to mix just until combined, as oat-based batters can turn dense muffins if over-mixed.
Divide the batter into 11 muffin liners. Using an ice cream scoop helps to make the perfect size and nice rounded dome tops when they bake up. Place a few extra chocolate chips on top, if desired. Sure makes them look prettier.
Bake for 18-20 minutes. Mine were perfect at 18 minutes for each trial. They should be super fluffy and firm to the touch. A toothpick should basically be clean, but it's hard to check if they are done that way with all the chocolate chips in there, which can be deceptive, so poke around a few times with a couple of different toothpicks to check for doneness.
Cool 15 minutes in the pan. This is rather important to let them cool before eating, as they will still be finishing cooking and if you try to eat one right out of the oven, they will taste under-baked and gummy. Cooling will result in a tender, fluffy muffin. Now devour and enjoy that amazing rich chocolate decadence!
Hi! I'm Brandi, a wife and mom behind this blog who healed my husband's gout and my digestion issues through a plant-based diet. I'm not complicated, I keep things simple. All my recipes are 8 ingredients or less, not counting salt, pepper or water. They are allergy-friendly, as they are all vegan, oil-free and nearly all are gluten-free. You'll find lots of baked goods here, as I've been a baker all my life, it's my passion!