Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins are fluffy, oil-free, 1 bowl and ready in 30 minutes! These are super rich, decadent, moist and unbelievably vegan!

Closeup view of vegan chocolate zucchini muffin on platter

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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!

Baked vegan chocolate zucchini muffins in muffin tray

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.

Several vegan chocolate zucchini muffins on white table

HOW TO MAKE VEGAN CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI MUFFINS

All you need is 1 bowl and 8 ingredients (+salt & water):

  • superfine oat flour
  • potato starch
  • unsweetened cocoa powder
  • baking soda
  • maple syrup
  • zucchini
  • vanilla extract
  • chocolate chips

First, peel and slice the zucchini and then weigh 150 grams.

2 zucchini on white table

It's important to weigh the zucchini AFTER you've peeled and sliced it, so you get exactly the right amount of moisture.

Zucchini puree sequence images in food processor

Add the zucchini and the water to a food processor or blender and blend until completely smooth.

Flour, liquids, chocolate chips in glass bowl

Add the zucchini puree, maple syrup, vanilla extract and chocolate chips to the bowl of dry ingredients and stir until smooth.

Vegan chocolate zucchini muffin batter

The batter is insanely delicious, so try not to eat too much of it.

Pre-baked vegan chocolate zucchini muffins in tray

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.

Baked tray of vegan chocolate zucchini muffins

Bake at 350°F for about 18 minutes until fluffy and a toothpick is basically clean.

Inside of vegan chocolate zucchini muffins on platter

I mean, that inside shot...fluffy, moist, chocolate perfection. Cool 15 minutes to allow them to finish cooking or they'll be gummy. Devour!

Other amazing Vegan Muffins to try:


Yields 11 muffins

Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins are oil-free, 1  bowl and ready in 30 minutes! These are super rich, decadent, moist and unbelievably vegan!

15 minPrep Time

18 minCook Time

33 minTotal Time

Recipe Image
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5 based on 5 review(s)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (192g) superfine oat flour
  • 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.

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Add the zucchini puree, syrup, vanilla and chocolate chips to the bowl of dry ingredients.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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!

Notes

Nutrition per muffin: 197 calories, 6.6g fat, 3.9g protein, 32.9g carbs, 3.8g fiber, 15.3g sugar, 204mg sodium

7.8.1.2
2003

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29 Comments

  1. You have done it again! I will definitely be trying these and then hiding them from my husband, who cannot have chocolate. They look decadently delicious, Brandi, thank you for sharing your creations. :) ~Janis
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      So sweet, thank you Janis! Haha, yes, hide them! My hubby and daughter LOVED them and had chocolate faces and don't even know there is zucchini in them, lol. I can't wait to hear what you think of them!
  2. Recipe looks delicious! I can’t eat potatoes though, any substitution you could suggest? Thanks
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Cornstarch will possibly make them a bit gummier, chewier and not as fluffy or light. You can try it, but that's usually my experience when subbing cornstarch for potato starch in baking. Potato starch does some serious fluffy magic, particularly in low-fat baking. Use the same weight amount 20g, just know I can't vouch for the results since I haven't tested these personally with them.
  3. Can these be made with a different flour? My GF family can't eat the gf oats
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      I really don't know. I've only tested with oat flour and it's the whole base of the recipe so I do not believe another flour will work the same. You could always try a gluten-free blend like King Arthur gluten-free all-purpose blend (rice flour based) but I have no idea if it would work or turn them really dry. Oats help give some moisture and binding here.
  4. Can a different flour be used? Cassava, tigernut, tapioca, arrowroot, coconut and or almond? Thank you!!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      None of those will work here. Oat flour behaves completely different than all of those and is the entire base here for these muffins. I would use oat flour for best results. If you cannot have oats, make these instead.....(as muffins) they are made with almond flour, but you must use potato starch for them to turn out right and fluffy. Tapioca will make them gummy and gross. Potato starch is found at most grocery stores in the flour section or online at Amazon. https://thevegan8.com/2018/12/12/vegan-gluten-free-chocolate-peppermint-cake-oil-free/
  5. Wow these looks absolutely delicious!😍Do you think date syrup could replace the maple syrup?
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      I’m sure it would but I’ve never tried it so I can’t say how it would affect the texture since date syrup is thicker and less sweet, so you’ll just have to try it!
  6. Hi...can I use tapioca instead of potato starch? Also almond flour instead of oat flour? Thanks much.
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      No, that would completely change the entire result. Make these instead, (as muffins) they are made with almond flour, but you must use potato starch for them to turn out right and fluffy. Tapioca will make them gummy and gross. Potato starch is found at most grocery stores in the flour section or online at Amazon. https://thevegan8.com/2018/12/12/vegan-gluten-free-chocolate-peppermint-cake-oil-free/
  7. Look at these beauties! Vegan Zucchini Chocolate Muffins from The Vegan 8 These by far are the BEST tasting ,most moist muffins we have ever had! Thanks Brandi for your relentless work in creating the best vegan recipes we have tried! #thevegan8 #wfpb #nooilcooking #didisayzucchinimuffins
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Thank you so much for sharing this incredible feedback here and on your instagram Allyson! They looked so perfect and I'm so thrilled these are the BEST you've ever had, yay!!
  8. can I make oat flour by blitzing rolled oats in a coffee grinder ?
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Yes, definitely! Just make sure they are superfine.
  9. Could I leave out chips and still have it chocolatie enough? I love your recipes, they are all so delicious and healthy!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Thank you Heidi! They are chocolatey enough yes, but I wouldn’t recommend leaving them out, as they do add a lot of moisture too. You could always try adding dried Cherries if you like but I have no idea if they will add enough moisture.
  10. These look so amazing!! I wouldn't change a darn thing because they look so perfectly fluffy and moist and just delicious. I made chocolate zucchini cupcakes for my sons 3rd birthday many years ago and none of the kids had any idea! It's such a great way to get a little health in them!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Thanks girl! I agree! These were so moist and no clue the zucchini is there because you can’t see or taste it!
  11. These muffins are ABSOLUTELY MOORISH!!! Had to hide them from the resident sweet monster a.k.a my fiancé last night so that I have enough for tonight’s family dinner. 😄... Thanks Brandi for yet another outstanding recipe, there hasn’t been one recipe of yours that I have made that myself or family haven’t loved!!!!!!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      I am so happy you loved these so much Nadine, thank you so much for making them!! You are so sweet!
  12. Whoo-Hooo! You go girl! I made these muffins for our Five days of Festivities at work this week and they were a huge hit! I've referred a number of colleagues to your website. It will be interesting to see who is surprised by the zucchini as an ingredient. One of my colleagues took a muffin home to her son who is gluten free and he was amazed at how good they tasted! Thanks for all your hard work!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Oh yay Vicki! Such wonderful feedback, so glad to hear it!! Would you kind clicking the star rating too, they are so helpful, thank you!
  13. Made these yesterday and tasted them today after microwaved till warm, so delicious, fluffy! This is a great and basic recipe, I love that you listed the weight of ingredients, this helped me a lot. I ate it with some peanut butter and coconut flakes on top, such a joy, thank you! (I didn't have enough baking soda, so I replaced it with baking powder, also replaced chocolate chips with cacao nibs, turned out fantastic)
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      So glad you loved them Abby!! Would you mind clicking the star rating, they help me out, thank you!
  14. I am excited to try some of your recipes and these look amazing! My 9 yr old son has just been diagnosed with EoE and may have to start an elimination diet of wheat, dairy, soy and eggs and I have been searching for recipes. Thank you so much , I think I have found what I need with your recipes. Cant wait to try them. Thank you .
  15. Oh man these are so good!!!! I forgot to peel the zucchini but I put them in the vitamix (I don’t have a food processor) and they turned out great! I also used the vitamix to make oat flour from steel cut oats I had languishing in the cupboard! (Did that before the zucchini so the blender pitcher stayed dry). Gonna make these again for the hubs with carob powder — he can’t eat chocolate so this batch was all for meeeeeee! :) :)
  16. Hi it’s me again! I just made another batch, this time with carob powder and carob chips for my non-chocolate eating husband and he loves them! YEAH! Thanks again for a great recipe!

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