Zucchini Muffins with Applesauce

You will love these easy zucchini muffins with applesauce because they’re quick to make, moist, and fluffy! A great way to get your veggies in (without even tasting them!) for breakfast or as a snack.

close up of a zucchini applesauce muffin sitting on a wire cooling rack, along with the additional muffins from the batch., a white linen, and zucchinis

Zucchini baked goods are a MUST towards the end of summer when zucchinis are so abundant that you don’t quite know what to do with all of it. Double chocolate zucchini muffins, whole wheat zucchini bread, and these applesauce zucchini muffins are on a heavy rotation when it’s zucchini season!

This recipe for zucchini muffins with applesauce is a lovely version of a simple spice muffin that just so happens to have veggies in it. 

TELL ME ABOUT THIS ZUCCHINI MUFFIN RECIPE

Level of difficulty: Easy. 

Flavor & Texture: The spices shine through in this simple muffin recipe… don’t worry, you can’t taste the zucchini!

Time: It will take you approximately 35 minutes to prepare this easy zucchini muffin recipe. This does not include cooling time…but I’ll be the first to admit that I can’t help but dive once they’re out of the oven and moved over to the cooling rack.

ingredients needed to make zucchini muffins with applesauce.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

  • Large eggs
  • Neutral oil (canola oil or vegetable oil)
  • Granulated sugar
  • Unsweetened applesauce
  • Vanilla extract
  • Zucchini
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • All-purpose flour
  • Coarse sugar for topping (turbinado sugar)
12 image collage showing how to make zucchini muffins with applesauce. These images show the process of mixing up the batter.

OVERVIEW: HOW TO MAKE ZUCCHINI MUFFINS WITH APPLESAUCE

  1. Preheat the oven and prepare muffin tins. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare muffin tins by either lining with cupcake liners or spraying with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Combine wet ingredients: Whisk together the eggs, oil, sugar, applesauce, and vanilla extract. Then stir in the shredded zucchini.
  3. Add in dry ingredients: Slowly stir in the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and flour. Stir until just combined, DO NOT overmix your batter (a few lumps are ok!).
  4. Scoop batter into prepared muffin tins: Divide batter between 12 standard sized muffin tins, filling the tins about ⅔ full.
  5. Top with turbinado sugar. Before putting the muffins into the oven, add a sprinkle of turbinado sugar on top of each muffin. This adds a nice texture and a little more sweetness to your muffins.
  6. Bake: Bake muffins for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (ok to have a few crumbs).
  7. Cool: Allow muffins to cool in the muffin tins for a few minutes and then move them to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  8. Enjoy! Enjoy these muffins warm or cold. Option to slather with butter, or whatever other topping you may enjoy!
  9. Store leftovers: Store completely cooled muffins in an air-tight container. They can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to 1 week.
process shot showing a large cookie scoop being used to fill a muffin tin filled with liners.

RECIPE VARIATIONS AND SUBSTITUTIONS

  • Add some mix-ins! This applesauce zucchini muffin recipe can accommodate up to 1 cup of mix-ins, so have some fun with it!
    • Make zucchini chocolate chip muffins by adding your favorite chocolate chips!  
    • Try adding chopped walnuts or pecans for a zucchini nut muffin.
    • My personal favorite is a combination, adding ½ cup chocolate chips and ½ cup of chopped walnuts! SO YUMMY.
    • Mix in rolled oats for some nice texture and added fiber. I would recommend using ½ cup if choosing to add oats to your zucchini muffins.
    • I’ve also seen recommendations for craisins, raisins, or currents if you’d like to add dried fruit to your zucchini muffins.
  • Add a glaze instead of the turbinado sugar: If you’d prefer to have a glazed muffin, skip sprinkling the muffins with turbinado sugar before baking. Instead, once the muffins are cooled, add a simple glaze. Plain or lemon would both be lovely on these applesauce zucchini muffins! To make a simple glaze for your muffins, whisk together 1 cup of powdered sugar with 2-3 teaspoons of liquid until a smooth glaze is formed. 
    • Using water with a tiny splash of vanilla makes a quick vanilla glaze.
    • For a lemon glaze, use fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Option to add some lemon zest into your glaze if desired (½-1 tsp would work well, but adjust the amount to your taste).

MODIFICATIONS FOR DIETARY RESTRICTIONS: GLUTEN FREE, VEGAN

These zucchini muffins with applesauce are vegetarian and dairy-free as written. One quick swap can make these into gluten free zucchini muffins or into vegan zucchini muffins!

  • Using a 1-to-1 gluten free flour is a good option for making this into a gluten free zucchini muffin recipe! I’ve had success baking with this 1-to-1 gluten free flour, however, I have not used it specifically for this recipe.
  • To alter these into zucchini vegan muffins, the eggs need to be replaced with a vegan-friendly substitute. If I were to do this, I would default to using 2 flax eggs to replace the 2 eggs in this recipe (2 Tbsp ground flax + 6 Tbsp water, mixed, and allowed to sit for about 5 minutes). I found this blog post helpful and interesting for vegan egg substitute ideas too!
close up of a healthy zucchini muffin sitting on a wire cooling rack, along with the additional muffins from the batch.

TIPS FOR GRATING ZUCCHINI

Grating zucchini for baking is easy with a few helpful tips!

  • After washing your zucchini, cut off the rounded end and use the stem-end as a handle while grating.
  • I recommend using a simple 3D, or box grater, to shred zucchinis for baking. I place my grater on a dinner plate, and while applying medium pressure, quickly move the zucchini up and down the grater, always keeping the zucchini touching the grater (it grates on the downward motion). The box grater keeps most of the zucchini pieces inside of it, and the plate is a simple surface to transfer your grated zucchini over to a measuring cup on and then to clean afterwards.
  • Don’t select a super small grating size for zucchinis, they will turn to mush. I use the larger, circular holes on my box grater. Similar to what you might use for a block of hard cheese.

EXPERT TIPS

There is no need to peel your zucchini before grating. The skin of a zucchini is soft and contains a lot of nutrients. There is no need to remove it for baking (or eating in general).

Do not blot or squeeze out the liquid from your shredded zucchini! The zucchini makes these muffins wonderfully moist. Removing the liquid after shredding the zucchini will result in dry muffins.

Do not overmix the batter. To get light and fluffy muffins, mix your batter until just combined. This is sometimes described as being to the point where the dry ingredients are moistened. A few lumps in your batter are ok! Overmixing develops the glutens within the flour which results in denser muffins.

close up of a sliced zucchini applesauce muffin slathered in butter sitting on a muffin wrapper, along with the additional muffins from the batch., a white linen, and zucchinis

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

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close up of a zucchini applesauce muffin sitting on a wire cooling rack, along with the additional muffins from the batch., a white linen, and zucchinis

Zucchini Muffins with Applesauce

These easy zucchini muffins with applesauce are quick to make, moist, and fluffy! A great way to get your veggies in (without even tasting them!) for breakfast or as a snack.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 12 Servings
Calories 190 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 C neutral oil (canola or vegetable)
  • 1/2 C unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 C shredded zucchini (from approx. 3 medium zucchinis)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 + 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • optional: turbinado sugar for topping

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare muffin tins by either lining with cupcake liners or spraying with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Whisk together the eggs, oil, sugar, applesauce, and vanilla extract. Then stir in the shredded zucchini.
  • Slowly stir in the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and flour. Stir until just combined, DO NOT overmix your batter (a few lumps are ok!).
  • Divide batter between 12 standard sized muffin tins, filling the tins about ⅔ full.
  • Before putting the muffins into the oven, add a sprinkle of turbinado sugar on top of each muffin if desired. This adds a nice texture and a little more sweetness to your muffins.
  • Bake muffins for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (ok to have a few crumbs).
  • Allow muffins to cool in the muffin tins for a few minutes and then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Enjoy these muffins warm or cold. Option to slather with butter, or whatever other topping you may enjoy!
  • Store completely cooled muffins in an air-tight container. They can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Notes

RECIPE VARIATIONS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
  • Add some mix-ins! This applesauce zucchini muffin recipe can accommodate up to 1 cup of mix-ins, so have some fun with it!
    • Make zucchini chocolate chip muffins by adding your favorite chocolate chips!  
    • Try adding chopped walnuts or pecans for a zucchini nut muffin.
    • My personal favorite is a combination, adding ½ cup chocolate chips and ½ cup of chopped walnuts! SO YUMMY.
    • Mix in rolled oats for some nice texture and added fiber. I would recommend using ½ cup if choosing to add oats to your zucchini muffins.
    • I’ve also seen recommendations for craisins, raisins, or currents if you’d like to add dried fruit to your zucchini muffins.
  • Add a glaze instead of the turbinado sugar: If you’d prefer to have a glazed muffin, skip sprinkling the muffins with turbinado sugar before baking. Instead, once the muffins are cooled, add a simple glaze. Plain or lemon would both be lovely on these applesauce zucchini muffins! To make a simple glaze for your muffins, whisk together 1 cup of powdered sugar with 2-3 teaspoons of liquid until a smooth glaze is formed. 
    • Using water with a tiny splash of vanilla makes a quick vanilla glaze.
    • For a lemon glaze, use fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Option to add some lemon zest into your glaze if desired (½-1 tsp would work well, but adjust the amount to your taste).
 
EXPERT TIPS
There is no need to peel your zucchini before grating. The skin of a zucchini is soft and contains a lot of nutrients. There is no need to remove it for baking (or eating in general).
Do not blot or squeeze out the liquid from your shredded zucchini! The zucchini makes these muffins wonderfully moist. Removing the liquid after shredding the zucchini will result in dry muffins.
Do not overmix the batter. To get light and fluffy muffins, mix your batter until just combined. This is sometimes described as being to the point where the dry ingredients are moistened. A few lumps in your batter are ok! Overmixing develops the glutens within the flour which results in denser muffins.

Nutrition

Calories: 190kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 3gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.003gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 173mgPotassium: 91mgFiber: 1gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 85IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 24mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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Comments

  1. Lynne says

    5 stars
    These muffins have been the perfect breakfast for my toddlers! They were simple to make and so delicious 🙂

    • ourlovelanguageisfood says

      I’m so happy to hear your kiddos enjoyed them Lynne! Thank you so much for making these a part of your breakfast time 🙂