Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes
I don’t think I could get my three-year old to eat zucchini unless I hid it in something—like a cupcake. That’s pretty serious. Sneaking veggies into dessert kind of defeats the purpose and nutritional value, I know. I’m not trying to pretend that these chocolate zucchini cupcakes are anything other than a treat, and that’s absolutely okay.

I do have to give the shredded zucchini credit for the cupcakes’ moist, light crumb. To top them off, I decided on peanut butter frosting. I had planned to pipe swirls, but I was out of piping bags, and I had no luck using a Ziploc. Instead I pulled out a butter knife and did a little spreading and experimenting along with some crushed cookie crumbs.
Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes
Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes
Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens

Makes 24

For cupcakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups shredded zucchini (about 8 ounces), squeeze out excess water
3 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

For frosting
1/3 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Chocolate cookie crumbs, sprinkles, optional

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another large bowl, whisk together the zucchini, eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla extract. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients along with the chocolate chips. Transfer the batter to the prepared muffin pans. Bake for 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out with just a few crumbs.

Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting, in a large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat the butter, peanut butter, milk and vanilla until smooth. Slowly beat in the confectioners’ sugar until it is a spreadable consistency.

Frost the cupcakes and top with cookie crumbs or sprinkles as desired.

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