Does anybody else have a fridge full of zucchini right now? I can barely close the my crisper drawer! Between summer sautés, stewed summer squash, and the long list of ways to bake with it, zucchini is one of my favorite bits of seasonal summer produce.
It adds moisture, structure, and a tiny bit of nutrition to cakes, cookies, quick breads, and anywhere else you can think to throw in a handful or two. I’m not saying adding zucchini to your bakes will absolve them of sugar and butter, but that sentiment has certainly worked as my excuse when reaching for a second Zucchini Coffee Cake Muffin. I mean, they have two cups of squash in them—they’re practically salad. Or something.Zucchini Coffee Cake Muffins are what happens when you take all the good things about zucchini bread and coffee cake, combine them in a batter, scoop it into a muffin tin, top it off with a cinnamon crumb, bake until golden, and drizzle a glaze on top. Health food, these are not, but you don’t come to this corner of the internet for health food. You come here because you are looking for more ways to get crispy cinnamon crumb topping into your diet.Here, zucchini serves as a replacement for the usual liquid ingredients in our batter, like milk and sour cream. While I usually suggest wringing the shredded squash in a towel to remove excess moisture, this is one of those rare zucchini recipes where you can bypass the wringing and throw it directly into the batter. You need all the moisture you it can offer—when you first add the squash to the batter, it’ll be super dry, but after sitting a few minutes, it’ll be thick, rich and ready for the oven!The rest of the recipe is standard muffin and coffee cake fare, all the way down to the crunchy crumb and glaze. That said, I won’t tell anybody if you eat one and call it a serving of vegetables.
Zucchini Coffee Cake Muffins
makes 12 muffins
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups zucchini grated on the large side of a box grater, not drained (about 1-1 1/2 medium zucchini)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
2-3 teaspoons milk of choice
Make the crumb. In a small mixing bowl, use a fork to whisk together flour, light brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add melted butter and stir together until everything is moistened and clumps form. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a 12-cup standard muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
Make muffin batter. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla; mixture may be a bit lumpy. Mix in the dry ingredients—mixture will be dry and crumbly. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to fold in grated zucchini. Let sit 10 minutes and stir again; batter should be thick and no longer dry.
Divide batter among muffin cups—they will be full. Top with crumb and lightly press with your fingers to adhere. Carefully tap the pan on the counter five times to release any large air bubbles. Bake for 5 minutes, then turn the oven temperature down to 350F and bake for an additional 14-15 minutes.
Remove muffins from the oven and let cool in the pan for at least five minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.
Make glaze. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together confectioners sugar and milk until thick, but pourable. Drizzle over muffins. Let sit 5-10 minutes before serving. Glaze will set completely after several hours.
Leftovers will keep covered at room temperature for up to two days or in the refrigerator for up to four.