This chocolate zucchini muffins recipe is made with grated zucchini and melted dark chocolate, instead of cocoa powder, for a tender, fluffy muffin that has a great muffin top.
This post was sponsored by Cacao Barry.
Back to school: three words that make children and adults cringe. Growing up, I was undoubtedly sad to see summer vacation come to an end with all the freedom, relaxing, and leisure reading that summer brings. But I was usually quite excited about the prospect of a new school year and a new start.
Shopping for all the paper products and pens to get the new year started was always the most exciting part. It was an opportunity to start the year on the right foot, to be organized, to be neat. I could implement a system with coloured pens and new notebooks. Or maybe I was going to use binders with colourful dividers. Back to school brought exciting decisions in my geeky little world. And also, excuses to make and eat muffins.
Which chocolate should you use?
There are different types of chocolate to choose from and this can be confusing when it comes time to make chocolate muffins. Many muffins will call for cocoa powder instead of dark chocolate, but I wanted to make a muffin with melted 70 % dark chocolate.
In pastry school, we baked with Cacao Barry chocolates exclusively, pouring the pistoles* of chocolate from giant 5 kilo boxes of the stuff (*pistoles are kind of like big flattened chocolate chips). It was chocolate heaven and we were happily spoiled. Because this chocolate comes in little pistoles, there was no need to chop chocolate to use it. And because Cacao Barry’s line of chocolates are higher quality than most, I found that it melted easier and took a lot of the stress out of baking with chocolate.
So, as of 2012, I started baking almost exclusively with this brand, even though back then, I had to invest in large 5 kilo boxes of their chocolate, which I could only find in specialty stores for restaurants, most of the time. I put that chocolate to good use in recipes like cherry chocolate crumble, vanilla cake with milk chocolate frosting, chocolate drop cookies, and Popcorn brittle brownies.
Today, you can find Alunga and Ocoa Cacao Barry chocolate at IGA grocery stores in Quebec in smaller 1 kilo resealable bags. The Ocoa chocolate is a 70% cocoa dark chocolate with a deep cocoa flavour that’s not too sour and not too sweet. The Alunga is a 41% cocoa milk chocolate that even die-hard dark chocolate fans love because it has just the right balance of sweet and chocolate with a lovely creamy flavour. If you aren’t living in Quebec, you can order these and most Cacao Barry products online via the Vanilla Food Company website and they ship across Canada and to the United States! This means that we all have access to professional quality chocolates so we can make better baked goods at home. Just like you should always cook with a wine you enjoy drinking, you should always bake with a chocolate you would enjoy eating.
I’m celebrating back-to-school with chocolate zucchini muffins. This is actually a double chocolate muffin recipe, combining both the Ocoa dark chocolate from Cacao Barry melted into the muffin batter and the Alunga milk chocolate pistoles folded in just before baking. These zucchini chocolate muffins are pretty much my dream muffin because they combine good chocolate with a healthy dose of whole-wheat flour for nuttiness and lots of cinnamon. These muffins have a really great muffin top with a lovely crunch to it, which is something I search for in a muffin. If you like a good muffin top, this recipe is for you!
Muffins freeze well once baked. Just let them cool completely, then freeze solid on a sheet pan, then transfer to an airtight freezer bag to store for a couple of months. You can defrost them overnight in the fridge, or heat them up straight from frozen in a low oven (like 250ºF to 300 ºF).
Chocolate zucchini muffins
- 125 grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour
- 125 grams (1 cup) whole-wheat flour
- 2 tsp (2 tsp) Baking powder
- 1 tbsp (1 tbsp) ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp (1/2 tsp) fine kosher salt
- 230 g (1 1/2 cups) zucchini, grated
- 115 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
- 126 g (3/4 cup) Cacao Barry Ocoa 70% dark chocolate
- 200 g (1 cups) granulated sugar
- 2 (2 ) large eggs
- 1 tsp (1 tsp) pure vanilla extract
- 125 mL (1/2 cup) milk (2 % fat)
- 75 g (1/2 cup) Cacao Barry Alunga 41% milk chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line 10 cavities of a muffin tray with paper liners and set aside for later.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
- Squeeze the grated zucchini over a strainer and leave it to drain while you work on the rest of the recipe to remove as much water as possible.
- In a saucepan, melt together the butter with the Ocoa chocolate pistoles on medium-low. Take your time and stir often to avoid burning the chocolate. Remove from the heat and transfer the melted mixture to a large bowl.
- Stir in the sugar and the eggs, one at a time, the vanilla, and then the milk. Mix this well so it's quite smooth and evenly mixed. Pour in the dry ingredients and stir them in gently. Give the shredded zucchini a good final squeeze before adding it to the bowl with the muffin batter. Fold it in. Then fold in the Alunga chocolate.
- Using a #12 scoop (like this on Amazon), divide the batter among the 10 muffin cups.
- Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven until a cake tester inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. This takes about 20 to 25 minutes because the muffins are quite large.
- Let the muffins cool about 5 minutes in the pan to set, then transfer them to a cooling rack.
- I baked these muffins with Cacao Barry Ocoa and Alunga chocolates, which you can find at IGA grocery stores in Quebec, or online at Vanilla Food Company.
- For oversized muffins with a good muffin top, use a big #12 scooper, like this one on Amazon.
This post is sponsored by Cacao Barry. I was compensated monetarily and with product. Thanks for supporting the companies that allow me to create content for Kitchen Heals Soul. As always, please know that I wouldn’t work with a sponsor nor recommend a product if it wasn’t worth it.
Please note this post contains affiliate links to Amazon. If you buy a product I recommend, I will get a small commission, and the price you have to pay will not change in any way.
Janice Lawandi is chemist-turned-baker, working as a recipe developer in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She studied pastry at Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa and cooking at l’Académie Culinaire. She has a BSc in Biochemistry from Concordia University and a PhD in Chemistry from McGill University. Visit janicelawandi.com to see my portfolio.