Spiced Zucchini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


Veggies in a cupcake? Why yes! Just like carrot cake it just works with these delicious, soft and fluffy Zucchini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. If the little green flecks in them freak you out you could always peel the zucchini first but I think they just give it some pretty color, like green funfetti or something :). The sweet nuty spices in these cupcakes paired with the sweet cream cheese frosting is simply dreamy. And I finally got a cupcake that was actually light and fluffy not like a heavy dense zucchini bread. The trick was adding a little buttermilk. I actually first started with cake flour and the first two batches came out on the dry side so I switched back to regular all-purpose and just added some buttermilk and voila, light and moist and perfectly tender.

Spiced Zucchini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting | Cooking Classy

These will remind you a lot of carrot cake or a fall cake, which are some of my favorite kind. They’re like an apple spice cupcake or even a pumpkin cupcake, but with their own unique taste. You may be skeptical thinking zucchini and cupcakes just shouldn’t go together, but try these and you’ll see they definitely should!

Spiced Zucchini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting | Cooking Classy Spiced Zucchini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting | Cooking Classy


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Spiced Zucchini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting



  • 1 1/2 cups (212g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup (160g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (75ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (140g) finely shredded zucchini
  • Chopped pecans , for garnish (optional)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese , softened slightly
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/3 cups (300g) powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves for 20 seconds, set aside.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together sugar, vegetable oil, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla until well blended. Pour in dry ingredients then using a rubber spatula, fold and stir batter just until combined. Fold in zucchini. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full (about a scant 1/4 cup in each). Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 18 - 21 minutes. Cool in baking pan several minutes then remove and cool on a wire rack. Once cool frost with cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with pecans if desired, store in refrigerator in an airtight container then let rest at room temp about 10 minutes before serving.
  4. For the cream cheese frosting:
  5. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer set with a paddle attachment, whip cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in vanilla and powdered sugar and mix until light and fluffy (during summer months the frosting may be runny, I find the only way to solve this is to transfer the mixing bowl to the freezer and let the frosting freeze in 5 minute intervals, returning to mixer and stirring between intervals until it's a thick consistency).
  6. Recipe source: Cooking Classy


  • Laura Dembowski: I never peel or squeeze zucchini. It adds the best color and moisture. And Jaclyn, you come up with some of the best recipes. I want one of these cupcakes for breakfast! August 25, 2015 at 6:34am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Laura! August 25, 2015 at 10:36am Reply

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