Spiced Zucchini Cupcakes {with Cream Cheese Frosting}

Published August 16, 2015. Updated January 21, 2020

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Zucchini Cupcakes – swirled with plenty of zucchini for moisture, filled with lots of delicious spices and deliciously flavorful with hints of buttermilk and a finishing touch of cream cheese frosting! 

Spiced Zucchini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting | Cooking Classy

Zucchini Cupcakes

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 nutty 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.

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!

How to Make Zucchini Cupcakes

Here’s a quick rundown of the steps to prepare zucchini cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven. Prepare muffin pan with liners.
  2. Whisk dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl sugar and wet ingredients.
  4. Blend the two mixtures then fold in zucchini.
  5. Bake.
  6. Cool.
  7. Make the cream cheese frosting and frost cupcakes.

Spiced Zucchini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting | Cooking Classy

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Spiced Zucchini Cupcakes {with Cream Cheese Frosting}

Aren't we all always looking for ways to use up that summer zucchini? This is one of the tastiest recipes you can make with it! Sweet, spiced cupcakes are dotted with hidden zucchini (that adds a great moisture) and finished with a rich cream cheese frosting.
Servings: 12
Prep30 minutes
Cook20 minutes
Ready in: 50 minutes



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


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
  • In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves for 20 seconds, set aside.
  • 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.
  • For the cream cheese frosting:
  • 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).
  • Recipe source: Cooking Classy