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Zucchini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

5 Reviews

Zucchini cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are super moist with a delicious spice cake flavor and fluffy cream cheese buttercream.

Zucchini cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are super moist with a delicious spice cake flavor and fluffy cream cheese buttercream.

Zucchini is such an amazing food to bake with. I know that the whole idea of putting vegetables in baking sounds weird to a lot of people – but trust me – zucchini is incredible in muffins, cakes, breads and cupcakes. It makes baked goods super moist with a soft crumb, just like these Zucchini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.

So today we’re making zucchini cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. The cupcakes have a delicious spice cake flavor thanks to warm cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves. Then there’s a hint of vanilla and a touch of brown sugar for even more flavor.

The fluffy cream cheese frosting is the perfect topping. Smooth, creamy, extra fluffy and slightly tangy. You’re seriously going to love them.

Zucchini Cupcake Recipe

A plate of freshly baked zucchini cupcakes

How to Make Zucchini Cupcakes

Making these zucchini cupcakes is super easy and straightforward. You can make the cupcakes without an electric mixer, and the recipe comes together in no time.

  1. First grate the zucchini. You’ll want to use a fine cheese grater or zester so that you don’t have big pieces. Then gently soak up any extra liquid using a paper towel.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the oil, sugars, eggs, vanilla extract and milk.
  4. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, then gently fold in the grated zucchini.
  5. Spoon the batter into a lined muffin pan filling each only about 2/3 full. If you fill them to the top your cupcakes can explode or end up sinking in the middle.
  6. Then bake for 16-18 minutes.

How to Make Cupcakes Moist

The cupcakes are extra moist and tender thanks to the oil, 2 eggs, milk and grated zucchini. Then the spices, vanilla extract and brown sugar add so much delicious flavor.

An overhead shot of zucchini cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

What Size Frosting Tip

Then once the cupcakes have cooled it’s time to make the frosting. It’s fluffy and creamy, not too sweet, and complements the zucchini cupcakes perfectly. I decided to pipe my frosting on using a piping bag and a 1M star tip – but feel free to frost them using a knife instead. I gave a little sprinkle of cinnamon for some visual appeal, but I’ve also left them plain or added a walnut on top of each before.

Either way – these zucchini cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are the perfect recipe to use up all the fresh zucchini in season.

Zucchini cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting and a sprinkle of cinnamon

Zucchini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Mom’s Best Zucchini Muffins

For more zucchini recipes – try these zucchini muffins. These zucchini muffins are packed with flavor, super moist, and only need a few ingredients. Mom's best zucchini muffins only need a few ingredients but the sour cream is the most important part. Looking for recipe ideas using zucchini? Make these muffins!

Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Or for more cupcakes, try these banana cupcakes. Super moist with a hint of cinnamon and topped with cream cheese buttercream. These banana cupcakes are super moist with a hint of cinnamon and topped with cream cheese buttercream. 

Zucchini cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are super moist with a delicious spice cake flavor and fluffy cream cheese buttercream.

Zucchini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

4.2 from 5 votes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Additional Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Zucchini cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are super moist with a delicious spice cake flavor and fluffy cream cheese buttercream.

Ingredients

Zucchini Cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup finely grated zucchini
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil canola oil works too
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 4 oz brick-style cream cheese
  • 3 - 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream if needed

Instructions

Zucchini Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and line a muffin pan with muffin papers.
  • Gently dab the grated zucchini with a paper towel to remove excess liquid. It shouldn't be dry, but there shouldn't be extra water.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
  • In a separate large bowl whisk together the oil and sugars until no lumps remain. Then whisk in the eggs, vanilla extract and milk.
  • Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, then gently fold in the grated zucchini using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each about 2/3 full. Be careful not to fill them any more than 3/4 full.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 16-19 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then continue cooling on a wire rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter until soft.
  • Then mix in the cream cheese.
  • With the mixer on low, beat in 3 cups of powdered sugar until combined.
  • If needed, slowly beat in the rest of the powdered sugar a little at a time until the desired consistency and sweetness level is reached. If it gets a little too thick, then beat in the cream.
  • Frost the cupcakes with a knife or using a piping bag and piping tip.

Notes

Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen and thawed in the fridge overnight.
Nutrition Facts
Zucchini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Amount Per Serving (1 cupcake)
Calories 563 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Cholesterol 50mg17%
Sodium 67mg3%
Potassium 109mg3%
Carbohydrates 100g33%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 86g96%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 303IU6%
Calcium 50mg5%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Zucchini cupcakes with cream cheese frosting with spice cake flavor and fluffy cream cheese buttercream.

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About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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9 comments

  • I made your Mom’s best zucchini muffins, used coconut oil, half whole wheat flour, added cranberries.  Used coconut sugar on the top. They are moist and delicious tasting muffins.  Glad I found your recipe. 

    • Reply
    • Hurray! I love your changes! Thanks for leaving a message!

      • Reply
  • never tried cupcakes made from zucchini and cream cheese frosting, must try!

    • Reply
    • You’re going to love them!

      • Reply
  • I’d eat anything with cream cheese frosting on it!

    • Reply
    • Ditto!

      • Reply
  • I just this week am getting zucchini from my garden! Perfect timing for ALL the zucchini recipes 🙂

    • Reply
    • YAY!

      • Reply
  • For step 1 for the frosting you state, “1.In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until soft.”
    Did you mean butter?

    • Reply

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