These gluten-free zucchini muffins are fluffy, moist, and filled with chocolate chips! No one will know these are made with almond flour! If you're relatively new to the gluten-free world like I am and you're missing fluffy, moist muffins, give these a try!
Gluten-Free Zucchini Muffins
The idea for these gluten free zucchini muffins came from a gluten-free carrot cake recipe by Bon Appétit magazine that used almond flour as a wheat flour substitute. I'm no gluten-free flour expert, but I figured both carrot cake and zucchini bread include shredded vegetables and delicious warm spices, and sure enough, almond flour worked beautifully in these gluten free zucchini muffins!
I have several muffin recipes, and some are rich while others are healthy. These zucchini muffins fall somewhere in the middle! I wouldn't say they're completely healthy since they do contain sugar as well as chocolate chips, but they're relatively healthy-ish, and won't sit heavy on the stomach thanks to the lack of gluten!
Tips for making the best gluten free zucchini muffins
- Don't grate your zucchini too finely! Use the regular holes on your box grater, not the smaller holes. If your zucchini is shredded too finely, it won't provide the muffins any structure and you'll get mushy muffins.
- Squeeze that water out! After grating the zucchini, it's important that you squeeze out as much liquid as you can! Zucchini has a lot of moisture, so I suggest even using a paper towel to get as much liquid out as possible.
- Beat the eggs and sugar really well. It's important to beat it together until it triples in volume, which takes about 5 to 8 minutes using an electric hand mixer. You're looking for it to be really aerated so when the muffins bake, the whipped eggs trap air and gives the muffins a nice structure.
- Use butter, not oil! While I was testing out this recipe, I made them using olive oil to make it healthier than using butter, but the muffins were too moist! This muffin needs a fat that's solid at room temperature, like butter, whether it's regular butter or dairy-free vegan butter. You can also use coconut oil, but I like using butter for extra flavor!
What spices go in zucchini muffins?
Zucchini bread and zucchini muffins are essentially oil-based spice cakes. It's often so spiced that you can barely see the green specks of zucchini!
I used the classic zucchini bread spices, which are cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and nutmeg! I also added a touch of lemon zest to brighten the flavors, since zucchini is a summer vegetable. You could leave both the spices and the lemon zest out if you're not a fan, but the spices help to bring out the flavor of the chocolate chips, so I highly recommend adding them!
What mix-ins to add to zucchini muffins?
This is where you can get really creative! The muffin base isn't too sweet so I think it pairs well with a sweet mix-in, like chocolate chips, blueberries, or even dried cranberries. My personal favorite is adding dark chocolate chips that get nice and melty as they bake!
You can also leave the chocolate chips out to get a more classic zucchini muffin. Either way, these muffins are going to be delicious!
More muffins to try!
- Blueberry muffins
- Apple streusel muffins
- Cranberry orange muffins (GF/DF)
- Pumpkin morning glory muffins (V)
- Kinako muffins (GF)
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins
- 2¼ cups / 216g almond flour
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 7.3 oz / 208g zucchini, grated and moisture squeezed out (about 1½ zucchinis)
- ½ cup / 40g desiccated coconut
- ⅓ cup / 76g unsalted vegan butter, melted and slightly cooled (coconut oil works too)
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup / 100g light brown sugar
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup vegan chocolate chips (plus extra to garnish before baking)
- Preheat the oven to 410°F/210°C. Line ten cups of a muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and lemon zest.
- In another bowl, toss together the grated and squeezed zucchini, desiccated coconut, and melted butter.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs and light brown sugar using an electric hand mixer for about 5 to 8 minutes until it triples in volume. The mixture should fall off the hand mixer and drizzle back into the bowl and hold a ribbon for a few seconds.
- Add vanilla to the egg mixture and beat once again.
- With the mixer speed on low, add a third of the flour to the egg mixture, followed by a third of the zucchini mixture, and repeat, beating well after each addition.
- Divide the batter among the ten muffin liners and bake for 7 minutes. Without taking the muffins out, reduce the heat to 375°F/190°C and bake for another 13 to 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, and take them out on a wire rack to cool completely.