These moist and flavorful Vegan Zucchini Muffins are made with whole-food plant-based ingredients and are oil-free. A healthy and delicious muffin is topped with coconut vanilla icing for breakfast, snack, or dessert.
I asked the hubby to bring home some zucchini I was planning to roast with other mixed vegetables. He got enough zucchini that these vegan muffins had a few leftovers.
I have a soft spot for muffin recipes and love to enjoy them as a plant-based breakfast idea. Different seasons call for different types. In the fall, I make vegan pumpkin muffins, and in the winter, banana carrot muffins, and spring and summer is the perfect time for zucchini muffins. It’s the ideal alternative to zucchini bread!
I’ve been enjoying these muffins the last few days. I zap one in the microwave for 10 seconds to warm it up a bit and enjoy it alongside my morning coffee.
They are subtly sweet. They’re refined sugar-free, relying on the natural sweetness of banana and organic maple syrup. They’re also oil-free and use white whole wheat flour for added fiber. A healthy, low-calorie, plant-based muffin with added veggies, you can’t go wrong!
Why This Recipe Works
- Easy and delicious
- Bakes to a golden brown
- Get some extra veggies in your diet
- Whole food plant-based ingredients
- Moist and fluffy
- Naturally sweetened
- No refined sugar
Ingredients and Notes
Using white whole wheat flour increases the fiber in each muffin. Unlike all-purpose flour, it has not been processed to strip the nutrients and fiber from the grain. If you don’t have white whole wheat flour, you can use wheat flour, but the muffins will be dense in texture.
Combining the apple cider vinegar with the almond milk creates a vegan buttermilk, which makes these muffins light and fluffy. It also assists in leavening.
Making a flax egg helps to bind the ingredients.
The mashed banana is used as a substitute for oil. Oil in baking recipes adds moisture. Adding mashed banana brings moisture as well as natural sweetness to these muffins.
See the recipe card at the end of the post for a complete list of ingredients.
Vegan Zucchini Muffins Instructions
Make Flax Egg: Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 2 ½ tablespoons of water. Whisk with a fork, and set aside, allowing to sit for 5 minutes.
Make Vegan Buttermilk: While flax egg sits, make your vegan buttermilk. In a small mixing bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with ⅓ cup of almond milk. Whisk with a fork and set aside for 5 minutes. Milk will curdle and turn into buttermilk.
Shred Zucchini: While flax egg and vegan buttermilk sit, shred your zucchini. You can use a box grater or the grating attachment on your food processor. Measure out 1 cup of grated zucchini packed.
Note: Depending on the size of your zucchini, you may need 1-2. You could have a bit extra, or you may have some leftovers.
Whisk Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
Whisk Wet Ingredients: In a medium mixing bowl, mash the banana until it is wholly mashed without any lumps. Or use a food processor to liquify the banana and then transfer it to a medium mixing bowl. After the flax egg and buttermilk have had time to sit, add them to the bowl with the banana, and add the maple syrup. Whisk to combine.
Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients: In the large bowl with the sifted flour, create a well by pushing the flour to the sides. Add the wet ingredients to the center of the well.
Slowly fold the wet and dry ingredients together until combined. Do not over-mix. When wet and dry ingredients are combined, fold in shredded zucchini.
Note: At this time, you can add ¼ cup of dairy-free chocolate chips or ¼ cup of chopped nuts.
Bake in the Oven: Bake for 30-35 minutes on the center rack of your oven or until tops are golden brown. Remove from oven, transfer to a cooling rack, and allow to cool completely before serving.
Measuring flour is tricky, yet an essential aspect of baking. When you’re creating vegan baked goods using alternative flour, it’s even more important! Too much flour, and you end up with a dense and dry muffin.
It’s very easy to add too much flour, even when measuring with measuring cups. Flour gets packed down, resulting in more flour than needed.
The best way to ensure you have the correct amount of flour is to weigh it rather than using measuring cups. One cup of flour is about 120 grams.
However, if you cannot weigh your flour, use the correct method to measure flour, known as “spoon and level.” Fluff the flour with a fork, or sift the flour. Then spoon it into the measuring cup, and level it with a knife.
If you scoop your measuring cup into the bag of flour, you will end up with too much!
Zucchini is full of moisture. When added to baked goods, it brings a natural moistness. After it’s baked, you hardly recognize or taste the zucchini itself. These muffins are light and sweet, fluffy and moist!
Yes! These muffins are on the healthy side. They’re oil-free and use whole grain flour, and maple syrup, and banana for sweetness. There’s no refined sugar! Zucchini are also full of vitamins and nutrients. They’re high in antioxidants and exceptionally high in Vitamin A, which supports your vision and immune system!
Variations and Substitutions
- Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins-Add ¼ cup of dairy-free chocolate chips, or sprinkle a few chocolate chips on the top of the muffins before baking.
- Zucchini Nut Muffins-Add ¼ cup of chopped nuts of your to the batter. I like chopped pecans or chopped walnuts.
- Gluten-Free Zucchini Muffins-Substitute a gluten-free flour mix to make these muffins gluten-free. I recommend Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 baking flour. Bake may vary depending on the type of gluten-free flour you use.
- Version with Oil: If you prefer oil, substitute the banana for coconut oil.
- No Maple Syrup: You may substitute maple syrup for coconut or organic brown sugar.
- Sift the dry ingredients for a fluffy, light texture.
- Give the flax egg and almond milk/vinegar enough time to sit and curdle. About 5 minutes is all you need.
- To get a lump-free liquid banana to, use a food processor with the blade attachment. I also use the food processor to shred the zucchini using the grater attachment.
How to Serve
Serve for breakfast or a snack. You can also make these muffins into more of a dessert by adding chocolate chips to the dough, or sprinkling them on top. If you’re into icing, you can make a coconut cream vanilla icing to spread on top.
How to Store and Keep
Store and Keep-Store at room temperature in an airtight container. Muffins will keep at room temperature for 3-4 days but will become dryer as the days go on. After 4 days transfer to the refrigerator to keep for an additional 3 days.
Freeze-If you’d like to freeze these muffins transfer them to a freezer safe bag and seal without any air pockets. Muffins will keep frozen for up to 2 months. When ready to eat allow to defrost at room temperature.
More Muffin Recipes!
Vegan Zucchini Muffins
- 1 ½ cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 ripe banana mashed
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon ground flax
- 2 ½ tablespoon warm water
- 1 cup grated zucchini
- ¼ cup dairy free chocolate chips optional
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts or pecans optional
- Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small bowl combine 1 tablespoon of ground flax with 2 ½ tablespoon of water. Whisk with a fork, and set aside allowing to sit for 5 minutes.
- While flax egg sits make your vegan buttermilk. In a small mixing bowl combine 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with ⅓ cup of almond milk. Whisk with a fork and set aside for 5 minutes. Milk will curdle and turn into buttermilk.
- While flax egg and vegan buttermilk are sitting, shred your zucchini. Using a cheese grater of the grating attachment on your food processor grate 1 medium zucchini. Measure out 1 cup of grated zucchini packed.
- In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl mash banana until it is completely mashed without any lumps. Or use a food processor to liquify the banana and then transfer to medium mixing bowl. After flax egg, and buttermilk have had time to sit, add them to the bowl with the banana, and add the maple syrup. Whisk to combine.
- In the large bowl with the sifted flour create a well by pushing the flour to the sides. Add the wet ingredients to the center of the well. Slowly fold the wet and dry ingredients together until combined. Do not over mix. When wet and dry ingredients are combined fold in shredded zucchini.
- In the large bowl with the sifted flour create a well by pushing the flour to the sides. Add the wet ingredients to the center of the well. Slowly fold the wet and dry ingredients together until combined. Do not over mix. When wet and dry ingredients are combined fold in shredded zucchini. Add ¼ cup of chocolate chips of chopped nuts if you choose.
- Line your muffin tins with muffin cups. I like to use parchment paper muffin cups. Fill muffin cups ¾ of the way full. You should have enough batter for 12 muffins.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes on the center rack of your oven, or until tops are golden brown. Remove from oven, transfer to a cooling rack, and allow to cool completely before serving.
- Nutrition facts are calculated without chocolate chips or nuts.
- Depending on the size of your zucchini, you may need an extra zucchini, or you may have some shredded zucchini left over.
- Add ½ cup of dairy-free chocolate chips or ½ cup of chopped nuts to the batter before baking.
- Store at room temperature in an airtight container. Muffins will keep at room temperature for 3-4 days but will become dryer as the days go on. After four days, transfer to the refrigerator to save for three more days.