These paleo and gluten-free chocolate zucchini muffins are easy to make, moist, and super chocolatey! Made with simple ingredients like almond flour, shredded zucchini, cocoa powder, eggs, and coconut sugar, these healthy muffins will be a hit with your whole family!

A closeup of paleo chocolate zucchini muffins on a wire cooling rack.

A healthy chocolate-packed zucchini muffin!

When I’m craving dessert, I want something drop-dead simple that can be made with stuff already in my pantry—and it can’t crazily spike my blood sugar. Ding ding ding! My new chocolate zucchini muffin recipe hits the bullseye. Unlike other muffin recipes, this one doesn’t require you to squeeze out the excess moisture from the shredded zucchini or buy a bunch of different pricey flours from your local health food store. Plus, it’s a tasty way to use up all the zucchini languishing in your crisper! And did I mention there’s chocolate involved?

Almond flour chocolate zucchini muffins

A hand is holding a paleo and gluten free chocolate zucchini muffin.

You hear me right: this recipe doesn’t call for blending together a bunch of different flours. Instead, these chocolate zucchini muffins are made with just almond flour as the base. Even though I love grain-free paleo treats, I don’t have the patience, the budget, or the expandable pants required to test out every single substitution or alternative flour available. I hate wasting money on expensive flours and starches that I’ll rarely use. So any time I can create a paleo dessert recipe with just one type of flour—in this case, almond flour—I call it a day and say “you’re welcome” to my waistline.

Can you make ingredient substitutions?

Unfortunately, I’m not sure how this recipe will work with different flours or how to substitute the eggs, sweetener, etc. If you try a substitution and it works out great, please leave a note in the comments so everyone can benefit from your baking prowess.

Tips FOR MAKING the best chocolate zucchini muffins

  • Use a scale to measure the dry ingredients! The most precise way to measure dry ingredients for a baking recipe is to use an accurate kitchen scale—there’s just too much variability when you rely on measuring cups to portion out ingredients for baking. That’s why I always include gram measurements in my recipe cards for baked goods—just hit the metric button in my recipe card below to convert to grams!
  • No need to peel or squeeze out the zucchini! I hate messing up a clean kitchen towel or wasting paper towels by squeezing shredded zucchini in it, so if I can avoid it, I will. Besides, the extra liquid in the zucchini is perfect for giving a wonderfully moist texture to the muffins!
  • Beat the eggs and coconut sugar well! Coconut sugar doesn’t dissolve easily in liquids so make sure you beat them with the eggs for a good 2 minutes. Don’t be lazy!
  • Work quickly after the wet and dry ingredients are mixed! As soon as the dry and wet ingredients are combined in this muffin recipe, work quickly because the baking soda has been activated. If you dawdle, your muffins won’t rise as well in the oven!

Ingredients

The raw ingredients measured out in bowls for paleo chocolate zucchini muffins.
  • Zucchini: A medium zucchini should work for this recipe—you should end up with about 1¾ cups of shredded zucchini (shredded on the large holes of a box grater) or ~220 grams.
  • Super-fine blanched almond flour: I’m a proud card-carrying member of Costco, so I like to use Kirkland brand finely ground almond flour in this recipe. I don’t know of a good nut-free substitute but I have heard that sunflower seed flour may work as a good almond flour sub. (If it works for you, please let me know in the comments!)
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder: I’ve tried using both natural cocoa powder and dutch-processed cocoa powder in this recipe, and both work.
  • Eggs
  • Coconut sugar: If desired, you can substitute maple sugar in place of coconut sugar. But if you use honey or maple syrup as a substitute, you may need to decrease the amount because of the added liquid.
  • Dark chocolate chips: I use 70% cacao chocolate chips. You can leave them out, but the chips add a ton of chocolate flavor!
  • Vanilla extract
  • Baking soda
  • Cream of tartar: When combined, baking soda and cream of tartar (acid) work together like baking powder as a leavening agent.
  • Diamond Crystal kosher salt

How to make paleo chocolate zucchini muffins

Heat oven to 350°F with the rack in the middle position. While the oven is heating up, line a 12-cup muffin tin with parchment muffin liners or grease well with ghee or coconut oil.

A hand is placing a parchment muffin liner into a muffin tin.

In a medium bowl, combine the almond flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.

Four sequential shots of someone adding cocoa powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt to a bowl of almond flour.

Whisk it all together.

A metal whisk is stirring the dry ingredients in a bowl for chocolate zucchini muffins.

In a separate large bowl, add the coconut sugar, eggs, and vanilla.

Four sequential shots that show someone adding coconut sugar, raw eggs, and vanilla extract to a bowl and mixing it with a hand mixer.

Use a hand mixer or whisk to blend together until the sugar is fully incorporated and the liquid lightens in color to a lighter brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Blending the eggs and coconut sugar until it is frothy and a lighter brown color.

Stir the grated zucchini into the bowl of wet ingredients.

Adding shredded zucchini the bowl with the wet ingredients to make chocolate zucchini muffins.

And make sure the zucchini is well incorporated.

Stirring the shredded zucchini into the coconut sugar and egg mixture with a red silicone spatula.

Next, add the dry almond flour ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients and use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to mix everything until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Four sequential photos that show someone adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients for chocolate zucchini muffins, mixing it with a spatula, pouring in chocolate chips, and mixing them all together.

Divide the batter evenly into each muffin liner.

Using an ice cream scooper to transfer the chocolate zucchini muffin batter into a parchment paper lined muffin tin.

Fill each muffin cup until the batter reaches about ¼ inch from the top. If desired, dot the top with additional chocolate chips.

Adding extra chocolate chips on top of chocolate zucchini muffins before baking them in the oven.

Bake the muffins in the oven at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the muffin tray at the halfway mark.

Four sequential photos that show paleo chocolate zucchini muffins baking in the oven.

The muffins are done cooking when the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

A smiling Asian woman in braids is holding up a muffin pan filled with paleo chocolate zucchini muffins.

Remove the muffins from the oven and transfer the muffins from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Lifting a freshly baked chocolate zucchini muffin from the tin and putting it on a cooling rack.

Enjoy! You can’t even see the zucchini in there!

Two hands are breaking a chocolate zucchini muffin in half and showing the inside.

How to store the muffins

Paleo chocolate zucchini muffins on a cooling rack.

You can store the double chocolate zucchini muffins in a sealed airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for 4 months. When you want to eat a frozen muffin, you can thaw it overnight in the fridge or microwave it for 30 seconds straight from the freezer. If you’re using a countertop toaster oven to heat up a muffin, I would still thaw it first and then bake at 300°F for ~5 minutes or until heated through.


Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2022).


Chocolate Zucchini Muffins (Paleo, Gluten Free, Grain Free)

4.84 from 25 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Servings 12
These paleo and gluten free chocolate zucchini muffins are easy to make, moist, and super chocolatey! Made with simple ingredients like almond flour, shredded zucchini, cocoa powder, eggs, and coconut sugar, these healthy muffins will be a hit with your whole family!

Ingredients 
 

Want to Save this Recipe?
Enter your email below and we’ll send the recipe straight to your inbox!

Instructions 

  • Heat oven to 350°F with the rack in the middle position. While the oven is heating up, line a 12-cup muffin tin with parchment muffin liners or grease well with ghee or coconut oil.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the almond flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Whisk well.
  • In a separate large bowl, add the coconut sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Use a hand mixer on medium high to blend together until the sugar is fully incorporated and the liquid lightens in color to a lighter brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Stir the grated zucchini into the bowl of wet ingredients.
  • Next, add the dry almond flour ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients and use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to mix everything until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Divide the batter evenly into each muffin liner. Fill each muffin cup until the batter reaches about ¼ inch from the top. If desired, dot the top with additional chocolate chips.
  • Bake the muffins in the oven at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the muffin tray at the halfway mark. The muffins are done cooking when the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Remove the muffins from the oven and transfer the muffins to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Video

Notes

  • Use a scale to measure the dry ingredients! The most precise way to measure dry ingredients for a baking recipe is to use an accurate kitchen scale—there’s just too much variability when you rely on measuring cups to portion out ingredients for baking. That’s why I always include gram measurements in my recipe cards for baked goods—just hit the metric button in my recipe card below to convert to grams!
  • No need to peel or squeeze out the zucchini! I hate messing up a clean kitchen towel by squeezing shredded zucchini in it, so if I can avoid it, I will. Besides, the extra liquid in the zucchini is perfect for giving a wonderfully moist texture to the muffins!
  • Beat the eggs and coconut sugar well! Coconut sugar doesn’t dissolve easily in liquids so make sure you beat them with the eggs for a good 2 minutes. Don’t be lazy!
  • Work quickly after the wet and dry ingredients are mixed! As soon as the dry and wet ingredients are combined in this muffin recipe, work quickly because the baking soda has been activated. If you dawdle, your muffins won’t rise as well in the oven!
  • Storage: You can store the chocolate zucchini muffins in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for 4 months. When you want to eat a muffin, you can thaw it overnight in the fridge or microwave it for 30 seconds straight from the freezer. If you’re using a countertop toaster oven to heat up a muffin, I would still thaw it first and then bake at 300°F for ~5 minutes or until heated through.

Nutrition

Calories: 248kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 16g | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 13g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

Other Recipes You May Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




23 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These are so fluffy, moist and delicious! Sometimes almond flour baked goods feel heavy but these are so light. I will absolutely make these again.

  2. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe! I didn’t have enough almond flour so for the base I used 1 c almond flour, 1/2 c coconut flour, and 1/3 c paleo valley chocolate bone broth protein. This let me cut out the coconut sugar entirely. Then I added 2 tbls maple syrup and a few drops of pure stevia.

  3. They look great! Can’t we just use baking powder instead of mixing baking soda and cream of tartar, though? I have some that doesn’t have aluminum if that’s why it’s being avoided… If using baking powder, would we use 1 and a half teaspoons or less? Thanks!

  4. 5 stars
    These turned out great and delicious! I’m at a higher altitude (~5495 ft) so I cut the baking soda down to 1/2 tsp. Also didn’t have cream of tartar so subbed in lemon juice. Will definitely be making these again.

    1. I haven’t tried maple syrup but you can try 3/4 cup maple syrup. It will add extra liquid so I would probably squeeze out the liquid from the shredded zucchini first.