Spiced Zucchini Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
These cupcakes feel like the perfect fusion of summer and the ever-closer autumn. They are packed with the moist shredded zucchini that is still growing rampant in the Northwest, and then the cake and frosting are both lightly spiced which throws a nod towards the cozy months to follow.
I think that these are rustic and beautiful with the little flecks of green when you break open the little cakes.
I also wound up making these without cupcake liners, (sometimes when you send your husband to the store for white or brown cupcake liners and he comes back with shiny metallic’s and rainbow stripes (??) you kind of decide to bag them all together). The effect of the cakes and the piped frosting made these feel like little gateau’s in a French bakery instead of plain old cupcakes. Well, maybe I am getting carried away…. But they are cute!
If for no other reason than to use up the gobs of zucchini around, try these cupcakes. They truly are moist and delicious and the subtle spice and sweetness of the cake contrast so nicely with the cinnamon cream cheese frosting!
Spiced Zucchini Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting, makes 2 dozen
1 cup vegetable oil
2 ¼ cups white sugar
3 cups flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ginger
½ tsp nutmeg
2 cups zucchini, shredded
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cup butter, room temperature
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbs milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare the muffin tin with cupcake liners or baking spray.
In a mixer, combine the oil and sugar until well mixed.
Add the three eggs and beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine all of the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
Add the dry ingredients to the mixer and combine to a thick batter.
Add the shredded zucchini to the batter and stir until the batter is uniform.
Spoon the batter into the muffin tins and fill them to about ¾ full.
Bake the cupcakes for 15 minutes or until just golden brown on top and a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean.
Let the cupcakes cool before transferring them to a cooling rack.
Make the frosting while the cupcakes are cooling.
In a mixer, whip together the soft butter and cream cheese.
Add the vanilla and whip until fluffy.
Add the powdered sugar and cinnamon and the milk.
Whip everything to a light, fluffy frosting.
When the cupcakes are cooled completely, frost them with the cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
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These sound so yummy! Great recipe 🙂
I typically do not bake items that use oil in a recipe because I don’t care for the taste. However, I would love to try these. Could I substitute and use butter in these muffins?
Meredith, sure- go right ahead. I have found that in some cases, the vegetable oil just really helps with moisture, and because it is vegetable oil, it has no flavor, and will let the rest of the ingredients come through. But, please go ahead and use butter- everything tastes good with butter 🙂
I love the cinnamon cream cheese frosting!
Maria- I don’t actually love cream cheese frosting (gasp!) but the vanilla and cinnamon create a good balance for me!
I just bookmarked these! I am not a huge fan of zucchini and my grandmother just gave me 3 of the most giant zucchinis a non-zucchini lover would ever want to see. 🙂 I grated them up and put them in the freezer. Now I’ll need to take one out…these cupcakes look divine!
Oh good! That is where all my zucchini recipes come from- gigantic overgrown zucchini’s my mom or I grow! Baked goods is the best way to deal with them for a non-zucchini lover!
I kid you not, I have made 15 loafs of zucchini bread and one zucchini cake in the last 24 hours. I wish I had seen this recipe before I made all that, it sounds delish!
lol!! next zucchini harvest Amanda!
You had me at “spiced zucchini” and “cream cheese!”
These look so delish.
Love your petites gateaux – tres chic! I am thinking of using coconut oil – thoughts? PS we have the same cake stand!
PLEASE tell me how baking with coconut oil goes- that is very interesting to me. Gotta love the Rosanna pottery!
These look so good, and I love the cake pedestal! I’m glad you just said it was Rosanna pottery in the previous comment…I just checked out their website and I think my bank account will be taking a hit as a result!
yeah- rosanna is a serious problem for me!
want/need this right now!!!
baby charlie likes zucchini? 🙂
What a great swing season recipe, Heather.
That is a perfect marriage between the two seasons! I can’t wait to try that frosting!
Perfect seasonal fusion cupcakes?? Count me in with extra frosting please.
I love the look of these w/o the liners and I agree – the little flecks of green inside are beautiful!!
Beautiful cupcakes Heather! Zucchini bread is so delicious I can only imagine how yummy these are.
I think I could eat the frosting with a spoon! *Swoon*
Your photos are always so fantastic. These cupcakes look delicious.
that is the nicest compliment ever! I am always kicking myself over my pics! thank you 🙂
These look so delicious. I love cinnamon in frosting. Yum!!!
I had these cupcakes and love them with the zucchini and cream cheese frosting. Really lip smacking good. Just one is hard.
I’m grain-free right now, but I’ve flagged this recipe to make after I’m eating some grain again. These look amazing. Cinnamon Frosting! Yum!
I want to swim in that icing!
now what would be the best drink to go along with these? i think blue moon’s harvest pumpkin ale would be wonderful, but i want to make these for an event that i can’t serve alcohol at. suggestions?
I made them last night…delish! The icing is outstanding! I made them in different sizes..small square loaves, mini cupcakes and large cupcakes. I had a problem with the mini cupcakes not releasing from the pan…what do I do when I don’t use cupcake liners so they don’t stick? The mini cupcake pans are not non-stick…help! Thanks Heather for all the yummies!
Hi stacey! So glad that you liked them! I just didn’t use cupcake liners because I didn’t have them on hand. But feel totally free to use them if it makes it easier! What I do when baking is use “baking” PAM. it is my friend. I rarely, rarely have a problem if I just spray with it first and it is so much easier than cutting parchment, etc!
This is a first for me, spiced cupcakes 🙂 been used to the usual sweet ones, a must try!! Feel free to stop by my site am giving away a cupcake maker for free 🙂
Oh my goodness, I must make these!
I always substitute applesauce for oil!
What kind of pastry piping set did you use to pipe the frosting on. I tried to use my plastic tips last night (inside a ziploc) but the frosting wouldnt hold its design. Thanks.
So toinight I made these cupcake &frosting and oh my word these are the bomb!! Followed the recipe exactly and so moist and I didn’t use cupcake liners either just used Pam spray and a little dusting of flour and the came out of tin good!
Hi, these cupcakes are definitely my new favourites! Sooooooooo tasty! I’m from Sweden so this was the first time ever I used (or even tried zucchini) so I must say I was a bit suspicious.. But it was soooo good and a such a well written recipe! One question though, how important is the nutmeg? Can I take it away or replace it with something else? I’m planning on bringing them to school for my English project but there is a strict no-nuts policy and I’m not sure wether the nutmeg qualifies as a nut or not..
So happy that you liked them Lina- Nutmeg is NOT a nut!!! Nutmeg is a spice, much like a cinnamon stick. So you should be absolutely fine.
When you say “ginger” you mean powdered ginger correct?
Yes Kate- powdered ginger!
These cupcakes are amazing! Everyone I make them for loves them (even my hubby who doesn’t have a sweet tooth)! Great great recipe! And the frosting is amazing! Just the right amount of cinnamon and vanilla to help the overpowering taste of cream cheese! Delicious!!!
Awesome Anne!!! thank yoU!!
I found your cupcake recipe after I had my zucchini cupcakes in the oven, but when they are done in a little while, I will definitely try your frosting! Next time I will use your entire recipe. Thank you!