The perfect weekday breakfast for me is three things: quick, decadent, and healthy. I know, I know, it sounds impossible to get both of those last two requirements. But these muffins hit that sweet spot, right in the middle of the Venn diagram. You can make a batch and eat them for a week, so quick. They are triple chocolate, so for sure decadent. And they are made with vegetables? Yep, they are entirely plant-based. Trust me, you need to try these triple chocolate zucchini muffins.
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What You Need to Get Started
- Produce: Zucchini, Avocado
- Pantry: Quick oats, White whole wheat flour, Cocoa powder, Baking soda, Cornstarch, Olive oil, Vanilla extract, Coconut sugar, Cacao Nibs
- Spices: Salt, Espresso powder
- Fridge: Maple syrup, Milk of choice (I used unsweetened coconut milk)
- Equipment: Mixing bowls, Box grater, Muffin pan, Whisk, Silicone spatula, optional: ice cream scoop, nut milk bag, pastry blender
Let’s Make Vegan Chocolate Muffins
If I haven’t scared you away yet, you’re off to a great start. Making vegan muffins is simple really. It’s the same basic process as any other muffin: mix the dry ingredients, mix the wet ingredients, put ’em together, and bake. But the actual ingredients are where you’ll notice a few differences from standard muffins.
To get these started, preheat your oven to 350F. First, whisk together all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. This includes the white whole wheat flour. It’s my favorite flour, and I consider it an absolutely essential. However, you can substitute whole wheat pastry flour or an even split of all-purpose and whole wheat flour.
For the oats, I used quick oats. However, you should have no problem substituting instant or old fashioned. You may find the texture changes slightly. I’d avoid steel-cut oats, though, because they tend to be much thicker. Baking soda and cornstarch are fairly standard. I like the texture cornstarch adds, which I why I use that combined with baking soda instead of baking powder.
The salt, cocoa and espresso powders add a ton of flavor. The espresso powder is optional, but I wouldn’t recommend skipping it if you have some on hand. It adds an extra level of richness to the chocolate flavor, and you won’t regret it. Don’t try substituting ground espresso beans though. The powder you want is designed for baking.
Next, you will combine all of the wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Start with the avocado. I like to use a pastry blender to mash mine, but you can use a fork or potato masher as well. Add in the oil, syrup and vanilla, then whisk until smooth.
For your zucchinis, start by shredding them on the large side of a box grater. Then you need to remove all of the excess water by squeezing it out. I recommend using a nut milk bag so you can really wring it all out. You can also use a clean kitchen towel.
Add the zucchini, discarding the liquid, and half the milk to the bowl with the avocado, and mix until everything is well combined. Add in the dry ingredients, in a couple batches. Fold in using a silicone spatula, until everything is wet, but don’t overmix.
Add the rest of the milk as needed with the last of the dry ingredients. The consistency should be just slightly thicker than standard muffin batter, but with no dry large pockets of dry flour. Gently fold in the chocolate chips until well-distributed.
Transfer the batter to a greased muffin pan. I like using an ice cream scoop to help speed up this process, and get more even muffins. However, you can also use a spoon. Set this pan aside while you prepare the streusel topping.
How to Make Crunchy Cacao Streusel
The topping on these muffins adds some extra cocoa flavor, and a fun crunchy texture. Start by mixing the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Flour, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, and cacao nibs.
If you’ve never tried cacao nibs, but you’re a chocolate lover, you’re in for a treat. I love that they have the rich and bitter cocoa flavor, but are also crunchy. They don’t melt when heated, so they are more like adding chocolate flavored nuts than anything else.
Stir and slowly add in the olive oil, until everything is combined. The texture of this topping should be wetter than traditional streusel, but able to coat the spoon. It will dry out when baked. Spoon it evenly over the muffin batter, but no need to get too meticulous about it.
Bake the muffins for 25-30 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean, but they should also bounce back when gently touched. If they feel fine, but the tester comes out gooey, check to make sure you didn’t hit a melted chocolate chip with your toothpick!
You’ll allow these to cool in the pan for about 20-30 minutes, but longer won’t hurt them. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Then serve or store at room temperature in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
These vegan triple chocolate muffins are so rich, you will not believe they are made with zucchini, oats, and avocado!
How to Serve Triple Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
These muffins can be served immediately, or up to three days later, stored at room temperature in a sealed container. You can warm them up, add a butter-flavored spread, or just eat them plain. They are super versatile, which is great whether you need to grab something quick or want to sit down.
I love the idea of throwing these into a muffin basket and serving with brunch. They’d be an excellent choice to have with something sweet and light, like English-style scones with strawberry cream. Pair with an equally decadent but sweeter drink like chai white hot chocolate.
Use Up Leftover Ingredients
- Avocado: Try adding your extras to a smoothie, for a rich and creamy texture
- Maple Syrup: Fry up some sweet corn fritters with bourbon-maple syrup
- Oats: Have a quick and easy breakfast with coconut, banana, and date oatmeal
- Espresso Powder: Mix into chocolate dessert, like rocky road black bean brownies
- White Whole Wheat Flour: Whip up a batch of brown butter banana bread
- Zucchini: Bake a loaf of chocolate chip zucchini bread
Triple Chocolate Zucchini Oatmeal Muffins
- 1 cup Quick Oats
- 1 cup White Whole Wheat Flour
- 1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Espresso Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Cornstarch
- 1 Avocados
- 1/4 cup Maple Syrup
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 Zucchini Shredded on the large side of a box grater, with the liquid squeezed out
- 1/2 cup Milk of Choice (I used coconut milk)
- 1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
- 2 Tbsp Cacao Nibs
- 3 Tbsp White Whole Wheat Flour
- 1/2 Tbsp Coconut Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- Preheat the oven to 350F, with a rack in the center. Grease a muffin pan.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, cocoa powder, salt, espresso powder, baking soda, and cornstarch until combined.
- In a large mixing bowl, mash to avocado with a pastry blender, potato masher, or fork. Add the maple syrup, olive oil, and vanilla. Stir until combined and smooth. Then add in the zucchini and half the milk, stirring until fully incorporated.
- Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in 2-3 batches, folding in until everything is just moist. Do not over mix. Add the rest of the milk as needed to reach the consistency of a slightly thick muffin batter.
- Fold in the chocolate chips, gently. Then scoop the batter into the prepared cups of the muffin pan.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the streusel except the oil. Slowly add the oil, stirring as you go, until the mixture is a thick liquid that coats the spoon, but does not hold its shape. Spoon the topping over each muffin.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve immediately, or store at room temperature for up to 3 days in a sealed container.
- The streusel topping adds a fun crunch, and the third chocolate in "triple-chocolate." However, it's optional if you prefer to skip it. It will dry out while baking, and add an interesting texture to the muffins, plus more chocolate flavor.
- For the milk, I used So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk. I did not try other plant-based milks, but they should work, since they are mainly adding moisture.
- Many chocolate chips contain dairy, so be sure to use vegan chocolate chips if you need this to be entirely plant-based.
- Make Ahead Tip: These can be made in advance and stored at room temperature. I think they actually taste best on day 2, so I would suggest making them the day before serving. However, you can eat them immediately once cool.