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

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!

What Are Cacao Nibs?

The three different types of chocolate in this recipe are all made from the same plant: the seed of the cacao tree, which grows in tropical climate. But chocolate making is a complex process that involves many different steps. Cacao nibs are one of the simplest, since they are simply the beans fermented, dried, roasted, shelled, and crushed into small pieces.

Other forms of chocolate involve grinding those nibs down into the fluid chocolate liquor (but it’s not alcoholic) which with even further processing can become the cocoa powder and chocolate chips found in this recipe.

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.

If you’d rather stick with other plant-based choices, serve alongside vegan lentil-pecan breakfast sausage. Then pair with a chai latte green smoothie.

Use Up Leftover Ingredients

Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Triple Chocolate Zucchini Oatmeal Muffins

A decadent, plant-based treat. These vegan chocolate-chip dotted chocolate muffins hide healthy zucchini, avocado, and oats, are are topped with a crunchy cacao streusel.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 Muffins
Calories: 216kcal

Ingredients

  • 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)

Cacao Streusel

  • 1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Cacao Nibs
  • 3 Tbsp White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp Coconut Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.
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29 thoughts on “Triple Chocolate Zucchini Muffins [Vegan]

    1. Baking vegan is really fun, because you know there’s hidden veggies and good healthy stuff everywhere. Thank you!

  1. I need to make these!!! I’m a vegan myself and love finding recipes that are vegan, healthy but still incredibly delicious! Love how you’ve added avocado and zucchini to the mixture. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    1. The avocado and zucchini add so much to these! And trust me, you won’t even know they are there when all you taste is rich, creamy, chocolate.

  2. These honestly sound so good! After the deliciousness of black bean brownies I’m up for trying new things in my baked goods, lol. I also just love all the info in your posts and how detailed it is – I was reading through going “What is a cacao nib?” and then there’s a box and paragraph answering my question!

    1. I have no idea how baked goods make vegetables and beans basically disappear, but it’s like magic. I’m glad you enjoy all the background info! I love doing the research on recipes and providing that extra information. It’s more fun to understand what we are eating.

    1. Definitely! The chocolate makes this a super decadent and elevated version of zucchini bread. Enjoy!

    1. Ooh, I haven’t tried that, but I bet it would work! If you try it out, let me know how it goes.

  3. This is great! I was vegan for a few years and one issue I had was not finding enough snack options. I’m no longer vegan, just vegetarian now, but these would be great to make either way.

    1. I’m not fully vegan either, which allows for more wiggle room with these. For example, you can use regular non-vegan chocolate chips!

    1. It’s totally insane! I will never fully understand the magic that makes chocolate go so well with vegetables.

    1. These will for sure hit the spot. There is so much chocolate in these, you’ll forget you’re eating vegetables!

  4. These look yummy! I’m wondering if you know about how many cups of zucchini result from 2 zucchini? I have a massive garden zucchini I’d like to shred but am not sure how much to use.

    1. Hi Joanna, It’s about 1 1/2 cups once shredded before squeezing, or around 300g of zucchini. If you have extra large zucchini, one will probably replace 2 grocery-store zucchini pretty nicely. Enjoy!

  5. These muffins are really looking so delicious and yummy. I really love this easy recipe. I would love to try it at home. Thank you for sharing it.

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