- 1 cup flour (all purpose)
- 1/2 cup dutch cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (not kosher or sea)
- 1 tsp espresso powder
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil or 1/2 cup natural apple sauce for lowfat version
- 1/2 cup sugar or 1/4 cup Splenda White Sugar for diabetic friendly version
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar or 1/4 cup Splenda Brown Sugar for diabetic friendly version
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cup shredded raw zucchini (pressed) – *see note below*
- 1 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks
- In a medium bowl whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- Using your stand mixer, beat the oil/(applesauce), sugars, eggs, vanilla extract and espresso powder for 3 minutes.
- Add the shredded zucchini to the dry ingredients and toss to coat the zucchini evenly.
- Add in chocolate chunks and combine gently.
- In batches add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients using a spatula to incorporate everything until just mixed. Do NOT use your mixer.
- Cover the muffin cake batter with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour (you can go overnight for this).
- When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425F
- Spray the tops of the cupcake pan with non-stick spray (you want to spray around the tops of the pan to prevent the muffin cakes from sticking when they rise).
- Line with cupcake liners – start off by lining 6 and add more as you go.
- Remove the muffin cake batter from the fridge and using an ice cream scoop, fill the tins almost to the top of the paper liners. Don’t go over. You want to see about an 1/8” of an inch of paper. If you don’t have enough batter to make 12 cupcakes, fill the empty cavities ½ way full with water.
- Bake for 9 minutes at 425.
- Reduce the heat to 350 and bake for 7-9 minutes or until a toothpick comes out barely clean (crumbs are OK). *IMPORTANT – do not open the oven door to drop the heat. Let the heat drop down naturally.
- Remove from oven and cool in the pan for 1 minute.
- Gently remove the muffin cakes from the pan and cook on rack. Do not leave them in the pan to cool completely as they bottoms and sides will become soggy. Leaving them in the pan builds up too much moisture.
Put your shredded zucchini in a strainer and gently press down to remove any excess liquid. You won’t get a lot but you may get a few tablespoons. Discard the liquid.