Zucchini Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Hopefully no one is getting sick of my zucchini recipes yet. I just have so much zucchini and have several great new recipes I’ve found, I can’t help but share. This one is excellent. It is a great dessert to help you transition in to fall with the wonderful spice flavors. I found it through tastespotting at a site called Jam On Your Face. The recipe itself is actually one from Martha Stewart. It came out of her Cupcake cookbook, which is one I’ve been on the waiting list for at my library. It’s a simple recipe and I knew if it was from Martha it had to be good and it was!
It is a deliciously dense cake with a good warm spice flavor. I must tell you I really love a good spice cake. It is also moist. The cupcakes turn out with a beautiful rounded top. Now, at Jam On Your Face, she used the cream cheese frosting that was in Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes. I decided to adapt the recipe I previously posted on here for chocolate cream cheese frosting to a regular version. That frosting was thick and fabulous, perfect for piping on cupcakes. Any time I make spice cake, I always like to sprinkle it with some cinnamon sugar. I love the look and like the little extra crunch you get from the sugar. This cupcake would also be wonderful topped with walnuts or pecans. The cupcake recipe also calls for nuts to be added to the batter. I opted to leave those out. I happened to have a package of dark brown sugar open so I used one cup of dark and 1 cup of light. I figured it would add a little molasses flavor. This recipe can also be halved very easily if needed.

I will be sending out emails sometime today to all the winners of the Saucy Mama Giveaway!

Zucchini Spice Cupcakes

3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (I used 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg)
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
2 large eggs, room temperature (mine just came straight from the fridge)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 cups packed light-brown sugar (I used 1 cup dark brown and 1 cup light)
3 cups packed grated zucchini
1 cup walnuts (about 3 ounces), toasted and coarsely chopped (I left these out)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. (this makes 24 cupcakes) Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. In another bowl, whisk together oil, eggs, vanilla and zest until well blended; whisk in brown sugar until smooth. Stir in zucchini, then add flour mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in walnuts (pecans).

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through (I didn’t rotate. both my tins fit on one rack), until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

To finish, use a small offset spatula to spread cupcakes with frosting. Refrigerate up to 3 days in airtight containers; bring to room temperature before serving.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 C butter (1/2 stick) at room temperature
4 C sifted powdered sugar (You can decrease this amount if you don’t care about it being as stiff for piping)
1 tsp vanilla

Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy. Mix in vanilla. Mix in powdered sugar, one cup at a time.

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10 comments on “Zucchini Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Can I use this recipe as a cake or just cupcakes?

  • Hi there! After nearly exhausting myself looking through zucchini cake recipes I decided to try yours. It worked really well! I used whole wheat flour for two thirds of the amount and no-one complained, I think next time I might go whole wheat all the way. Also, I took half of the batter and mixed in some cocoa, a splash of buttermilk, and a handful of mini chocolate chips as well as some cayenne and chili powder, and that’s pretty nice as well. Can’t really decide which version I like better. It’s nice to have a recipe that can take a bit of experimentation. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • If I could just reach my hand into the monitor and take one of those…
    Do they ever look good!

  • This looks delicious! Can't wait to try it

  • I appreciate all your zuke recipes! These look awesome! I made your chocolate cream cheese zuchini brownies the other day – might as well add these to collection as well!

  • I've got a lot of zucchini that I need to use so this recipe is perfect. It looks wonderful!

  • I just bought that cupcake book and love it. I just today took out her cookie book and I know I will have to buy that, too. These look great.

  • These are perfect! I love the frosting and then the sprinkle of cinnamon sugar, yum!!

  • These look amazingly good ~ I saw our neighbor's kids smashing zuchinni's on the ground. "Does your mom know you're doing this?" I asked. "Yeah!" was the reply. I cringed….the poor things…I should go rescue them and make these. And then give some to my neighbor!

  • I love the sprinkling of cinnamon sugar on top!

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