Cinnamon Apple Zucchini Muffins | Recipe

Cinnamon Apple Zucchini Muffins

Simply put, I love muffins. They are so close to being cupcakes without the guilt. When we were on vacation vising family, my grandma sent us home with some zucchini fresh from a local farm. I definitely wanted to come up with some recipes for it, and since I love it in bread I thought it would make some great muffins!

My Cinnamon Apple Zucchini Muffins are a great way to get some hidden vegetables in your family’s diet. The zucchini adds a unique flavor and color without overpowering the apple and cinnamon. The muffins look like cupcakes, so they can pass as (shh, healthy) dessert for your children and maybe even fill in some gaps in your child’s diet if they are picky at dinner as they are filled with fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and a little bit of dairy!

Moist, gooey, sweet with a little bit of spice, colorful, and topped with mouth-watering cinnamon apples, these muffins are sure to become a family favorite like they did in my house! I definitely knew these muffins were a hit when my very picky baby took a nibble, paused, then proceeded to shove the entire rest of the muffin into his mouth! The next day I was carrying him and a plate of muffins and he kept trying to steal them off the plate. 

Be sure to print the recipe card at the bottom!

You Will Need

  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped (you can use other varieties if you choose, but use only 2 if they are large like Fuji apples) 
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 medium zucchini, grated
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (for the apple topping)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar (for the apple topping)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 325°. 

2. Add your chopped apples and water to a pot and bring to a slight boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. 

3. While your apples are cooking, you can start preparing the rest of the wet ingredients for your muffins. Use a cheese grater with the zucchini, leaving the skin on. Put the grated zucchini into a large mixing bowl.

Grated Zucchini

4. Mix in the butter, egg, and vanilla.

Cinnamon Apple Zucchini Muffins Step 4

5. Once the apples are cooked, drain out the excess water then remove half of the apples and mash them up with a potato masher

Mashed Apples Homemade Applesauce

6. Mix the mashed apples into the wet mix. 

Cinnamon Apple Zucchini Muffins Step 5

7. Begin adding in the dry ingredients; mix in the salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and sugar.

Cinnamon Apple Zucchini Muffins Step 8

8. Now slowly fold in the flour. Mix just until wet; be careful not to over-mix. 

Cinnamon Apple Zucchini Muffins Step 9

9. Scoop the muffin mixture into a lightly greased muffin pan filling each cup 3/4 full.

Cinnamon Apple Zucchini Muffins Filling Muffin Pan

10. Back to your pan with the remaining apples, add the 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Cook on medium for another 2 minutes to get the cinnamon sugar mixture to really stick. 

Cinnamon Apples

11. Using a spoon and pressing down on the mixture at a slight angle, add a small amount of apples to the canter of each muffin. Pressing gently as you dump in the apple mixture will prevent the apples from falling off after baking. 

Cinnamon Apple Zucchini Muffins Topping

12. Bake the muffins for about 30 minutes or until slightly golden and a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean.

Tap Test Tip: You can tell if a muffin is done without a toothpick by tapping the top–if it leaves a print, you need to cook a little longer and if it bounces right back up the muffins are done!

13. Let the muffins sit in the pan for a couple minutes after they are removed from the oven, then move them onto a cooling rack. Enjoy warm or cooled!

Cinnamon Apple Zucchini Muffins on Cooling Rack

Cinnamon Apple Zucchini Muffins | Recipe
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Moist, gooey, sweet with a little bit of spice, colorful, and topped with mouth-watering cinnamon apples, these muffins are sure to become a family favorite like they did in my house!
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast, Dessert
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped (you can use other varieties if you choose, but use only 2 if they are large like Fuji apples)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 medium zucchini, grated
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1½ cups flour
  • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon (for the apple topping)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar (for the apple topping)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°.
  2. Add your chopped apples and water to a pot and bring to a slight boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. While your apples are cooking, you can start preparing the rest of the wet ingredients for your muffins. Begin by grating the zucchini, leaving the skin on. Put the grated zucchini into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Mix in the butter, egg, and vanilla.
  5. Once the apples are cooked, drain out the excess water then remove half of the apples and mash them up with a potato masher.
  6. Mix the mashed apples into the wet mix.
  7. Begin adding in the dry ingredients; mix in the salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and sugar.
  8. Now slowly fold in the flour. Mix just until wet; be careful not to over-mix.
  9. Scoop the muffin mixture into a lightly greased muffin pan filling each cup ¾ full.
  10. Back to your pan with the remaining apples, add the ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon and ½ teaspoon sugar. Cook on medium for another 2 minutes to get the cinnamon sugar mixture to really stick.
  11. Using a spoon and pressing down on the mixture at a slight angle, add a small amount of apples to the canter of each muffin. Pressing gently as you dump in the apple mixture will prevent the apples from falling off after baking.
  12. Bake the muffins for about 30 minutes or until slightly golden and a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean.
  13. Let the muffins sit in the pan for a couple minutes after they are removed from the oven, then move them onto a cooling rack. Enjoy warm or cooled!
Notes
Tap Test Tip: You can tell if a muffin is done without a toothpick by tapping on the top--if it leaves a print it needs to cook it a little longer and if it bounces right back up the muffins are done!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 muffin Calories: 187 Fat: 8g Saturated fat: 3g Trans fat: 9g Carbohydrates: 26g Sugar: 13g Sodium: 123mg Fiber: 1g Protein: 3g Cholesterol: 30mg

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-What is your all-time favorite muffin? Mine was blueberry, but I believe this may have just topped it!

 

Written by Alyssa Darby

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52 Comments

  1. G’day! Looks healthy and great!
    Viewed at part of #SITS
    Cheers! Joanne @What’s On The List

  2. These look delicious! I can’t wait to try them.

  3. These look delicious! I can’t believe they use zucchini 🙂 Way to go!

  4. Looks fantastic! Which lugin are you using for the recipe box, love how it looks.

  5. Looks delish I have zucchini in my garden too!!!

  6. These look so good! What size zucchini did you use? I have a bunch I just picked from my garden so I’m looking for something to do with them but they are all huge (about 1.2 lbs). I’m not sure if they’re too big for this recipe? Thanks!

    • Thanks Jen! I used a medium zucchini, about 1 cup worth. You could probably use a little more zucchini and cut back a little on the apple if needed or just use part of the zucchini for the recipe.

  7. Oh my word I am so impressed with them .x

  8. That sounds totally amazing and I think my little man would really enjoy eating them. They are sneakily healthy! Nice job!

    • Thanks so much! I’m sure he will love them! Both my little boys did; they thought it was cupcakes. Let me know how you all like them!

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  10. love, love your blog name and header! and these muffins do look amazing, and they are good for you! Sweet! THanks so much for linking up to Wined Down Wed..so great to have you 🙂
    Cathy

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  16. How big of zucchini would I use?

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  18. These look delicious Alyssa! I pinned the recipe to make soon!

  19. YUM! These looks so good! We make alot of muffins!

  20. Stephanie Hebert

    I bet my girls would like these!

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  23. I love the idea of putting granny smith and zucchini together – this sounds wonderful! I don’t think I can wait until everyone is giving away zucchini to make this!

    • These are my absolute favorite. I’m so glad zucchini is coming back in season because I will be making these again! I might see how they do being frozen too.

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  29. How much apple to use as I have some that I have frozen vs the 3 granny smith apples in the recipe.

    • I would say it’s about 2 cups worth? If it’s a little off, it shouldn’t be a huge deal. Most was for flavor and texture (after the applesauce part of it.)

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