Double Chocolate Paleo Zucchini Muffins
Decadent, rich, and made without a hint of flour or refined sugar, these paleo double chocolate zucchini muffins are also moist, fluffy, and super fast to make. An easy one-bowl muffin recipe, they’re ready within just 30 minutes!
This post was originally published with the title “One-Bowl Flourless Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins”, we’ve changed the name and updated it to improve the post but it’s the same great recipe!
About this Recipe
We grow a few veggies & herbs at home, and inevitably our garden starts sprouting more leftover zucchini than we know what to do with.
So we’ve been zoodling, grilling & roasting them, and, of course, making LOTS of this amazing chocolate chip zucchini bread.
But I also wanted to create an easy muffin recipe for quick, grab-and-go breakfasts & snacks too (because let’s be honest…doubling down on chocolate is never a bad idea).
And that’s how these rich, decadent and veggie-loaded paleo zucchini muffins, with easy-to-find ingredients and minimal prep steps, came to be!
The combination of the almond flour and cocoa powder helps create a tender, fluffy crumb while keeping this one-bowl muffin recipe totally flourless.
While the ingredients are all wholesome, refined sugar free and healthy enough to eat for breakfast, the chocolate batter studded with ooey gooey chocolate chips makes these taste like a total treat!
These double chocolate paleo zucchini muffins have been so popular around here I’ve been making double batches and freezing half for later in the week. They can actually go directly from the freezer into a lunch box and will defrost by lunch (love that!).
Process & Tips
I’m a big believer that gluten-free and paleo recipes don’t have to be overly complicated to be totally & completely delicious!
In the spirit of keeping-it-simple, all the ingredients can be mixed together in one bowl to keep the clean up (and dirty dishes) to a minimum.
You can use a cookie scoop (or a large tablespoon) to scoop the batter into a greased muffin tin, and then they’re off to bake for 15-20 minutes.
Really, the hardest part about this double chocolate paleo zucchini muffin recipe is just waiting for them to cool before tearing them open & taking that first bite.
Got lots of leftover zucchini too? I like to grate it, store it and stash it away in the back corner of the freezer. If you pre-measure it into the perfect zucchini bread-making (or zucchini muffin-making) amounts, then you’ll be ready for baking even in the cold months.
What Makes These Paleo Muffins Rise?
These muffins rely on baking soda for rise, along with a little extra help from the eggs!
Best Types of Flour for Gluten Free Muffins
There are so many gluten free flour mixes and options on the market, but to keep this recipe easy and accessible (even if you don’t have a specialty store nearby) we use almond flour or oat flour.
Almond flour is my choice for paleo friendly quick breads & muffins, but oat flour is great nut-free and gluten-free option too.
You can use these two flours interchangeably in many of my recipes.
How to Make Double Chocolate Paleo Zucchini Bread
This muffin batter can also be used to make zucchini bread!
Simply pour the batter into a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan and bake for 40-45 minutes (or until the edges begin to pull away from the sides and a toothpick comes out clean).
Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then cool the rest of the way on a cooling rack prior to slicing and enjoy!
Ingredients & Modifications
Grated zucchini: Zucchini is the signature ingredient in these muffins and helps keep them extra tender, moist and filling. If you’re using these as a hidden-veggie muffin, you can peel the zucchini before grating to help the vegetable blend in. Otherwise no need to peel beforehand!
Almond flour: Finely ground almond flour works best for these zucchini muffins and is my go-to choice for paleo baking recipes. For a nut-free option, you can substitute oat flour in place for almond flour.
Cocoa powder: The unsweetened cocoa powder helps keep this flourless recipe extra rich, decadent and provides the extra chocolatey flavor to the batter.
Dark chocolate chips: The dark chocolate chips are what make this a double chocolate zucchini muffin! They bring that ooey gooey chocolate texture and flavor that makes them extra good. For a paleo and dairy-free option, be sure to look for dairy-free chocolate chips. I’ve linked my favorite for you in the recipe card below.
Coconut oil: I used melted coconut oil in this recipe. You can substitute any neutral flavored oil in its place, such as avocado or canola.
Eggs: I haven’t tested this as a vegan recipe with flax eggs or vegan egg replacer. If you try it, be sure to let us know how it turns out!
Unsweetened applesauce: The applesauce adds subtle sweetness and helps keep these muffins tender and moist.
Pure maple syrup: I like the flavor of maple syrup in this recipe but you can also use honey as an alternative refined sugar free sweetener. You can add a bit more maple syrup if you prefer a sweeter muffin.
Vanilla extract: Vanilla extract always pairs well with chocolate baked goods and really helps to play up the dessert-like flavors in this muffin.
Baking soda: Together, with the eggs, the baking soda helps these gluten free muffins rise.
Kosher salt: Look for kosher salt with the regular iodized salt at the grocery store (it has a subtler flavor). Use less iodized salt if that’s what you have on hand.
Tip: look for individual serve unsweetened applesauce cups for this recipe. Each cup is typically ⅓ cup, the exact amount you need for this recipe without any wasted or leftover.
How to Store & Freeze Leftover Muffins
Keep in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for 48 hours. Or store in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
Past 4 days you’ll want to freeze any leftover muffins. I like to store mine in a sealed ziptop bag or freezer friendly container for up to 2-3 months.
If you live in a high humidity environment, I recommend refrigerating your paleo zucchini muffins after baking.
Double Chocolate Paleo Zucchini Muffins
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil, plus more for greasing the pan
- 2 large eggs
- ⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cup finely ground almond flour
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup loosely packed grated zucchini
- ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips, plus more for topping*
- Heat the oven to 350F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, eggs, applesauce, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
- Add the almond flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir gently until just incorporated. Add the zucchini and stir again until just combined.
- Add in the chocolate chips and stir to combine.
- Fill each section of a 12-section muffin tin with roughly ¼ cup batter, then bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges begin to pull away from the sides and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then cool the rest on a cooling rack.
Can I use coconut flour instead?
Jana, sorry, no. Coconut flour is completely different than almond flour and will definitely not work as a substitute. You can use oat flour if you’re looking for an alternative.
Robin I just made these muffins. I’m sitting here eating one. Asked my husband to taste it. Now my husband does not eat or like veggies I don’t think he ever tasted zucchini. Well he liked these. Doctor has him on pills for slightly high cholesterol and pre-diabetes. I’m looking for desserts hThat will help his diet. I think this a winner. Thank you.
Sandra, this is so wonderful to hear! Thrilled that you both enjoyed (especially with the veggies added). Cheers. 🙂
Hi Robin! I just made these tonight but instead of chocolate I added cinnamon! Very delicious! Came out maybe a little too moist so I will probably need to add more (I used oat) flour but overall very pleased!! I love how there is no added sugar in this recipe.. which is pretty hard to find! Great for a healthy snack o the go. Thanks for the recipe!
Wonderful Theresa! I imagine the zucchini could have added extra moisture, too, so you can always squeeze it out before adding. So glad you enjoyed!
These are one of the most delicious muffins I’ve ever had! I made them last week for my kids to have as a special snack after school on their first day of school. They loved them! And my husband said they are one of the best things he’s ever eaten. That’s big for a zucchini muffin coming from him! 😉 Thank you for this recipe! 🙂
Melissa, yay, love hearing this! So happy this was a hit with you and your crew. 🙂
This recipe is delicious-just made my second batch this week! My fiancé swears that this is the best recipe
I have ever baked. Even my picky family members enjoyed them and couldn’t tell that they were on the healthier side!!
These are one of the best muffins I’ve ever had. Maybe the best!! I made a double batch for my always hungry sons and they love them. They have friends at school (teenage boys!) trying to trade parts of their lunch for them. I love that you are doing more Paleo recipes as I have transitioned to more of a grain-free lifestyle lately. Thanks for such yummy and easy recipes!
Love this, Lori. So glad these are a hit with you and your crew! 🙂
Just made these this afternoon. May have already eaten 3 :). So very yummy!
Yay Atie, so glad you enjoyed!
Hi Robyn! My kiddos really prefer mini muffins! Any idea what the bake time would be if I used a mini muffin tin instead of regular muffins? Thanks
I’d aim for 12-15 for mini-muffins. Hope these are a hit!
Help! I wanna make these right now but don’t have applesauce. What can I substitute?
Rachel, mashed ripe banana would work as well.
Fantastic recipe and love the veggie component! My 5 year old loves them and normally won’t touch a veggie with a 10 foot pole. I would like them a little less sweet – would it be ok to swap some of the maple syrup for applesauce? Would the texture still stay the same? (Which is fabulous I might add!)
Betsy, yay, so happy you all enjoyed this one! You could just half the maple syrup to achieve a less sweet muffin–no need to add applesauce since it will change the moisture content.
Could I use a GF flour instead of almond flour? Almond flour is so expensive now.
Hi Miranda, I haven’t tested it, but I think it will work. GF flour can be drier than almond flour, but since there’s zucchini in this recipe I think it will balance out. If you give it at try let us know how it turns out!