Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chocolate (with a hint of zucchini) Cupcakes

It's that time of year...the time when zucchini starts growing out of people's ears because the gardens are overflowing and no one seems to know what to do with it.  Over the years people have become creative with their use of zucchini in recipes, and although it still remains a vegetable - it has become a favorite ingredient in many desserts...especially when combined with chocolate.  You really can't go wrong.

Thanks to Ry's grandparents and mom, we also experienced this overflow of zucchini.  Therefore, I rolled up my sleeves and and fed that never-ending craving for a sweet treat....result: delicious chocolate zucchini cupcakes!

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
3/4 cup canola oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup dutch processed cocoa, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2/3 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions: 1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two muffin pans with paper liners or silicone liners and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the brown sugar, butter, and oil. Beat in eggs, one at a time until well incorporated. Stir in vanilla extract, buttermilk, zucchini, and chocolate chips.
3. In a separate large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients. Add the liquid ingredients and mix until well combined. Spoon batter into large muffin pans, filling them about 3/4 the way full. Bake in the center of the oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool cupcakes on a wire rack, while you make the frosting.
To make the frosting:
1. Melt the butter. Whisk in the cocoa powder, whisking until smooth. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. Frost the cupcakes with the chocolate frosting. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Store cupcakes at room temperature in an air tight container.

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