Monday, July 5, 2010

The Zucchini Challenge Winners- Part 1

I’ve decided that in order to do justice to the two winners of the Zucchini Challenge, I will announce the winners over two days so that I can wax poetic as much as I need about each recipe. Today I present to you the winner of the “sweet” recipe, and the winner is…

Sara with the Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes Recipe!!!

If the only good thing that comes from these mammoth zucchini trapsing in from my garden is this recipe, I’m more than satisfied. Heck, I’ll add on to the house and build them their own suite if it means my kitchen stays well stocked with these cupcakes. They are so moist and delicious and ridiculously full of chocolate that I didn’t feel compelled to add icing on top; I think it quite possibly could have sullied their perfection. At the risk of sounding over zealous, I declare that these are the best chocolate cupcakes I have ever tasted.

Just do yourself a favor and make these cupcakes today, or at least this week, and feed them to the people you really love, knowing that even though there’s a fair bit of chocolate and sugar in them, there’s also 2 big cups of shredded zucchini hidden inside as well (and I dare say you could up the amount of zucchini from 2 cups and the cupcakes wouldn’t suffer for it; you can’t detect zucchini in the flavor at all, it just adds an incredible moistness).

I confess that I did slightly change the original recipe. Sara’s recipe called for allspice and cinnamon, but I didn’t forsee that going down well with my little ones so I just left them out and upped the amount of vanilla. I also used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa instead of standard baking cocoa because I like my chocolate dark. In the future, I think I’ll add various types of chocolate chips rather than just the standard semi-sweet. I’m envisioning something along the lines of ½ c. each of milk, white, and dark chocolate chips, especially if I continue to forgo the icing. Or you could really amp up the glory by adding a mixture of chocolate and peanut butter chips. Wow. I think I need to go whip up another batch.

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chocolate chips
2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa, sifted (or use regular if you’re not a dark nut like me)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pans with muffin cups. In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar, butter and oil. Beat in eggs, one at a time until well incorporated. Stir in vanilla, buttermilk, zucchini and chocolate chips.In a separate bowl mix together all of the dry ingredients. Add the liquid ingredients and mix until well combined. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake in the center of the oven for about 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. (Note: Don't overcook them or you will lose all the moist goodness - you want them to look almost done in the oven - they will continue to cook for a few minutes after you pull them from the oven from the residual heat).

I made these for my youngest son Sam’s first birthday party. Yes, it is true that Sammy outright refused to taste even a bite of this delicious cupcake, but that is by no means a reflection of the quality of this recipe. Sammy prefers stink bugs and mulch to human food; I’m hoping he evolves soon. Maybe I’ll try again for his second birthday.

Tomorrow I announce the “savory” winner of the Zucchini Challenge and thanks again to Sara for today’s recipe!


  1. go sara, go sara, it's your birthday . . .

  2. Woohoo! I think this may be the first time I've ever won anything related to cooking! So glad you were able to enjoy them, and use up your zucchinis at the same time! Look forward to sharing more recipes with you!

  3. Okay, I just made these today! Delish!!! I didn't know it made so many! I was able to make 28 cupcakes! Audrey helped me so that was a fun activity to do on a rainy day.