2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1/3 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
2 1/4 cups shredded zucchini
Zest of lemon, finely grated
Zest of half an orange, finely grated
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp. chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 3 mini muffin tins with nonfat cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each, then add the buttermilk or yogurt. Whisk in the zucchini, lemon zest, and orange zest.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, whisking to aerate. Stir half the flour mixture into the egg mixture, then the other half. Fold in the nuts (if using) and distribute the batter evenly into the muffin tins.
4. Bake on the center rack until springy but firm to the touch and lightly browned around the edges about 15 minutes, then remove and let cool completely.
5. Top with cream cheese frosting for an after dinner treat or forgo the icing for a healthy breakfast muffin. Serve the same day or store in the fridge up to 3 days.
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
3 oz. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. milk
Submitted by Stephanie Whiting.