Zucchini Cupcakes with Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting

Zucchini Cupcakes are moist and delicious cupcakes made with shredded zucchini and topped with the best cream cheese frosting!

Yes, these cupcakes are yummy on their own, but it’s really about the cream cheese frosting. It’s the same frosting as I used in my Homemade Carrot Cake recipe. You can simply spread the frosting on the cupcakes, once they have cooled. Or, I will give you tips on piping and how to frost cakes when the time comes. The tricks may come in handy when you realize you will want to make this frosting as often as possible!

Zucchini Cupcakes with Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe starts with the zucchini cupcakes and then those are topped with the frosting.

Cupcakes: After shredding the zucchini, just drain it lightly. This will add the moisture needed for the cupcakes.

Frosting: It’s all about the sugar in the frosting. I will let you know how to make a perfect batch for piping (if you wanted to use that method for the cupcakes) as well as if you are making a batch to spread on a cake.

Zucchini Cupcakes with Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting

How to Make Zucchini Cupcakes

It’s easy to whip up the batter for these cupcakes. First, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, both sugars, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. Next, in a separate bowl, combine the zucchini, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated.

Use an ice cream scoop or a quarter cup scoop to add the batter to a lined muffin tin. Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 18-22 minutes. The cupcakes are done baking when the tops of the muffins spring back when gently pressed. You can also insert a toothpick into the cupcakes; the toothpick should come out with a few crumbs, but no wet batter. Let the cupcakes cool completely before adding the cream cheese frosting.

Zucchini Cupcakes with Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting

How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting

So the ingredients for this frosting are pretty basic: butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and confectioners’ sugar. But it’s how you put them together that makes the difference!

FOR PIPING: You will want to get all the wet ingredients combined before adding the sugar. The trick is to not OVERBEAT the cream cheese. The more you mix the creamier it gets and the harder it is to pipe. I add my sugar 1 cup at a time so that I can gauge the consistency as I go.

FOR FROSTING CAKES: When covering a cake with this cream cheese frosting you can beat for 5-7 minutes. You can also add in all of the sugar at once. This results in the creamiest cream cheese frosting you will ever have. Almost elastic!

Remember to wait until the cupcakes have cooled completely before adding the frosting. These zucchini cupcakes were piped using a large open round tip. I love how the sides are perfectly rounded!

Zucchini Cupcakes with Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 medium zucchini, coarsely shredded (about 1¾ cups)
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 block (8 ounces) cream cheese
  • ½ cup (1 stick or 113g) butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with liners.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, both sugars, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, combine zucchini, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Add this to flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  • Use ¼ cup measuring cup or ice cream scooper to evenly scoop the batter into the lined muffin tin. Fill each cup about 2/3 of the way full.
  • Bake for 18-22 minutes.
  • Remove the cupcakes from the oven let them cool completely before adding the cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Place room temperature cream cheese, butter, and vanilla into stand mixer and blend for 1-2 minutes on medium speed until fully incorporated. (You can also use a hand-held mixer.)
  • Add confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time, until the frosting is light and creamy. Spread or pipe the frosting over the cooled cupcakes.
  • FOR PIPING: You will want to get all the wet ingredients combined before adding the sugar. The trick is to not OVERBEAT the cream cheese. The more you mix the creamier it gets and the harder it is to pipe. I add my sugar 1 cup at a time so that I can gauge the consistency as I go.
  • FOR FROSTING CAKES: When covering a cake with this cream cheese frosting you can beat for 5-7 minutes. You can also add in all of the sugar at once. This results in the creamiest cream cheese frosting you will ever have. Almost elastic!

Zucchini Cupcakes with Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting

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