When I went to Los Angeles earlier this year, I started my first morning there with a breakfast that included a zucchini cardamom muffin. I’m a sucker for cardamom and its inclusion in a zucchini-filled muffin was a revelation — something I knew I wanted to try to make on my own at some point.
The muffin I had while in L.A. was a vegan one, but I did not go that route here. I have nothing against a good vegan baked good, but since this was my first try, I decided my usual non-vegan approach might be best. I spotted this “healthy zucchini muffin” recipe on Gimme Some Oven, made a few modifications, and voila — my homemade zucchini cardamom muffins were born.
The zucchini element (like any other zucchini baked goods I’ve made) helps make these muffins pretty moist. I actually made these for Mother’s Day, so I used a mix of whole wheat and all-purpose flour so that the end result wasn’t too healthy and skipped the oats the original recipe incorporates, though I could see myself using them another time. And I went ahead and used regular granulated sugar as well, though the amount I used doesn’t make the muffins super sweet.
The end result is a baked treat that could be eaten as part of your breakfast in the morning or with an afternoon cup of tea. While the muffins aren’t overly indulgent, there’s still something that makes these muffins a little special, so you could easily bake them for the right occasion when expecting company. And now that we’re entering that time of year where zucchini is in season — and it isn’t consistently blistering hot outside yet, there are still some situations where turning on the oven to make these muffins will make sense. Take a look at how I made them below:
- 1 cup whole wheat flour + 2/3 cup all-purpose flour (or you can use all whole wheat)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 heaping teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup milk (I used one percent/low-fat)
- 1/4 cup neutral cooking oil
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 tablespoon juice from a lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups of grated zucchini
- 1. Heat the oven at 350 degrees F. Keep a 12-cup muffin pan prepped — either by greasing it or by lining the cups with liners.
- 2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom and salt until combined in a large mixing bowl.
- 3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, sugar, milk, oil, vanilla extract and juice from the lemon until combined. Pour this mixture into the dry mixture and then stir all the ingredients together with a spoon until they're just combined.
- 4. Add the zucchini and lemon zest to this mixture, then stir again until just combined.
- 5. Spoon the batter into the 12 baking cups evenly. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes (you can insert a toothpick into a handful of muffins to make sure the toothpick comes out clean). You can transfer the muffins to a cooling rack — but can either serve them soon after while they're still warm or after they've cooled down. The muffins should last in a sealed container for a few days, though they're at their best the sooner you eat them.
- Adapted from "Healthy Zucchini Muffins" by Gimme Some Oven
We’re not quite ready for the beach yet, but we’re almost there — so as we enter those lazy, hazy days of summer, tunes like this chill Best Coast track, with its classic beachy vibe from a few years back, are well suited to everything from lounging around to baking zucchini-filled muffins. You can’t go wrong with this pairing.