A Spicy Perspective

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

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Chocolate Zucchini Muffins Recipe – A little bit of veggies, a little bit of chocolate, a whole lot of yum! Soft decadent muffins made with a swirl of nutella on the top. 

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins Recipe

Life And Baking Are One And The Same

In some areas of life, there are firm rules. Then there are other areas that offer plenty of room for interpretation. There are moments of triumph and toothsome rewards. There are devastating failures that you can’t fully grasp the depths of until the very end. 

Baking, like life, is a delicate balance of methodology and creative outpour. Dangerous, yet sweet.

I often find little life lessons in my interactions with food. In many ways, cooking has taught me to: 

  • Be resourceful
  • Stay open-minded
  • Learn from my mistakes
  • And trust the process.

The latter I find to be the most difficult.

Zucchini Bread

The Process Matters

There is something deep within me that often wants to fling “the process” off a cliff and not look back. But if I did that, I wouldn’t be learning from my mistakes.

In baking, as with life, the process matters. You can disagree with the process all day, but you’ll never win that Pillsbury Bake-Off. *wink*

Zucchini spreads

Stubborn Bakers Unite

This Zucchini Nutella Swirl Muffins Recipe, in particular, was a refresher course in “trusting the process.

I’m embarrassed to tell you I made them four times. IN THE SAME DAY. Because I was certain my “tweak” wouldn’t result in the failure I knew was a guaranteed outcome.

Why did I make faulty tweaks three times? And why did I keep making additional batches of my Zucchini Nutella Swirl Muffins Recipe?

I’m stubborn.

However, the final batch was such a huge win, I’m thrilled to share the recipe with you today.

Nutella muffins

Chocolate Zucchini Muffin Ingredients

  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Large Egg
  • Grated Zucchini
  • Lemon Zest
  • Nutella

Nutella Swirl Muffins

So now that my flaws are out on the table, let’s discuss what I did wrong.

Batch One. I overfilled the muffin tins. Of course, I knew my muffins were bound to spill out in the oven, but I wanted to get all the batter in 8 liners. The muffins also needed a little boost in flavor.

Batch Two. I overfilled the muffins AGAIN… 10 this time. I added too much Nutella, so the tops were a complete mess.

Batch Three. In an effort to build the flavor, I added almond extract, trying to play off the nuttiness of the hazelnuts in Nutella. They were ok, but not blog-worthy. And oh yes, I overfilled the muffin liners AGAIN. All the swears!

Batch Four. Finally, I pared back the size of my recipe and added lemon zest, instead of almond extract. Tasty Success!

These Zucchini Nutella Swirl Muffins were light, moist, and flavorful with a decedent chocolatey top. They were worth the wait.

Get The Full (Printable) Recipe Below For How To Make Chocolate Zucchini Muffins.

healthy muffins

Chemistry of Baking

So if you don’t want to remake the same recipe four times, don’t break the concrete rules of baking. It’s important to think of baking as chemistry. Each step of a recipe is an important part of the scientific process, and if adjusted, will result in a different outcome.

Be sure to measure, mix your wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls, add your eggs one at a time, take the extra few minutes to cream your butter and sugar until fluffy, and for the love of God, don’t overfill your muffin liners.

Zucchini muffins

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the batter supposed to be solid or is it like a regular muffin batter? (What if I’m trying to adapt the recipe to a gluten-free version?) 

The batter is usually just a tad thicker than traditional muffin batter. That helps hold the Nutella on top.

If making a gluten-free version, select a good quality GF 1-to-1 baking mix.

Why did the Nutella fall to the bottom… Was it because I warmed it up before baking?

My guess is that heating the Nutella caused it to sink. If it’s at room temp, the batter has a little extra time to cook in order to keep the Nutella up. If you made a GF version, this could also have something to do with gluten-free flours.

Could I put in a little less butter?

The butter is what makes these muffins extra moist. You could always substitute shortening or oil, for the butter. Although oil would make the batter runny and the Nutella would probably sink!

You can also swap some of the butter for an equal amount of apple sauce. The moisture remains, but the muffin flavor isn’t quite as rich.

What does the zucchini add to the muffin?

It adds a really mild earthy quality and a LOT of moisture. If you’ve ever shredded and drained zucchini for fritters, you’ll know it contains a massive amount of liquid.

Baked Muffins

More Muffin Sensations

Tender Zucchini Nutella Swirl Muffins Recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes
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Zucchini Nutella Swirl Muffins

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Amazing Zucchini Nutella Swirl Muffins Recipe - A little veggie, a little chocolate, and a whole lot of yum!
Servings: 12 muffins



  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Whisk well. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl and add the egg. Beat in.
  • With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture until just combined. Stir in the zucchini and lemon zest.
  • Use a 1/4-cup scoop to evenly distribute the batter between the muffin liners. They should be 2/3 full. Dollop 1 teaspoon of Nutella on top of each scoop of batter and swirl with a toothpick.
  • Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes. Check the centers with a toothpick. The toothpick should come out clean before removing the muffins from the oven.


This recipe can also be made in two loaf pans. Bake for 35-50 minutes.


Serving: 1muffin, Calories: 248kcal, Carbohydrates: 32g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 33mg, Sodium: 221mg, Potassium: 133mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 19g, Vitamin A: 275IU, Vitamin C: 1.8mg, Calcium: 36mg, Iron: 1.4mg
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier

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130 comments on “Chocolate Zucchini Muffins”

  1. These were SO good!! We LOVED Them and they were so moist! 

  2. This looks like something I’ve got to try! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Yummy!

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  6. Great recipe! Pinning!

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  9. Just made these. WOW! I added a dash of cloves because that’s what I usually put in my zucchini bread. Running to the store to buy more zucchini as when my teenagers arrive home, they’ll be gone in a nanosecond.

  10. Pingback: you had me at nutella | sparkly&sweet

  11. Can I substitute regular flour to almond flour?

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  16. I made these tonight… And they came out absolutely wonderful! Thank you!!!

  17. I can’t wait to try this out on my kid! Anything with Nutella is a hit in our house, and I wanted something different from the usual zucchini bread I bake when in season.

  18. Hi, just wanted to mention, I loved this blog post. It was helpful. Keep on posting!

  19. Hi there, just wanted to say, I liked this post. It was inspiring. Keep on posting!

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  22. I made these today to try and make a dent in the huge amount of zucchini I have….wow! They’re delicious!! Thanks for what I’m sure will be a much repeated recipe!

  23. These really look amazing. What a great idea! My son will eat anything if it has Nutella in it… so thank you!!

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  26. My batter came out pretty thick and I had a hard time getting the Nutella to swirl. Should I warm the Nutella up first? Other than the look of them – not a pretty as yours :) – they were absolutely delicious!

  27. I made these last night. EXCELLENT. The lemon zest was brilliant.

  28. what an amazing combo! cant wait to try these

  29. Totally making these for my Dad’s birthday brunch next week. Such an unexpected combination and it sounds divine!

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  33. LOVE these muffins!!!! Yummy to the tummy! :D

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  35. *bookmarking* Can’t wait to try these!!

  36. Warming the nutella for a few seconds in the microwave made it easier to swirl. I also added about 1/4 cup of flaked hazelnuts to the muffins to ‘tie’ the muffins and nutella together. Might use chocolate chips next time for the same purpose!

    • Oh No! The nutella sank into the muffins as they cooked. Is the batter supposed to be quite solid or is it like a regular muffin batter? I’m trying to adapt the recipe to a gluten-free version.

      • Hey Jill, the batter is usually just a tad thicker than traditional muffin batter. My guess is that heating the nutella caused it to sink. If it’s at room temp, the batter has a little extra time to cook in order to keep the nutella up. Could also have something to do with gluten-free flours, but since I don’t know what you used I can’t say for sure. …Oh well-they should still taste good. :)

      • I didn’t warm it the first time I tried them – it was just a thought that occurred to me after I tried swirling the room temp nutella. My favorite GF flour mix is bean flour, sorghum flour, tapioca starch and cornstarch with xanthan gum added to give it some binding power. The flopped attempted does taste lovely and I will give it another try.

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  38. Thanks Sommer! Might try to sub half the butter with virgin coconut oil next time. The muffins did freeze perfectly. Guess it depends what mood I’m in since I had another one the other day & didn’t mind all the butter.

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  40. These would be perfect if they had less butter. I made them, but they taste too much like butter.

    • Hey Gigi, The butter is what makes them extra moist. You could always substitute shortening or oil. Although oil would make the batter runny and the Nutella would probably sink! :)

    • I used 3/4 of a stick of butter and spelt flour and they are delicious! My gluten free friends were SO impressed! Giving these as Christmas gifts at the office today =)


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  43. Oh. My. Gosh.

    This is, hands-down, the best zucchini bread recipe EVER! Even the anti-zukes in my household love them!

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  44. I made these last night and they are delicious! It’s the first time I’ve tried Nutella. After all the comments I was curious so I opened the jar on the way home from the store to try it. Amazing! I even got the kids to eat zucchini this way.

  45. I have zucchini coming out my ears since my neighbor and dad have been giving me part of their crop. I made zucchini bread this past week (adding semi-sweet choco chips instead of the traditional raisins and pecans). I have a recipe I’m going to try this week for zucchini cakes (by The Pioneer Woman) and I want to try this too. Yumm! Love me some Nutella too. ;)

  46. Just popped these in the oven. Emily loves Nutella and nobody saw the zucchini so we will see!

  47. These were great. I needed a touch more liquid, so added a second egg at the last minute – perhaps I had small eggs (yes I didn’t follow the specificity of chemistry), however they turn out lovely and were delicious! This recipe is a keeper.

  48. oh yes I am soooooo trying this one!

  49. Making these tonight for house group….bought the smallest jar of nutella available so i would not gorge myself!!!!

  50. We don’t do zucchini in this house because the BF wont stand for it – but if I could sneak it in as a muffin…. with nutella – I’m sure it could change his mind!

  51. These look delicious. Stumbled, here and on Bella Nutella :D

  52. Hi Sommer, that’s great that the lemon zest did the trick. The magic of adding a bit of spice.

    Happy 4th of July weekend to you and your family!

    Reese & Mark

  53. Pingback: Perfect Diner Pancakes with Sommer of A Spicy Perspective | Family Kitchen

  54. Since joining Foodbuzz I was overwhelmed by all Nutella & Oreos recipes, so I succumbed myself in making variations :) . I stumbled upon a perfect spread, called Gianera, that beats Nutella (pls don’t kill me) so I will try and make these muffins with it.
    They look excellent!

  55. These look so delicious and moist! I am definitely going to try these. Thanks for the post :)

  56. I definitely appreciate your dedication to this recipe…the fourth batch looks fantastic! I love chocolate in zucchini bread, but never thought to use Nutella…it sounds fantastic!

  57. Holy cow – look at the number of comments these little beauties generated. They are beautiful. I can even convince my self they are healthy because they have Zucchini in them. Must try soon!

  58. The green really comes out, I really like the contrast in colors! Awesome! Hope you are having a wonderful summer so far.

  59. Wow! What an amazing combination. I would most certainly have to guarantee they would get eaten right away so I didn’t eat the whole batch!

  60. That opening shot is stunning, Sommer. I’m certain I wouldn’t be able to stop eating these pretty muffins.

  61. I.Must.Make.These. This is taking chocolate and zucchini to a whole new, crazy-delicious level! I love it!! Then again I love everything you make. :)

  62. I do have to try these muffins, I love savory muffins and always have an over abundance of zucchini
    I’m glad you were so persistent!

  63. That is the best muffin recipe ever. Who would have thought of zucchini and nutella together? I am so making it tonight.

  64. I love how honest you are about your cooking and the trial and errors. Makes me feel better about the trouble I have with baking! LOL These look wonderful and I’m excited to try them. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  65. oh my goodness, i can’t wait to make these! what a wonderful idea. i got a bunch of delicious, fresh zucchinis in my CSA box this week! now i know exactly what i’m going to do with them!

  66. That’s awesome. I love your 4 batch baking adventure. I must say you have a heap of patience to wait THAT long to nom on such a delicious muffin! Thanks for sharing, I love zucc and nutella and together I am sure they are a match made in heaven!

  67. They cetainly look like they are worth the effort! I’m buzzing/sharing/and bookmarking these immediately… 4th of July = muffins, no? :)

    One question… what did you do with the “fail” muffins?

  68. wow, zuchini and chocolate!! sounds so refreshing! this is such an inno~licious bakes! (innovative + delicious)

  69. Hmmm, I would have thought the almond extract was just the thing! but I’ll trust your process:)

  70. Well, they don’t just LOOK delicious, they ARE fabulous! And I think I might convince my 4-year-old to taste them, even though she’s not a great fan of zucchini!
    I baked them a little less longer, around 12 minutes, and it was enough.

    Do you mind if I translate your recipe in French (and adapt it to metric system), and publish it on my blog?


  71. Your muffins look beautiful. I guess that’s what happens when you reach the fourth batch. What I particularly love about them though, beyond the addition of nutella is the incorporation of lemon. They’re so pretty with the nutella swirl and little flecks of green. It just says summer all over :)

  72. You’re so funny! Four batches. Incredible.

    I completely agree with your life-and-baking philosophy though I’d extend it for all kinds of cooking. And I like it that you wrote that batch three was not “blog-worthy.” We debate the blog-worthiness of things all the time now, but thought we were the only two. The term belongs in the dictionary.

    I’m still puzzled by your muffins. What could ever go wrong with zucchini and nutella in anything?

  73. I am hearing a lot of zucchini and chocolate combo. This looks like something I would enjoy a lot !

  74. Oh my you are stubborn…four times, I would have given up after the second time :) Glad they worked out for you and they look amazing :)

  75. I’ve made savory zucchini muffins before, but I’ve never tried sweet ones. I’m not sold on the american nutella as a spread. I’m too used to the French version. But for cooking… maybe…

  76. These look absolutely amazing!! When my sister’s zucchini is ready in her garden, I’m going to have to whip some up!

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  78. Just got some zucchini from the garden last night! I was thinking of making zucchini muffins. Twins?! I think so!

    Your addition of Nutella knocks it out of the park!

  79. The similarity of baking and chemistry always make me surprised I didn’t do better in chemistry…Glad you kept trying, and got a gorgeous batch out! Yum!

  80. Zucchini and Nutella, say whattt! I want one. They look delicious.

  81. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try (and try) again. And wow, you have succeeded in creating such lovely muffins. The green specks of the zucchini look so pretty. This is a definite Must Make!

  82. I’m so glad you were able to try, try again and make this work! Bookmarking =)

  83. I love zucchini bread and with Nutella it has to be over the top. Pretty pictures too!

  84. Now that’s dedication! Hooray for stubbornness :-)

  85. colourful combination for the muffins delicious
    torviewtoronto and createwithmom

  86. Looks so yummy. I definitely have to try these!

  87. Zucchini and Nutella! Love the idea. I am growing zucchini this summer, so I will definitely make these muffins. Thanks for the recipe!

  88. Sound so good! I am jealous you had enough zucchini to try these 4 times! Practice makes perfect though, right!

  89. Green & Brown! Love the colors. Gorgeous muffins!

  90. have I told you lately how much I LOVE your blog, Spicy!!!

  91. Four times, huh? Well, you got there eventually :) And I reckon an overfilled muffin still tastes good!

  92. So, I’m curious. What happened to the three fails? They don’t sound like they were bad enough to throw out. Surely they ended up someone’s tummy, didn’t they?

    I admit that I’m one that sticks to the rules when it comes to baking simply because I’ve seen the results of not doing so and baking is so not my forte. You, on the other hand are amazing. These look fantastic. I’m a huge zucchini bread fan so I can’t wait to give the bread a try with a splash of chocolate and hazelnut. Perfect.

  93. So cute with the swirl, even better that it is a Nutella swirl. Looks delicious!

  94. These are just stunning, Sommer! I’m going to get my family to eat zucchini some way, some how this year…this may bet the answer!

  95. I think you are persistent not stubborn, and you have a great work ethic. Thanks to your hard work we can all have great muffins. Thanks!

  96. With Nutella, this is insane :)

  97. I do like your analogy and love your muffins! Chocolate and vegetables together! What a fine marriage!

  98. I have never used zucchini in sweet dishes before. I’ve seen it in several recipes but I haven’t figure out what this ingredient actually adds to the dish. Love the nutella swirl though.

    • Hey Lilly, It adds a really mild earthy quality and a LOT of moisture. If you’ve ever shredded and drained zucchini for fritters, you’ll know it contains a massive amount of liquid.

      • I was going to ask if you squeezed out any of the liquid from the shredded zucchini, but it appears not. Good to know.

  99. This reminds me of my mom’s zucchini cake with a boost. Can’t wait to try them.

  100. Zucchini and Nutella! I’ll have to give that a “swirl”. GREG

  101. I’m so glad you’re stubborn as this sounds like a winning combination of flavors….and just right filled muffins! I love the specks of zucchini throughout the swirls of Nutella! Zucchini is about to become very plentiful this summer so I’m looking forward to doing some baking with zucchini!

  102. Nutella and zucchini are perfectly together! They look so soft, and light!

  103. I’m stubborn too. I think it’s a great virtue, contrary to what people say. It might make the process harder or longer but if you weren’t stubborn you would not have continued making these muffins until successful! I’m completely sold on the nutella top.

  104. I admire your perseverance Sommer. I’d have given up after the second batch.
    The muffins look amazing. Love the Nutella and zucchini combo. Thanks for sharing

  105. Love it!! Especially the nutella swirl, must taste soo good… Soon you’ll be in top 9 hehe

  106. WOAH! I have zucchini in the fridge meant for a side dish, but I may have to change my plans! Think subbing applesauce for butter will be ok??

    • Hi! I’ve done that in other muffin recipe–don’t know why it wouldn’t work here. Let me know how it goes!

  107. Zucchini Nutella sounds like the name of the next Secretary General of the UN!

    (Going to use a spin off of this in my novel … will have to change Nutella slightly, so I don’t get sued … My favorite made-up food-based name is the made-up SEC football coach, Shrimp Deveiner. )

  108. What a fantastic pairing! These sound fabulous!

  109. Wow Sommer, thanks for perfecting this wonderful zucchini muffin recipe, love the Nutella swirled on top and the paper wrappers;-)

  110. Ooooh I’m going to make these for sure, although it’s always dangerous for me to have nutella laying around the kitchen….

  111. Yum! they look delicious!

  112. these look fantastic! i love the little pops of green from the zucchini.

  113. Those look so yummy. Anyting with Nutella always is!

  114. So right you are. Those look like they were worth the effort! Congratulations on another great success :)

  115. These muffins are heavenly. Love how the little bits of green poke through. Gonna share on Facebook now!!

  116. Those look great!

  117. Chocolate and veggies in one lovely package!

  118. These look delicious!

  119. What an interesting recipe! I am sold on anything with Nutella!