I love these zucchini cupcakes specifically because they contain no oil or butter yet they are incredibly moist and taste heavenly.  The secret is to eliminate the oil or butter and add natural unsweetened applesauce.  It’s a terrific substitute when using zucchini or carrots in cakes, cupcakes or breads.  I’ve been using this recipe from the Southern Living 1993 annual edition for many years which is listed as a Zucchini Carrot Cake. I’ve made it in a bundt pan, a tube pan, a sheet cake, round layered cake and this time as cupcakes.  I didn’t have any carrots but doubled the zucchini.  The zucchini is plentiful this time of year and this is one way to disguise it in a way that everyone will love.  I love zucchini many different ways, but my guys, not so much.  However, they do love this recipe and I don’t feel guilty, except maybe for that delicious cream cheese frosting on top!

Combine dry ingredients of flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.


You’ll also need some natural unsweetened applesauce, 1 medium zucchini (about 2 cups) and 2 eggs.


This recipe is simple and takes little time.  I assembled what I needed and grated the zucchini.


In a mixing bowl, combine 2 eggs, 2/3 cup of unsweetened applesauce and 2 cups grated zucchini.


Beat on the medium speed of an electric mixer to blend everything together.


Add about half of the dry ingredients and mix well before adding remaining dry mix.


The batter is somewhat thin.


Pour batter evenly into 12 baking cups about 3/4 of the way up. Bake at 350 degrees for 20  25 minutes or until toothpick tested.


Just out of the oven.  Remove to a cooling rack and let cool 15 – 20 minutes.


Ready for frosting.


I had some left over cream cheese frosting from another recipe.  I stirred it and spooned it into a snack size baggie, cut the end off and piped the frosting over the cupcake, pretty as you please.


I was a bit indulgent with the frosting, don’t you think!


Zucchini Cupcakes (adapted from Cooking Light 1993 Annual Recipes)

1 1/4 cups Flour
1 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
2 cups Zucchini, grated
2/3 cups Natural Unsweetened Applesauce
2 Eggs
Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a bowl, set aside.

In a mixing bowl of an electric mixer combine eggs, applesauce and grated zucchini.  Mix on medium speed for 1 minute.

Add about half the dry ingredients and mix well before adding the remaining dry ingredients.  Beat on medium speed until well combined and batter is formed.

Pour batter evenly into 12 baking cups about 3/4 of the way up.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes or until toothpick tested.

Let cool on a wire rack for 15 – 20 minutes.  Spread cream cheese frosting over cupcakes if desired.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8 ounce) package Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup Unsalted Butter, softened
1 cup Confectioners Sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon Vanilla

Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed of an electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add confectioners sugar and vanilla beating well.