I guess you could say I’m still trying to make use of the zucchini this season.  This summer the zucchini are so plentiful that they are practically giving them away at the farmers market.  I loved the zucchini cupcakes we had a few weeks ago so much that I had to make some more.  However these cupcakes are richer and more decadent with the addition of chocolate.  I found a great recipe from the blog of Two Peas and Their Pod which was my inspiration.  Once again, I substituted natural applesauce for the oil and it made the cupcakes ever so moist.  These cupcakes disguise the zucchini so well you would never even know it was in there, unless I told you of course!

Despite all the ingredients here, it’s quite easy to put together.  You’ll need brown sugar, melted butter, natural unsweetened applesauce, 3 eggs, vanilla, buttermilk, grated zucchini, semi sweet chocolate chips, flour, cocoa, salt baking powder, and cinnamon.

In a mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, melted butter, applesauce and 3 eggs (which I forgot to include in this photo).

Once blended together, add vanilla extract.

Next add the zucchini and buttermilk.  Mix well.

Combine your dry ingredients in a bowl.  They include flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.

Stir them together.

Add about half of the dry ingredients and blend until incorporated.

Now add the remaining dry ingredients mixing well.

Scrape the sides of the bowl and stir in 1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips.

Pour batter into muffin cups about 3/4 the way full.

I had enough batter for 16 cupcakes. Bake at 350 for 25 – 30 minutes.

We have time now to make some frosting.  You’ll need 4 tablespoons butter, some powdered sugar, cocoa, half and half and some vanilla extract.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the cocoa and melted butter.

Start adding the powdered sugar, vanilla extract and half and half, a little at a time all the time whisking.

Cupcakes are toothpick tested and out of the oven.  Let them cool on a wire rack for 15 – 20 minutes to cool.

Once the cupcakes are cool it’s time to frost them.  I found this espresso cane sugar from “The Tasteful Olive”, and I have leftover mini semi sweet chocolate chips to use for toppers.

If you are adventurous, place some frosting into a snack sized zip lock bag and begin piping the frosting over the cupcakes.

And sprinkle whatever topping you like over top. The espresso cane sugar was excellent for those who love that coffee flavor.

These cupcakes were so much fun to make!

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes (adapted from the blog Two Peas and Their Pod)

1 1/2 cups Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Butter, melted
3/4 cup Natural Unsweetened Applesauce
3 Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 cup Buttermilk
2 cups Zucchini, grated
1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
2 cups Flour
1 cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
Chocolate Frosting, recipe follows

In a mixing bowl of a stand or hand mixer, mix together brown sugar, melted butter, applesauce and eggs together.  Stir in vanilla, buttermilk and zucchini.  Mix well.

In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.  Mix well and begin to add to the mixing bowl a little at a time all the while mixing on low speed.  Scrape the sides of the bowl and stir in 1 cup of chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into muffin pans filled with paper liners about 3/4 of the way.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 25 – 30 minutes or until toothpick tested.  Cool cupcakes on a wire rack.

Makes about 16 cupcakes.

Chocolate Frosting

4 tablespoons Butter, melted
1/3 cup Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
3 tablespoons Half and Half
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Espresso Cane Sprinkles, optional
Chocolate Chips, optional

Whisk the melted butter and cocoa powder until smooth.  Add powdered sugar, vanilla and half and half while continually whisking.  If frosting is too thick add additional half and half.  Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with Espresso Cane Sugar or Chocolate Chips.