chocolate zucchini spice cupcakes + cinnamon whipped cream cheese icing

If you haven't seen it on Instagram, super large zucchinis are popping up like daisies in our backyard.  And that means I've been standing on my feet in the kitchen for most of this week coming up with new ways to use it up and enjoy it.

These Chocolate Zucchini Spice Cupcakes have definitely won. Our family couldn't get enough of them!  And I love the ingredient statement which pretty much could be interpreted as a classy nutritional muffin but is moist enough (and when topped with the Cinnamon Whipped Cream Cheese Icing) stands beautifully as an iced cupcake.

These. Are. Amazing.

These mini chocolate cakes can be magically turned into cupcakes (when iced) when friends come over or served without cute paper liners or icing for a hearty snack or lunch for me and the kids.

(Wait till you see the nutritional facts below.)

The icing is light yet rich from the cream cheese and whipped cream.  The cinnamon in the icing and used to dust the top of the cupcakes adds to the spices packed inside the chocolate cupcake to create a really wonderful moist, flavorful union.  And can you believe it??  There are 1.5 cups of nutrition-dense grated zucchini in these cupcakes!

 chocolate zucchini spice cupcakes + cinnamon whipped cream cheese icing

 

This Chocolate Zucchini Spice Cupcake is extremely moist with hints of spice from the cinnamon, nutmeg, and touch of molasses.  Add the Cinnamon Whipped Cream CheeseIcing for a light but rich compliment of flavors to the chocolate zucchini spice cake.

Makes 14 cupcakes

2 cups almond flour or meal (I use [amazon_link id="B0055IRNAC" target="_blank" ]this flour[/amazon_link] from Amazon--cheapest around)

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

4 eggs

1 TBSP molasses

1/2 cup [amazon_link id="B001EO6FPU" target="_blank" ]ZSweet[/amazon_link] (or sweetener of choice)

2 TBSP butter, melted

2 TBSP unsweetened almond milk (this tastes even better with [amazon_link id="B005FPDENK" target="_blank" ]coconut almond milk[/amazon_link])

1.5 cups grated zucchini (squeeze out extra water with a paper towel before measuring)

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 350F.  Fill 14 muffin tins with paper liners.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and mix.   Set aside.  In a standing mixer (or using a hand mixer), beat eggs, sweetener, and molasses together for a few minutes until light yellow.   Add butter and almond milk and mix until combined.

 Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet in the mixer until just incorporated.  Lastly, add the drained zucchini and pecans and mix just until incorporated.

Divide mixture evenly into paper liners. Bake muffins about 20 to 25 minutes.  Test with a toothpick to make sure the centers are baked.

(Cupcake adapted from Maria Mind Body Health's Chocolate Zucchini Donuts)

 Cinnamon Whipped Cream Cheese Icing

1/4 cup [amazon_link id="B001EO6FPU" target="_blank" ]ZSweet[/amazon_link] (or sweetener of choice)

4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

3/4 cup heavy cream

7 drops liquid vanilla stevia

1 tsp cinnamon

more cinnamon for dusting

Mix sweetener and cream cheese in a mixer with a paddle attachment until combined.  Set aside.  With a whisk attachment, whisk heavy cream, stevia, and cinnamon in a mixer for a few minutes until you have nice peaks of whipped cream.  Slowly add dollops of the cream cheese mixture to the whipped cream mixture, incorporating it well before adding another dollop.  Continue with the remaining cream cheese mixture.

Cover icing and refrigerate for a few hours to intensify the flavors.

With an extra large pastry bag and extra large tip, pipe the icing onto the chocolate zucchini spice cupcakes.

*The icing stands up well unrefrigerated for 6-8 hours but has more flavor if the piped cupcake can be refrigerated if not eating immediately.

Nutritional Facts per cupcake (without icing):

160 calories

4 net carbs

6 grams of protein

Cupcake with icing:

262 calories

4.6 net carbs

Compared to a traditional (grain and sugar) chocolate zucchini muffin without icing:

230 calories

27 net carbs

3 grams protein

 

Hope you have tons of zucchinis lying around on your counters to make a few batches of these.  :)