Impossibly Green Zucchini Cupcakes

For this edition of TFB, I might have gone a bit overboard with the food coloring. If this was Cupcake Wars, I would surely be ousted. Florian Bellanger would not have even tasted this confection because of the level of green color the frosting turned out to have (he is known for his disdain for colored frosting).

Anyways, moving on, I made these on a rainy Saturday when my parents were in town. I wanted to use something other than sweet things in my recipe, and I knew zucchini was a popular choice. I also like spice cakes when the mood is right, so I was all in. I basically consulted my Marta Stewart handbook of cupcakes and followed the recipe there. Nothing really special, other than the green-overload of the frosting.


Sweet Zucchini Cupcakes
(adapted from Martha Stewart)

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 zucchini (10 ounces), coarsely grated (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Cream Cheese Frosting


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cups of a standard (12-cup) muffin tin with paper or foil liners. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Mix in nuts.
  3. In another bowl, combine zucchini, oil, eggs, and vanilla; add to flour mixture, and mix just until combined (do not overmix).
  4. Divide batter evenly among cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.
  5. Cool in tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes; turn cupcakes out, right side up, and cool completely. Meanwhile, make frosting. Using an offset spatula or butter knife, spread frosting on cupcakes. The frosted cupcakes are best eaten within 1 day.

The cream cheese frosting from Martha Stewart is seriously the best recipe I’ve come across, solely because I always seem to make the frosting too gloppy with too much cream cheese. This only adds half of a cup, but the flavor is still very much there, especially against the spiced cake.

Cream Cheese Frosting
(adapted from Martha Stewart)


  • 4 tablespoons room-temperature unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces room-temperature bar cream cheese
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. In a medium bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract; beat until light and fluffy. Refrigerate until ready to use, up to 1 day.

I don’t know what possessed me to color the frosting, I reckon was just feeling whimsical… but anyways, here’s the final product. Dr. Seuss would be proud.



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