If you are anything like me, each year, you plant a single zucchini plant in anticipation of a few meals and maybe a dessert with the mid-summer veggie. Then the thing grows out of control blob-style and you are swimming in zucchini, wondering if it will ever stop growing as you search for new recipes to use up yet another.
Or you completely screwed up and planted a mis-labeled yellow squash plant and have completely run out of ideas, while you pine for the zucchini that you thought you’d be eating.
I actually had to pay for my zucchini this year. Seriously? Who does that in the summer time in Ohio? I have a garden with tomatoes taller than I am, but I bought a bunch of zucchini the other day because I just missed them. If you are wadding knee-deep in zucchini this year, here’s a recipe for you. Unlike zucchini bread, this one is bursting with pops of fresh flavor. Lots of grated zucchini, pops of blueberries and a little citrus zing from lemon. No cinnamon or ginger or cardamom to compete with the summer-y flavors.
The inspiration from this recipe came from I Am Baker who was inspired from a blueberry zucchini bread recipe from allrecipes.com. I packed in even more zucchini, cut the amount of sugar significantly, and threw lemon zest into the batter. Then I baked these little beauties into single-serving portions and topped a bit of lemon buttercream.
I’m sorry, but I just can’t resist the chubby baby fingers digging into a cupcake photo op.
zucchini, blueberry & lemon cupcakes
makes about 2 dozen, adapted from I Am Baker
for the cupcakes:
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups sugar
3 cups shredded zucchini (~3 small zucchini)
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
1 pint fresh blueberries (with a few reserved for garnish)
zest of 1 lemon
for the lemon buttercream:
1 cup butter, softened
3 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 lemon: juice & zest
⅛ tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place cupcake wrappers in muffin tins.
Shred zucchini. (A food processor with grating disc makes this amazingly fast.) If your zucchini are particularly watery, it doesn’t hurt to wring it out with a paper towel to sop up the excess. I shredded mine rather coarsely and skipped the wringing out step. If your zucchini is finely grated, you will need to do it.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, and oil together. Add in the zucchini and stir until coated. Add in the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir until incorporated. Add in blueberries and gently mix.
Fill muffin cups ¾ full with batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes until centers have set and a cake tester comes out clean. Turn out cupcakes onto a wire rack to cool.
For the lemon buttercream, cream the butter for several minutes using a stand or hand mixer in a large bowl. When the butter is pale, mix in the powdered sugar, lemon juice, zest and salt. Mix until creamy.
Top cupcakes with buttercream.