Spiced Zucchini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Do you like spice cake but not pumpkin?  Zucchini makes a wonderful moist cupcake without all the pumpkin hype.  Cooking Classy adds great spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.  The Cream Cheese buttercream is a wonderful topping – not too sweet and a perfect complement to the spices in the cake.  Yum!

Spiced Zucchini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 1 1/2 cups (212g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup (160g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (75ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (140g) finely shredded zucchini
  • Chopped pecans, for garnish (optional)
Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened slightly
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/3 cups (300g) powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves for 20 seconds, set aside.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together sugar, vegetable oil, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla until well blended. Pour in dry ingredients then using a rubber spatula, fold and stir batter just until combined.
  4. Fold in zucchini. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full (about a scant 1/4 cup in each).
  5. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 18 – 21 minutes.
  6. Cool in baking pan several minutes then remove and cool on a wire rack. Once cool frost with cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with pecans if desired, store in refrigerator in an airtight container then let rest at room temp about 10 minutes before serving.

For the cream cheese frosting:

  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer set with a paddle attachment, whip cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  2. Mix in vanilla and powdered sugar and mix until light and fluffy (during summer months the frosting may be runny, I find the only way to solve this is to transfer the mixing bowl to the freezer and let the frosting freeze in 5 minute intervals, returning to mixer and stirring between intervals until it’s a thick consistency).

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