There are times when I really just need to get into the kitchen and bake something. It helps me take my mind off other, more stressful things, and it’s always nice to fill the apartment with warm, comforting smells of cinnamon and chocolate, you know? In fact, whenever I hear Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” on the radio, I like to pretend that the lyrics are actually “I’m just gonna bake, bake, bake, bake, bake, I bake it off, I bake it off.” Maybe that’s just me, though…
In the course of my research this last week, I came across an article that described the topic of my current project as “one of the most challenging black holes” in this particular subfield. Now, that’s not to say that it’s not still worth studying and examining, but this description seems pretty fitting, in my opinion, which means that this research project is frustrating as hell, which means…I needed me some pumpkin zucchini muffins. Desperately.
Luckily, these pumpkin zucchini muffins come together pretty quickly and are actually relatively healthy as far as baked goods go – only 1/3 cup of margarine, and plenty of pumpkin and zucchini goodness! If you want to make these uber healthy, you could skip the chocolate chips – but it was one of those weeks in my household where chocolate was really a necessity…you know how it goes.
What are your favorite things to bake when you’re feeling a bit stressed and overwhelmed?
- 1/3 cup margarine or shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup pumpkin
- 1 cup grated zucchini (about 1 medium zucchini)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (plus extra for the top if desired)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour the cups of a muffin pan or line with paper liners.
- In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the margarine and sugar. Add the egg and mix until incorporated. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add these combined dry ingredients to the mixer bowl. Stir in the remaining ingredients (pumpkin, zucchini, water, walnuts, and chocolate chips), squeezing out and discarding as much water as possible from the grated zucchini before adding.
- Portion the batter into the muffin pan, filling each cup no more than 3/4 full. Sprinkle 3-4 extra chocolate chips on top of each muffin, if desired.
- Bake for 17 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Heather @ Sweet Precision says
I saw these on Facebook this weekend and couldn’t wait for the recipe! They look absolutely delicious and combine two of my favorite ingredients 🙂 Sometimes you need a little time in the kitchen to get away from everything an relax a little!
I’m glad to hear they caught your eye! And that you agree about the necessity of kitchen unwinding time 🙂
Lu @ Super Nummy Yo! says
These look so moist and tender! Love that you used pumpkin AND zucchini 😛
Thanks! I was debating pumpkin/carrot vs pumpkin/zucchini and went with the latter to avoid monochromaticity…I was super pleased with how they turned out!
Erin | The Law Student's Wife says
Baking is such a stress reliever for me too! Last night called for a chocolate cake, and I felt 100 times better after making it. I love the thought of these filling the house with cinnamon for extra comfort!
Mmm…cake 🙂 I could do with some chocolate cake right about now!
K. / Pure & Complex says
The pumpkin and the chocolate definitely makes this muffin absolutely delectable. Wonderful post
Thanks! Yes, chocolate and pumpkin is a classic flavor pairing for a reason!
ah these look so good! I have a huge amount of earth balance (vegan butter spread) in my fridge because my husband is lactose-intolerant so I’m going to try substituting the margarine for that and see how it goes. Thanks for posting this!!
I haven’t tried baking with soft spreads before, but if you’re ever looking for a dairy-free margarine in stick form, I use Fleischmann’s unsalted spread (green label) – I’m lactose intolerant as well. Let me know how the muffins turn out! 🙂
Oh wow! *drools awkwardly*
Haha I’ll take that as a compliment – thanks! 🙂
Cake Lover says
I made this recipe yesterday. They looked so delicious on the cooling rack that it was decided they should be our dessert after dinner. Everyone LOVED these Pumpkin Zucchini Muffins. Bake them ASAP and you won’t be disappointed!
So glad to hear you enjoyed them!! Thanks for the glowing review 🙂
Cake Lover says
This past weekend I made another double recipe of your pumpkin zucchini muffins. I like to double the recipe to use a whole can (15 oz.) of pumpkin and one whole zucchini. Since I was feeling lazy, I experimented by NOT squeezing out the extra zucchini juice and OMITTING the added water (1/2 cup for the double recipe). The muffins turned out lovely – this may be my favorite recipe from your blog. Keep on creating in the kitchen!
Wow – a double batch! Thanks for the feedback about the zucchini and water. I’ll have to try that next time!
Filed! A nice way to present zucchini without my six-year-old knowing dot dot dot
I bet s/he will love these! I’m pretty sure zucchini bread was the only way I would voluntarily eat zucchini as a child 😛
these sound amazing – i really want to try them! do you know what would be best to substitute the margarine but keep the flavor? Or is the margarine a must in this? thanks!
Thanks! I’m glad these caught your eye. If you want to use butter instead, that should be perfectly fine. I originally opted to use dairy-free margarine (or shortening) in order to keep the muffins dairy-free, but that’s just a personal preference. I also once made them with coconut oil; they were still tasty, but if my memory serves me right, the texture was softer and the overall shape of the muffins was a little flatter.