Light and delicious homemade gluten free zucchini muffins are a sneaky way of enjoying this vegetable all year long! Spiced with cinnamon and orange juice, no one will believe these muffins are gluten free. Quick to make and healthy to enjoy.
When zucchini season peaks from June to August (in the northern hemisphere) this is my hands down favorite way to eat fresh zucchini! But don't let the time of year stop you, these vegetables can be enjoyed all year long. Choose larger zucchini for a better baking zucchini and smaller ones that are packed with flavor to use in cooking.
Free from: wheat, gluten, dairy (optional), casein (optional), fish, shellfish, soy, sesame, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, corn, celery, and more
Look for firm and glossy zucchini at the grocery store when you’re buying them. Keep them in the fridge in the veggie drawer for up to 5 days before eating.
Make sure you check out my gluten free zucchini bread recipe for a great way on how to use more zucchini!
These gluten free zucchini muffins have a few extra ingredients to make them super flavorful: cinnamon, oranges, and sour cream! Zucchini is a mild flavor (unlike something like carrot cake or pumpkin muffins) so we can spice it up with some extras.
If you need allergy free versions of any of these ingredients, just replace the butter or sour cream with a non-dairy version. I make it that way all the time and it always works great.
You’ll also need:
- Butter, melted - Salted or unsalted work in this recipe.
- Sugar - I used regular granulated sugar but caster sugar will also work here.
- Eggs - To help bind the batter together. I use large eggs. Make sure they are room temperature for the best results while baking.
- Sour Cream - This helps make the muffins so soft and moist!
- Orange Juice - I love the little kick that orange juice brings to the party!
- Zucchini - The star of the show! Choose larger ones for a more mild flavor or smaller ones for a more intense zucchini flavor. You can choose to peel them or not - the recipe works either way!
- Vanilla Extract - Adding vanilla really brings a depth of flavor and subtle sweetness to the recipe.
- Gluten free flour - See my notes below for the best flours to use in this recipe.
- Baking soda and baking powder
- Cinnamon and salt
Best gluten free flour to use
Every gluten-free flour blend has slightly different ingredients so not all will get you the same results as seen in this recipe. I have successfully used both King Arthur Measure for Measure and my own Homemade Gluten Free Flour in this recipe with great results!
If you try a different flour than the ones I listed, you may need to change how much liquid to add or subtract from this recipe to get similar results. Just be aware and use your best judgment!
I don't recommend using a single ingredient gluten free flour, like almond flour, oat flour, or coconut flour for these muffins. A blend is really required to best the best, moist muffins around.
The full instructions with all the measurements are written in the recipe card below so make sure to check that out! However, this is where I get into the nitty gritty of making these delicious muffins.
For this recipe, you don’t need a stand mixer or a hand mixer - I almost always make these muffins in a large bowl with just a whisk! However, you can use a stand mixer or hand mixer with the paddle attachment if you like to make these muffins a breeze to mix up.
Begin by lining a 12-muffin tin with either paper muffin cups or spraying with a neutral flavored oil. Set aside.
In a small microwave safe bowl, melt the butter. Let it cool slightly while you grate the zucchini.
You can peel or not peel the zucchini, both taste great in the muffins! If you grate the zucchini, you will have little flecks of green from the skin, which can be really pretty. If you’re trying to make these a sneaky addition of vegetables to your kids, I would suggest peeling them to make the zucchini invisible.
Slice the zucchini in half and using a spoon, scrape out the seeds. Now taking the zucchini, grate it on a medium/large size. If you have a hand grater, that works, but a food processor makes quick work of grating them! Set them on a paper towel to drain slightly while you mix up the batter.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients: gluten free flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
Remember, if you are using gluten free flour, make sure that you use the scoop and level method for measuring out your flour. This will make the most accurate measurement of flour as opposed to just scooping the measuring cup directly into the bag.
In a large sized bowl, add the cooled melted butter, sugar, eggs, sour cream, vanilla, and orange juice. Whisk this together until the mixture is homogeneous. Now add the drained zucchini and mix well.
Finally, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Using a spatula or large spoon, mix well, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl to get all the ingredients incorporated!
When the muffin batter is fully mixed, pour the batter into the prepared muffin tray. You want to fill these muffins up all the way.
If desired, you can sprinkle brown sugar on top before baking for an extra sweet treat!
Pop these muffins in a 375F oven and let them bake for about 24-26 minutes.
Pro tip! Don’t open the door of the oven for at least the first 20 minutes of baking! This is when the leavening agents are reacting tot he heat of the oven and it’s important to not disturb that process. Your muffins may fall flat if you take a peak!
The muffins are done when a toothpick inserted into the center pulls out clean.
Let them cool and enjoy!
How to Store
These muffins keep best in the fridge in an airtight container for up to five days.
You can freeze these muffins after baking. Allow the muffins to cool completely before transferring to a freezer safe container. They will keep frozen for up to 3 months. Allow them to thaw completely before serving from frozen.
Chocolate Zucchini Muffins - Add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the dry ingredients. Bake as directed.
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins - Add 1 cup chocolate chips to the batter just before scooping into the muffin tins. Bake as directed.
Brown Sugar - Replace the white sugar with brown sugar in the recipe. Add additional brown sugar on top before baking for an extra sweet treat.
To make these zucchini muffins dairy free, replace the butter with a non-dairy butter of your choice. My personal favorites are Earth Balance soy free and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter sticks. Replace the sour cream with your favorite non-dairy sour cream or dairy-free yogurt.
More Muffin recipes to love
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- Vegetable grater
- mixing bowls
- mixing spoons
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- muffin tray
- Muffin liners
- 2 cups gluten free flour see above for best flour to use here
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons butter melted (non-dairy if desired)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup sour cream (non-dairy if desired)
- 3 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups zucchini shredded (1 large or 2 small)
- Wash and dry the zucchini. You can peel them if desired but that’s not required. Slice zucchini in half and using a spoon, scrape out the seeds. Carefully shred the zucchini. Place on paper towel to drain and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Line 12 muffin trays with paper liners or spray with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Set aside.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together the gluten free flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted butter with sugar and vanilla. Mix well. Add the eggs, sour cream, orange juice, and zucchini. Mix well.
- Now add the dry ingredients to the large bowl of wet ingredients. Using a large spoon or spatula, mix well, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated.
- Using a large spoon, fill each muffin tin with batter until it is ¾ to completely full.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center pulls out clean.