Caramel Apple Zucchini Muffins

These small batch Caramel Apple Zucchini Muffins are a perfect treat to welcome Fall – or any season for that matter!  This recipe makes 6 soft and tender muffins, and the caramel apples and zucchini provide a delicious contrast of flavors and textures.

Small tray of zucchini muffins

Fall Flavored Muffins

Ok – so today is the first day of fall.  Am I the only one that is ecstatic for the change of seasons!?  Don’t get me wrong – I love summer – but I am biased to the warm spices and baking flavors of fall

  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Allspice
  • Cocoa
  • Pumpkin
  • More Squash
  • Caramel
  • Apples

I could go on and on about my love of fall flavors, but I’d rather just bake them.  

To start off my fall baking, I decided to go with something other than pumpkin.  I didn’t want to be that cliche.  So the next best thing (in my mind) is apples.  This is the time of year where I start to see an overabundance of apple varieties in my grocery, and I imagine all of the delish recipe possibilities.

Close up of a single zucchini muffin

Caramel Apple and Zucchini Muffins

If you are asking do these flavors pair well together, the answer is yes.  One thing I love about zucchini is it has a very neutral flavor.  And especially when grated and baked, you still get a slight squash flavor that works harmoniously with a tart and sweet apple.  

For the apple in these Caramel Apple Zucchini Muffins, we are going to kick up the flavor a notch by caramelizing them with a little butter and maple syrup. 

If you have tried my Maple Syrup Caramel Sauce, you will know how easy – and fast – maple syrup turns into classic caramel.  And in the Caramel Apple Sweet Rolls, it is like the two flavors are meant for each other!

A small batch of caramel apple zucchini muffins

Tips For Making the Caramel Apple Zucchini Muffins

There really is only one tip I have for these muffins.  Since we are not using butter in the muffins, or other liquids, there is not much that needs to come to room temperature.  Great!

Drain the grated zucchini- I recommend grating the zucchini over a paper towel and patting it dry.  Zucchini does have moisture in it, and we want to avoid adding excess moisture to the muffins.  Though, you don’t have to go crazy with wringing it out.  When the grated zucchini is on the paper towel, this will sop up enough liquid.

Close up of frosting on zucchini muffins

Cream Cheese Frosting

The Small Batch Caramel Apple Zucchini Muffins are delicious on their own.  But why stop there?  The cream cheese frosting for these muffins is not your typical cupcake or cake frosting.  In that, we will not be sweetening it with powdered sugar.  The muffins have enough sweetness, and if you choose to devour these for breakfast, dialing back on the sweetness may be acceptable.  

That said, when you see cream cheese frosting, expect that you will still taste the tang of the cream cheese.  Plus, adding a little yogurt will really drive home the flavors of breakfast! 

You can frost the muffins much like you would a cupcake, or you can shmear it on like you would a bagel.  The choice is yours, and I’m not judging.  

More Muffin Recipes

Top view of a tray of frosted zucchini muffins
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Small Batch Caramel Apple Zucchini Muffins

These Small Batch Caramel Apple Zucchini Muffins are a perfect treat to welcome Fall!  This recipe makes 6 soft and tender muffins, and the caramel apples and zucchini provide a wonderful contrast of flavors and textures.
Prep20 mins
Cook25 mins
Total45 mins
Servings: 6 Muffins
Author: Erin | Butter and Bliss

Equipment

  • 1 – Muffin/Cupcake Pan

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cold pressed refined coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup grated zucchini, drained on a paper towel

Caramel Apples

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup apples, chopped

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350o degrees and adjust oven rack to the middle position. Line a muffin pan with 6 cupcake liners.

Caramel Apples

  • In a small skillet, add the chopped apples, butter, and maple syrup. Heat over medium heat until the butter melts and the apples soften slightly. The maple syrup will also start to caramelize and smell like caramel. About 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Muffins

  • In a small bowl. whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In another small bowl, add the egg, sugar, and melted coconut oil and mix until combined. Fold the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Then stir in the caramel apple mixture and grated zucchini.
  • Using a small cookie scoop or measuring cup, pour the batter in equal amounts into each cupcake liner. Bake for 22-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
  • While the cupcakes are baking, make the Maple Cream Cheese Frosting. In a small bowl, add the cream cheese, maple syrup, and yogurt. Using a handheld mixer, beat until the mix is smooth and fluffy. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator until the muffins are ready.
  • Cool in the muffin pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once the muffins are cool, you can use the Maple Cream Cheese Frosting to frost or pipe onto the muffins, or just as a spread!
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
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