Ginger Zucchini Cupcakes with an Orange-Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

If you’re anything like me, right around this time of year you begin to get the Autumn itch.  The nights are slowly evolving into a cool calm, the scent of the outside air begins to change, and the anticipation for the fall festivities ahead has you wound up with total excitement!

What better way to transition into the best time of year, than to unite the two worlds of summer and spice in this delicious cupcake.  My (very soon-to-be) father in-law graciously gifted me with a bag full of garden fresh zucchini followed by a brief mention of a healthy ginger-zucchini muffin recipe he had come across recently.  As soon as my food-obsessed brain processed those two magical words, I knew that I had, had, had to act quick.

I searched for this healthy muffin recipe and found something even better – a healthy(ish) cupcake recipe!

Here’s where I give credit to my father in-law for igniting a delightful cupcake post.  Adding this to my (future) mother in-law sending a foodie care package from Maine this week – I’ve realized why God created in-laws 🙂

Ginger Zucchini Cupcakes

(adapted from Gourmet)

*Makes 18 cupcakes

  • 1/3 cup crystallized ginger, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups coarsely grated zucchini
  • 3/4 cup mild olive oil
  • 3/4 cup mild honey
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Orange-Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh orange zest


For cupcakes:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin cups with liners. 

Pulse crystallized ginger in food processor until ground, then add flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, zest, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and pulse until combined. 

Whisk together zucchini, oil, honey, eggs, and vanilla in a medium bowl, then stir in flour mixture until just combined. 

Divide batter among muffin cups and bake until golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes. 

Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely, 1 hour. 

For frosting:
Beat together frosting ingredients with an electric mixer at high speed until combined well and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. 

Frost tops of cooled cupcakes.



Filed under All Posts, Recipes, Sweet Treats, Uncategorized, Vegetables

96 responses to “Ginger Zucchini Cupcakes with an Orange-Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. I love adding zucchini in recipes when possible! And I’ve never baked with crystallized ginger before. Sounds scrumptious!

  2. Wow! I never thought of putting ginger & zucchini in a cake before. It looks amaaazing! Must try with my two itty bitty foodies at home!

  3. Sunflowerdiva

    Wow. This looks amazing. What a combination!

  4. Oh my god, this looks amazing! I can’t wait to try this out. Did I miss how many this recipe will make?

  5. MMMMmmm…Thank you for this! Can’t wait to try it!

  6. those look awesome…will definitely give ’em a go…

  7. Thank you so much! Our neighbors garden just exploded into zucchini and we can’t even leave the windows open anymore for fear of their well-meaning largesse!

    And the kids will *eat these*!

  8. The Gastronomer

    Hey there from Singapore,

    I am impressed by the fact that your blog is almost a one-stop spot for all foodlovers and cooking-hobbyists to learn more about the culinary arts.

    I actually have a foodblog too, though still young and pretty empty, but hey, I’m still learning and stacking up on experience.

    Hope you’ll drop by and offer some suggestions 😀


  9. I need some good zucchini recipes. This looks awesome!
    I love the addition of the candied ginger.

  10. Emma Drew

    Cupcakes are everywhere! Just been looking at this course:
    I’d love to learn to make cupcakes as they’re so expensive in shops to buy, but I need tips on the icing and decorating bit…

  11. Woah, these look incredible! It’s such an unexpected combination, yet it sounds (and looks!) completely delicious. Especially that frosting…I bet it would be good on gingerbread cupcakes in the fall too!

    – Halie

  12. Victoria

    looks and sounds pretty awesome. Thanks for sharing!

  13. This looks wonderful. I love cupcakes and to include zuchinni is brilliant. After all, what the hell will you do with it all?

  14. Pingback: Ginger Zucchini Cupcakes with an Orange-Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting (via Daily Crave) | One Dead Poet

  15. Oh yum! I think I would find a way to add cardamom to this recipe, too. : )

  16. Looks so good! I can’t wait to try to make them myself!

  17. Perfect! I have been looking for a way to use up the rest of the zucchini in my garden. You can only have so much stuffed, breaded, pickled, baked, etc. Cupcakes will be the way to go!

  18. Such a great combination of flavors. I immediately e-mailed the link to my girlfriend, who thankfully does all the baking in our household. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  19. Sounds a bit weird, but i will definitely try it, i like zucchini. 🙂

  20. Thank you so much for posting this. I have been on the lookout for a recipe like this for a few years. I had one like it but I’d written it out in a pen that faded so much I couldn’t read it by the time I came to use it again. This time I will use something more permanent!

  21. This weekend I was planning on pulling out the pumpkin to make some muffins because I’m feeling Autumn in the air too, but now how can I resist making this? It sounds amazing. Anything with ginger sends pings in my heart.

  22. AP

    Oh wow!! I cannot wait to try these!! I was just thinking that I needed more zucchini recipes as I was looking at them in the garden. How wonderful! Thank you.

  23. Oh my. Looks like my zucchini and new block of cream cheese have found themselves a home.

  24. Jornal do Whisky

    Looks delicius!!! i will try!

  25. Pingback: Healthy Ginger Zucchini Cupcakes (via Daily Crave) « Pursue natural

  26. I have just reblogged this healthy recipe with ginger, the qualities of which I rave about on my site. Good work! Amazing in-laws!

  27. letmeinterject

    I’ve been having the same itch for fall food!! This recipe looks delectable. I’ve got a few fall recipes on my site too (

  28. that is one mouthful of a cupcake recipe. just saying it makes you feel zany and accomplished at the same time. makes me thing of dr. seuss in the best way possible. thanks for giving me a reason to pop out the cupcake tray. can’t wait.

  29. Yum! My mouth is watering! I may have to try this tonight!

  30. Diana Powell

    Have you tried Harry Eastwood’s book ‘Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache’? There’s some great zucchini/courgette recipies in there– It’s won me over to baking with all kinds of veg instead of using oil or butter. It’s only published in the UK, but I bought one off Abe books and sent it to my mom State-side.

  31. islandmomma

    These sound WONDERFUL! We don’t really “do” Autumn here in the Canary Islands, but I’ve been looking for healthy recipes, and these sound pretty healthy for cake!

  32. Bamola

    OMGosh that looks awesome!

  33. These look awesome — I have been searching for new recipes to use my copious zucchini!

  34. Shiraz Events

    Loving the cupcakes! So Delicious! Check out some of our catering trends! We’d love your feedback!

  35. Pingback: Ginger Zucchini Cupcakes with an Orange-Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting (via Daily Crave) « Fathead & Friends

  36. sara

    Sound scrumptious!

  37. Marlys

    Wow that’s quite a response! Get the recipe for ginger zuchini muffins that Gary saw that uses applesauce. He faxed it to me, but a poor copy. Nb: it was MY zucchini from My garden that he gave you! Ha! Also, we could not have asked for a better daughter-in-law!

  38. sayitinasong

    I have zucchinis! I love cupcakes and you just made my day!!

  39. These look and sound delicious. Will definitely have to give them a try. Thanks for sharing.

  40. Pretty sure I just died. Trying this for sure 🙂

  41. Mmm…I love ginger and I *love* zucchini. They sound like a perfect match and the cupcakes look delicious! 😀

  42. Oh wow, so very yummy! Mailing it to myself now.

  43. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! I’m new to blogging and have enjoyed reading your blog today. Definitely going to try many of your recipes. My hubby and I are amateur cooks, and our blog features recipes, wine and whisky reviews, and other odds and ends. Would love any feedback you might be able to share.

    Are the pictures in your recipes all taken by you once you have prepared the dish? Are most of your recipes “originals” or modifications of ones you’ve come across?

    Thanks, and congratulations again!


  44. Dina

    Definitely gonna make these! Have you found – they have some fabulous crystalized ginger that I try to keep on hand. My mouth is watering just thinking about the first bite of one of these! Thanks!

  45. J

    These look so good. I started a diet today adn have been reluctant to read your post lol. I said what the hay and opened it….now I have to settle for butterpecan ice cream 🙂

  46. This sounds delicious and so different!

  47. These sound quite interesting! The frosting sounds deeeelicious!

  48. The Perfectly Imperfect One

    OMG YUM!! I am in love with this recipe and will be trying it as soon as I can 🙂 Thanks for the awesome cupcake recipe, and congrats on being freshly pressed.

  49. I found an almost identical recipe a couple weeks ago and this is now our favorite cupcake of all times. So moist and spicy! I’m a recipe-mangler, I almost always modify the prescribed ingredients/method. For this, I simply chopped the candied (not crystallized) ginger and did not process it – to retain the maximum ginger flavor with small bits left in the batter. Wowser! Glad you shared it on wordpress.

  50. Pingback: Ginger Zucchini Cupcakes with an Orange-Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting (via Daily Crave) « Hotcrowd's Blog

  51. Pingback: Ginger Zucchini Cupcakes with an Orange-Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting (via Daily Crave) « A Day in the Life…

  52. em

    Found your post on the main WordPress page, and you had me at Zucchini Cupcakes, YUM. I’ll be trying this soooon. THANKS for posting! 🙂

  53. Now I love cupcakes and ginger, but Zucchini Cupcakes i’m not seeing that happen in my world. The frosting sounds devine though.

  54. This sounds and looks so delicious, now I’m craving some cupcakes! I love the sound of the cream cheese too.

  55. I am right there with you. This summer we have had scorching weather. I have hardly turned on my oven, and I am a baker! Your cupcakes look moist and the recipe is full of flavor. Bon Appetit!

  56. Hey! Awesome post & Thanks for sharing!

    your friends,


  57. Hi Natalie

    You have a lovely blog. Congratulations on all of your achievements, being freshly pressed and on your soon to be marriage.

    I love the originality of your recipes, each one a taste-explosion for the taste-buds.

    I have subscribed to receive your email updates and added you to my bookmarks.

    I invite you to have a look at my blog and would be honoured if you would subscribe to mine.

    Looking forward to sharing with you.

    Sunny regards,
    🙂 Mandy

  58. They look so yummy! Great photo

  59. Pingback: Zucchini Recipes! « The Gun-Carryin' Librarian

  60. Raw Hasan

    Congratulations! Your post hit the home page of wordpress! 🙂

    Anyway, if you ever come to Bangladesh, you can taste the most special foods of Bangladesh, which is no unique and delicious in the whole world!

  61. Pingback: Ginger Zucchini Cupcakes with an Orange-Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting (via Daily Crave) « Coffee Tea And We

  62. Oh my goodness I’m going to have to try these, they sound delish.

  63. Looks delicius!!! i will try!

  64. ginger and zucchini in a cupcake.. i wonder what it tastes! It looks delicious though 🙂

  65. k

    YUM!! Ohmigosh, I am going to have to try this out. Love the photos too.

  66. KV

    These look so good, it hardly seems fair!!!

  67. This sounds so wonderful! And we have another big bag of zucchini from our CSA (every week we get more and more!) So, your recipe is definitely in the plans for this weekend. Thank you!

  68. Pingback: Cupcakes | Bounteous

  69. Pingback: Food Porn | Food Food Food!

  70. CGTravels

    Hi Natalie,

    I stumbled across your blog the day these cupcakes were the top post, and tried them this weekend for an outdoor concert – they were a HUGE hit, and possibly the most delicious cupcakes I’ve ever had…really unique, tasty, and a healthy recipe! This is one I know I’ll be making the rest of the year as the weather cools. Thank you for sharing and keep ’em comin’!


  71. Before this, I thought that I was the cookie monster. 🙂

  72. This is really awesome. The ingredients are a healthy one and they are ready in my garden too. I can’t wait o make this on my own. Thanks for sharing your recipes.

  73. This is really awesome. The ingredients are a healthy one and they are ready in my garden too. I can’t wait to make this on my own. Thanks for sharing your recipes.

  74. Edi

    OMG! they look scrumptous! gotta make this soon. Yummmmmmmm

  75. sounds delicious! I posted a great recipe for a zesty Zucchini cornbread on my so much zucchini, help I need more recipes

  76. It looks delicious. Yummy combination and it is really unique. I can’t wait to try this one for some family gathering. The ingredients are already in my garden and waiting for me to harvest them.

  77. Pingback: Chunky Ginger Applesauce « Daily Crave

  78. Never thought of putting zucchini in a cupcake, but the picture looks delicious! I will definitely be trying these this week!

  79. I never thought of putting zucchini and ginger in any cake. I will try to bake like this and when it tastes good I will gratefully thank you and let it taste to my kids. By the way the photo really made me hungry.

  80. when i cook at home, i always make sure that i only cook healthy recipes because i don’t want to get fat ~–

  81. Thanks pal. Great submissions you got going on here. Have some more websites to point to which have more stuff like this?

  82. I cherished what you’ve got got performed here. The format is stylish, your written material elegant. Nonetheless, you’ve got obtained an edginess to what you’ll be providing the next. Ill unquestionably arrive back once more but once again for an excellent deal a lot more in case you safeguard this up. Dont do away with hope if not at the similar time quite a few men and women see your imaginative and prescient vision, know you could have attained a fan suitable the subsequent who beliefs what you can have received to say together with the way you’ve got presented by yourself. Extremely excellent on you!

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