Cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg-spiced zucchini muffins are topped with a sweet tangy lemon glaze, making for the perfect breakfast treat.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Pompeian. As always, my thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep me inspired in the kitchen.
spiced zucchini olive oil muffins with lemon glaze

So, I think zucchini might be my summer spirit vegetable.


I mean, obviously you know I’ve gone gaga for corn, but zucchini.



It just hits all the right spots and hides itself in all the right places and all of a sudden you’re eating a vegetable in a cupcake and calling it a muffin and it’s totally cool.

If you’re not down with that, you probably don’t have a pulse. Just saying.


The.Boy’s mom dropped some off from her garden this past weekend, and it was all I could do to not tackle her in my attempt to grab the zucchini out of her hands.

Meanwhile, inside I was doing cartwheels to the beat of the latest BodyPump soundtrack and counting down the minutes until these zucchini muffins could be in my breakfast.

And mid-morning snack.

And dinner.

I don’t discriminate when it comes to eating my veggies. #sorrynotsorry


What makes these muffins so special is that they have all the best of the warming comfort spices (cinnamon! ginger! nutmeg!) but with a fresh clean summer flavor from the tart tangy lemon glaze on top and zucchini infusion insides. In addition, whereas most breakfast treats are butter-laden, which is fine for special occasion meals but not so great when you have 24 muffins on your counter and the intent to consume all of them singlehandedly, these are olive oil-ed up, leaving them more heart-healthy, fabulously moist, and full of rich flavor.

Olive oil can actually be a great substitution for butter in many of your favorite treats, including popcorn, cakes, pie crusts, etc, and what better time to make the switch than during National Olive Oil Month! This month, Pompeian has asked all of it’s #PantryInsiders to take the Pompeian Pledge to make a conscious effort to swap out butter for olive oil as much as possible. In order to encourage you all to take it as well, 1,000 people who take the pledge will be randomly selected to win a coupon for a free bottle of Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, along with a free movie rental redemption code. They will also be giving away other movie prize packs throughout the month, so make sure to follow along on their facebook page!

Spiced Zucchini Olive Oil Muffins with Lemon Glaze
Cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg-spiced zucchini muffins are topped with a sweet tangy lemon glaze, making for the perfect breakfast treat.
Yield: 24 muffins
For the muffins
  • 1 cup (135 g) almonds, toasted
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 2½ cups (300g) finely grated zucchini
For the lemon glaze
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  1. Heat oven to 350. Line two cupcake tins with paper liners.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the almonds until finely chopped. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the eggs, sugar, and olive oil. Stir on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add in the almond extract and mix until combined.
  5. Add the flour mixture into the stand mixer bowl and mix until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then mix for another 30 seconds.
  6. Stir the almonds and the zucchini into the batter.
  7. Divide the batter among cupcake tins, filling up to ¾ full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Let cool completely.
  9. For the glaze, whisk together the lemon juice and confectioner's sugar in small bowl. Drizzle over the muffins.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 muffin

Because part of having a spirit vegetable is wanting to impose it on everyone you care about, I sent these to Johanna from Notes From a Messy Kitchen for this month’s Leftovers Club! I hope they put as much pep in her step as they did mine!

For more uses of olive oil in unconventional places, check out these:

summer squash and ricotta galette

Summer Squash and Ricotta Galette

grapefruit olive oil pound cake

Grapefruit Olive Oil Pound Cake

zucchini-walnut cake with cinnamon honey buttercream

Zucchini-Walnut Cake with Cinnamon Honey Buttercream

From Around the Web:

Olive Oil and Ricotta Pound Cake from Baked Bree

Chocolate Almond Olive Oil Granola from The Law Student’s Wife

Orange Olive Oil and Chocolate Cake from Desserts for Breakfast

Little Chocolate Tarts with Olive Oil Pastry from The First Mess

Raspberry and Almond Olive Oil Cake from London Bakes


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52 Responses to Spiced Zucchini Olive Oil Muffins with Lemon Glaze

  1. Great idea! I wonder how they taste like, but sounds really delicious 🙂 I’m curious now!
    Have a nice day, Joanne 😉

  2. I love that these are summery but have the comfort of fall all at once!

  3. Zucchini is the BOMB! And I am sooo glad to hear that I am not the only one currently obsessed with it. Speaking of which, Joanne, we are TOTAL foodie twins—I just finished testing a zucchini chocolate muffin recipe the other day and plan to post it next week and then you go and share the gorgeous ‘thangs! Um, love it.
    Also, I want to drink that gorgeous glaze. Just sayin’ 😉

  4. I JUST snagged an oversized zucchini off of a table at work with big plans to scoop out the seeds and stuff it full of cheese (uhhh, I mean “vegetables”) — but now I think there’s been a change of plans. Zucchini muffins, get in my mouth! These look incredibleeee.

  5. Samantha says:

    Let’s try this again. Apparently I got so excited about zucchini muffins that WordPress thought I had posted too quickly and was a spammer.

    Anyway, I can’t wait to make these with all of the zucchini in my fridge and pop the muffins in the freezer before I leave. Does having olive oil as the fat instead of butter affect the freezing at all? I wouldn’t think so, but I’m always surprised by these things.

  6. Sune Moolman says:

    This is so happening for me on Saturday! I can totally eat 24 muffins in 24 hours! 😉

  7. It’s almost like your cheating on corn with zucchini 😉 Ha!
    Beautiful muffins, these are!

  8. Sues says:

    I’m so sad I don’t have a plethora of zucchini in my kitchen this year. But I think I need to get some JUST to make these!!

  9. so creative and a great way to use leftover zucchini!!

  10. The glaze on top looks absolutely amazing 🙂

  11. SallyBR says:

    I am quite fond of cakes that use olive oil, and these muffins are simply adorable!

  12. Cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg…they remind me of X’mas :-)) Love these zucchini muffins.

  13. omg Joanne, great recipe! I also have this year in my garden so many zucchinis and must be really creative to make always something different with it. Your recipe is such a lovely idea, thank you for that!!

  14. Those look fab! I am definitely still in the mood for making zucchini bread stuff so this sounds like the next thing I’ll have to try! 🙂

  15. I love eating zucchini for breakfast – especially in the form of muffins and other baked goods hehehe. I have a zucchini bread recipe coming up in the next week or so and between that and these muffins, my breakfasts would be da bomb.

  16. Love the almond addition to the muffins! I made a cake that was nothing but nuts batter so I know these taste delish!

  17. Roz says:

    Now you’ve given even MORE ways to use up the gazillion zucchini in my garden! Perfect to take to work for my morning grazing! LOVE THESE! and the lemon glaze is even better!!!

  18. Deena kakaya says:

    I bet they are super moist with the green goodness and life is always better with a lemon glaze, gorgeous recipe Joanne x

  19. Ooo these muffins sound so good! Love all the ingredients in this one too. It’s funny, we grew up with using only olive oil in our cakes and pastries for years and sometimes still do!

  20. Julia says:

    I haven’t baked a zucchini muff all season < – shear heresy! Your muffins are making my mouth water (wait…did this just get R rated?) and I'm all about that lemony glaze!!

  21. alyssa says:

    I am with you – I LOVE zucchini and never understand when people say they have too much of it – it’s so versatile! These muffins sound yummy.

  22. Yum! That lemon glaze looks fabulous on those muffins! I would love a few of these!

  23. Jessie says:

    Zucchini and olive oil in muffins sound amazing!! And I want to drizzle that sweet tangy lemon glaze all over everything (come here, salad 😉 ).

  24. Eileen says:

    Hey, if you don’t want zucchini around here, it’s probably because you have ten pounds of it in the fridge and another ten pounds that needs to be picked RIGHT NOW in the garden. I really need to bake with some of mine, is what I’m saying. 🙂 These muffins sounds so good–spicy and tender. Yay!

  25. I am seriously not doing my duty – I haven’t had any zucchini yet this year. I have eaten more than my fair share of corn, cherries, fresh garlic (seriously – soooo good), peaches, nectarines, plums, blueberries – you get the idea.

    I am also a bad food blogger because I don’t really like butter that much, so love that these are made with olive oil.

  26. Shaina says:

    Yum! Your muffins look so pretty!

  27. Kate says:

    Zucchini is a summer staple. Just like tomatoes and corn!

  28. Danguole says:

    Love everything about these! Regular old zucchini bread = boring.

  29. Tina says:

    You take the best photos. Looks like it’s off Bon Appetit! I am a big fan of the humble zucchini and am always looking for ways to use them in casseroles, a side veggie or main dish veggie, The muffins will be a Must-Try!
    Lucky you, your mother-in-law to be gives you fresh grown veggies. Win-win

  30. Johanna says:

    I’m so excited to try these!!! I will certainly be justifying eating cupcakes for breakfast with the fact that they are packed with veggies AND heart healthy olive oil. Not that I need reasons to justify cupcakes for breakfast…

    Question for you… I just got a bunch of yellow summer squash from my CSA. Do you think that can be substituted for zucchini in baking? They seem similar enough, but I’ve never tried!

  31. Need these…badly. I love how the glaze pools in the nooks and crannies 🙂

  32. Leah Davis says:

    Delicious AND healthy? I’m totally sold. I have not cooked enough with zucchini this summer – it is time to turn it on!!

  33. Susan says:

    Oh, how I love zucchini in muffins, cakes, breads, etc., etc., The lemon glaze sounds just perfect.

  34. Yum, the lemon glaze is a genius touch to these delicious muffins 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  35. I could totally get down with these muffins, Joanne.

  36. Joanne, this are some of the most amazing zucchini muffins I have ever seen. I love all those green speckles. Lemon glaze is so delicious and I bet it is just wonderful on these muffins!

  37. Beth says:

    There are about 1000 great ways to use zucchini, and this is definitely one of them!

  38. Reeni says:

    I can imagine all that olive oil and zucchini makes for one of the moistest, most delicious muffins ever! I’d be devouring them for every meal! Let’s see 24 muffins divided by 5 meals a day that’s almost 5 days worth of meals making for one very happy girl. 😉

  39. I love baking with zucchini, Your muffins look wonderful, I love the lemon glaze that you topped them with. Also wanted to mention that you photos are gorgeous!!!

  40. Oh boy. I need to start making some zucchini recipes and soon. I can’t believe I don’t have a single one in my blog. Your muffins looks awesome!!

  41. Isadora says:

    I love all desserts that contain zucchini! I have no idea who came up with the idea of adding zucchini to sweet things, but I want to give them a big hug! I’ve seen a lot of olive oil baked goods recipes, but have never tried it. I want these muffins right now!

  42. Love these muffins Joanne. We are in synch as I’ve just made an olive oil cake 🙂

  43. Those sound amazing! I love zucchini too. I haven’t made it enough this summer. I bet your partner is excited!

  44. I’m so happy to see these muffins looking so perfect, Joanne, after making some similar ones myself that turned out just awful. This gives me hope that I can give them another go and get them right. I think you’ve hit the jackpot with the lemon glaze – I bet that finishes these off perfectly! Have a fun weekend!

  45. Faye says:

    Seriously, these muffins look amazing! Now, why didn’t I think of making something with zucchini? It’s the perfect time! Love, love, love this!

  46. Kinsey says:

    Love the line about the BodyPump soundtrack. Sometimes I’ll hear one of the songs from a release on the radio and it sounds weird without the instructor yelling “24 singles!” or “4 bottom halves!” on top of the music.

    Oh, and the muffins–I love olive oil in my baked goods and these look like the perfect way to use up my neighbor’s zucchini!

  47. The lemon glaze on the muffins sounds so yummy. I now know what to do with all of that zucchini my friend gave me.

  48. cheri says:

    Oh I have so much zucchini right now, this is exactly what I was looking for, great recipe!

  49. These zucchini muffins look incredible – Iove those pretty green specks peaking through. The spices, olive oil, and lemon glaze sound amazing!

  50. Laura says:

    These look outstanding! I could seriously go for one right now.

  51. What a fun idea! I love baking with veggies, and the spice combo here sounds wonderful!

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