How to Add Caramel to Your Muffins!
I LOVE the flavor of caramel. It has a rich sweet, buttery taste and adds a whole new depth of flavor to your baked goodies. There are several ways to add caramel to muffins, cakes and bread, because there are different types of caramel. I opted for the easiest & simplest form of caramel, which is a store-bought caramel candy. I tore the soft & sticky caramel into quarter-sized pieces and then flattened them out. Then I filled muffin cups about two-thirds full with the batter and place a flattened piece of caramel on top. The candy melted and became a rich ooey gooey pool of caramel-y goodness in these delicious caramel chocolate zucchini muffins!
The two types of caramel are dry caramel (like the candy I used) and wet caramel (think of caramel sauce). And in between those two types, there is a whole spectrum of flavors and colors! The longer you cook caramel, the richer its flavor and color get. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to make your own caramel at home, this video here by Cupcake Jemma has three different caramel recipes!
Caramel is traditionally made on the stove by heating and combining heavy cream, sugar, butter and water. But you can also create your own vegan caramel sauce by combining sugar and coconut milk!
If you do opt to use caramel sauce instead of caramel candy, let it cool to room temperature after you make it. Dollop some into the batter-filled muffin cups, just like the caramel candies. You can also drizzle some extra caramel sauce on top after the muffins come out of the oven, for an over-the-top decadent treat!
How to Add Zucchini to Your Muffins!
Adding zucchini to baked goods is a great way to increase your vegetable intake while maintaining a healthy dose of sugar on the daily. 😛 And shredded zucchini is so versatile! It can be added into bread, muffins and cupcakes. Or combine shredded zucchini with a ton of cheese and bake it into a gluten-free pizza crust! Leave the zucchini whole and bake it with olives and chickpeas to create delicious savory zucchini boats.
Pro Tip: After shredding your zucchini, wrap it in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze as much water out as possible. You can also leave the shredded zucchini in a fine mesh sieve over a bowl for about thirty minutes, to allow additional water to drain out. You don’t want a ton of water in your shredded zucchini, because it can mess with the texture of your yummy recipe.
The end result of these caramel chocolate zucchini muffins is divine! Each bite ensures a mouthful of rich chocolatey flavor, which pairs excellently with the sweet, buttery, gooey caramel filling. You can’t even taste the zucchini, but it adds moisture, chewiness, antioxidants and fiber! 🧁 Enjoy!!
Caramel Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups shredded zucchini, drained well (see note above in blog post)
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ⅔ cup soft caramel candy
- Line a muffin tin with muffin cups. Or grease a muffin tin, if you're not using muffin cups. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the granulated sugar, brown sugar and eggs together for three minutes, in a stand mixer or with an electric handheld whisk. If whisking by hand, whisk for five minutes.
- Stir in the shredded (and drained) zucchini, vegetable oil, vanilla and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and cinnamon.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix it just until you no longer see the dry ingredients.
- Fill muffin cups two-thirds full with the batter. Tear apart small pieces of the soft caramel candy and flatten them between your fingers until they are just slightly smaller than your muffins cups. Place a caramel candy piece on top of the batter in each muffin cup.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted to the edge (where there is no caramel) comes out clean. Let cool for at least 10 minutes, then enjoy!