19 August 2012

Chocolate Zucchini Olive Oil Cupcakes with Basil Infused Mascarpone icing

Chocolate Zucchini Olive Oil Cupcakes

For those of you who follow these pages you will notice an obvious trend lately. It is not your imagination that zucchini seems to be taking centre stage in almost every dish coming from my kitchen. Why you ask? Well not only do I really enjoy zucchini but my little community garden "runneth over." I had my fill of zucchini flowers picking both male and female lily-shaped blossoms for  Zucchini Flowers Stuffed with Mint and Feta and for Zucchini Blossom Risotto with Prosecco. Even so, these compact plants still produced at least 10 zucchini from each plant, and they are still going strong. So far this season from my kitchen comes Patty Melt with Zucchini Coleslaw, Zucchini Olive Oil Cake with Lemon Crunch Glaze,  Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Feta and Mint, Zucchini Pistou, Zucchini Risotto with Saffron and Shrimp, Zucchini Balls (Kolokythokeftedes), and Crustless Zucchini Pie,  Faced with an abundance of zucchini I still have several recipes in the works but from this list you can see that zucchini has been the star of my kitchen for a month or so now. 

Next up is an ode to the garden with a chocolate zucchini cupcake. To top it off you could simply sprinkle them with chocolate chips or take the extra time to make a light, velvety basil infused mascarpone cheese icing to highlight summer. The recipe makes plenty so do half and half as I did. The colour of the icing will be green and your guests will be expecting the pop of mint but you will leave them guessing. "What is that?" 

The recipe for the chocolate zucchini cupcakes was inspired by a recipe from my good friend Giz while we were chatting on Facebook one day over at Equal Opportunity Kitchen. Thanks for the recipe brand new grandma! I had read that adding a touch of instant coffee granules to a chocolate cake brings out the chocolate flavour, so in it went. Not sure if it added to the flavour but it didn't harm it either. Of course I had to also use my beloved olive oil as well. 

As for the basil-infused icing. I sometimes find myself behind in foodie trends. I have yet to try bacon in my cookies, or tonka beans for example. Last summer on a whirlwind trip to Ontario I met up with Paula of Dragons Kitchen who had lovingly prepared a basil ice cream. A new taste sensation for me but has been on everyones lips for a while (pardon the pun). We gushed, and oohed, and ahhed, and sighed while the flavour twirled around our tongue. I will never forget the unique taste it brought to my mouth...it screamed of basil, yet was so sweet and refreshing. I had read somewhere that the combination paired with chocolate is a marriage of flavours made in heaven so with a nudge from Joanne of Eats Well With Others I decided to give it a try in my icing for my chocolate zucchini cupcakes. The green colour will have your guests thinking mint, but imagine their quizzical expressions wondering, "What is that?" 

If you are wondering about the lovely assortment of paper products I won these from Bakers Stock on Ann's blog Thibeault's Table. Inspiration has come from many sources for todays post. I hope it inspired you to make these extremely moist, chocolatey cupcakes. 

**Chocolate Zucchini Olive Oil Cupcakes with Basil Infused 
Mascarpone Icing**

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt 
2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs
3/4 cup olive oil
2 cups grated zucchini
1/2 cup milk
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
Chocolate chips (2 or 3 good handfuls)

 Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two muffin pans with paper liners and set aside. 

In a medium-sized bowl blend all dry ingredients and toasted nuts. 

In a separate large bowl, add olive oil, Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in both brown sugar and granulated sugar. Stir in vanilla and grated zucchini.  

Add the dry ingredients alternately with milk and mix until just combined. Try not to over mix.

Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350F for 20 - 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the centre comes out clean. Fore these tulip-shaped liners from Bakers Stock I overfilled them and tested them after 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to a wire rack to cool completely. Ice cupcakes. 

**Basil Infused Mascarpone Icing**

1 cup heavy whipping cream
5 or 6 large fresh basil leaves, rinsed and dried
1 lb. mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup confectioners sugar

Combine the whipping cream and basil in a small saucepan and place over low heat until the cream just begins to simmer. Remove from heat and let stand for about 20 minutes to cool. Strain cream through a sieve into a small bowl to remove the basil. Press on the basil leaves with the back of a spoon to squeeze out as much cream as possible. Place bowl in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to cool.

To make the frosting, combine mascarpone cheese, confectioners sugar and chilled whipping cream in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, begin beating the mixture on high speed. Watch the mixture closely and stop as soon as SOFT peaks begin to form. This will only take 60 to 90 seconds. Do not over beat or the cream will become too thick.

Immediately place frosting in a piping bag or resealable plastic bag. If using a baggie, cut a small hole in one corner. Pipe frosting onto each cupcake and, if desired, top each with a small basil leaf or flower.

Serve immediately or refrigerate cupcakes. makes enough to generously ice 22+ cupcakes.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. Val I love zucchinis too and love Joanne recipes are awrsome and these look perfect;))

  2. Yum ... I'd close my eyes to the calories for one of these. Besides, it has vegetables so it's healthy, right?

  3. I have to make these...you have somehow managed to make rich chocolaty cupcakes sound like a healthy snack...I'm in!
    I love the cupcake liners, too!

  4. I love using zukes in recipes like this - will be giving this one a try for sure!

  5. val I am in LOVE with that icing!

  6. Divine! That icing is terrific.



  7. We just made almost the same thing in the same package just different flavors and recipe:)

  8. I saw these on face book. They scream chocolate and zucchini does make cake moist and nice.

  9. HI, Val!
    Which of this myriad of zucchini recipes will you make again - and which is your favourite. I also found one for zucchini bites I will try. My mom has a recipe for the best zucchini chocolate cake I have ever tasted. I have never made it - because she does! :)
    We were just out Saturday and had a basil popsicle as a palate cleanser (Farm to Table dinner) and it was BRILLIANT. If you think you are behind on trends, I must be X3 as I didn't know this was a trend!
    Am enjoying your zucchini posts!!!

  10. I am jealous and wish I could garden more here in AZ. Enjoy your zucchini!

  11. The only thing better than a zucchini olive oil cake is one with chocolate. Love the sound of the mascarpone icing on these!

  12. What a fabulous presentation Val. I love the idea of basil with chocolate. Yum.

  13. Aww thanks for the shout-out chica! And I LOVE that you threw zucchini into the cupcakes! It really is the perfect addition!

  14. I never tire of zucchini recipes

  15. I loved all of these recipes Valerie but the olive oil zuchini cake with the lemon glaze, the zucchini salad with feta and the risotto with Prosecco stood out for me.

  16. Whe I saw this post I won't tell you what came after Holy.....

    I can just imagine all these flavors coming together....

  17. these totally don't need icing, but i like the mascarpone idea!

  18. I never thought that zuchinni can also be good in chocolate muffins. thanks for the idea

    Kitchen ideas

  19. Shoot. I should not have looked at this post right now whilw we're trying to recover from all of the bad food choices we've made this summer. ARGH

    You did a brilliant job with these!

  20. Val, I'm still dealing with all of the peppers in my garden right now; I've still got to face the zucchini crop calling my name. Looks like you've made and will still make lots of yummy recipes!


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