Zucchini Cream Cheese Muffins


This is the time of year when people have more zucchini than they know what to do with. Most people are in that situation because their gardens produce zucchini faster than they can cook it. I wind up in that situation because I know it’s zucchini season and buy way too much at the grocery store. We end up in the same place, just have different ways of getting there.

However you wind up with an abundance of zucchini, these muffins are a prime way to use it. These are inspired by my favorite pumpkin muffins (recipe here.) Warmly spiced, tender muffins are filled with a sweetened cream cheese and topped with a toasty, buttery streusel. Even if you don’t have any zucchini, these are a good reason to go out and buy some.


Zucchini Cream Cheese Muffins



  • 1 pound zucchini, ends and stems removed, cut into 1 inch pieces (about 2 medium zucchini) if you are shredding by hand, do not cut zucchini into pieces
  • ¾ cup sugar, divided
  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp heavy cream, half and half or milk

Streusel Topping:

  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp unbleached all purpose flour
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 6 Tbsp cold butter, cut into pieces


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tin with 12 liners.


Place zucchini and 2 Tbsp sugar in food processor. Pulse 12-15 times until finely shredded. Alternatively, shred zucchini by hand on large holes of box grater, then mix with 2 Tbsp sugar. Place zucchini and sugar mixture into fine mesh strainer placed over bowl. Allow to sit for 30 minutes, so that liquid drains from zucchini into bowl. After 30 minutes, place zucchini in paper towels or clean dish towel and wring excess liquid from mixture.

In large bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg until well combined. Set aside.

In medium bowl, whisk eggs, greek yogurt, vanilla, remaining sugar and butter. Mix in zucchini. Add egg/zucchini mixture to flour. Stir until just combined.

Cream Cheese Filling: 

Whisk all ingredients in bowl until smooth.

Streusel Topping:

Place all ingredients in bowl. Using pastry cutters, two knives or your fingers, until mixture holds together loosely.


Put enough batter on the bottom of each muffin liner to cover bottom, 1-2 Tbsp. Evenly distribute cream cheese filling over each muffin. Top with remaining batter. Evenly divide streusel topping over each muffin, pressing into batter to adhere.

Bake for 22-24 minutes. Cool in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then remove muffins and place on cooling rack until cooled completely. Allow muffins to cool completely before eating- the cream cheese filling is very hot right out of the oven.

Makes 12 muffins.

Muffin base adapted from Baking Illustrated